Pottery

Amy in the Cocorico Bee asked for blocks with an art studio theme for June.  

Art Studio Theme

Back before I quilted and before I knit, I was a potter.  In fact, I spent a good 16 years making pots.  I worked in a photo/wood/ceramics craft studio and I'd use the space after hours to throw to my heart's content.  I sold pottery at a few craft fairs and I taught some wheel throwing classes.  When I didn't teach or work in a studio, I took classes just to have access to a wheel and to glean any bits of knowledge that I could from the teacher.  I can't say that my skills grew very much that way.  But, it didn't matter to me.  I didn't need to make the biggest piece or fancy vase.  All I ever wanted to make was the perfect shaped bowl.  The amount of bowls I've thrown over the years is astronomical.  I was always searching for the perfect curve, just the right thickness, a good feel in two hands, and a strong earthiness while still being lifted and light.  I've gotten really close a few times, but I would still like to sit at a wheel to have a crack at it.  I still have a few pieces left.  Ones that weren't given away and didn't get broken.  But I miss throwing.  And as dusty and muddy and dirty pottery studios are, I miss the smell of it.  There is something very calming about physically centering a piece of clay that somehow centers the soul, too.  There is also something to making a big mess with a chunk of mud from the earth and then firing it until it glistens. 

Anyway, this block here is a representation of the pottery studio I used in my first year of college.  It was a long, narrow room with all of the wheels lined up along the wall and facing out over a big bank of windows.  I would stare at the beautiful trees on campus and the lake and the arboretum beyond.  I would be in there at all sorts of odd hours because I prefer to throw when no one else is around.  At the time I was super shy about showing any of the things I made  (that probably sounds hard to believe now).  Anyway, it is still my favorite studio I've ever worked in.  I hope you like the block, Amy.

9 comments:

Amy Friend said...

I do, very much. Thank you so much Melinda. I took my first pottery class in college and the block brings me right back. Thank you!

verykerryberry said...

What great background story to this block, it really captures a studio feel too. I did a bit of pottery at evening classes years back, and throwing on a wheel is so physical, I did not get beyond the wobbly bowl stage but I loved the glazing. Always interesting to find out more about creative pasts Melinda, thankyou

Rebecca Lynne said...

I started as a potter too! It was across the hall from the Fibers Studio...and I eventually split my time between the two throughout college. But still, as much as I love fabric there is still nothing quite like throwing. Your description is Exactly how I feel...including that particular smell of a ceramic studio...I want to frame it! I sold my wheel five years ago and I still regret it. Thanks do much for this post, cheesy as it sounds, it spoke to my heart!

Prof. S said...

Beautiful blog and a beautiful post! It is such a treat to get a glimpse of your life-beyond/before-quilting...thank you!

Nancy McIntyre said...

I love that post, I could picture you there in that studio. It was peaceful to read and beautifully written.

melissa said...

oh i love you. i hope you're able to find your way back into a pottery studio again soon.
and your block turned out just perfectly by the way.

cmvs said...

someday i'm going to be brave enough to follow one of your wonderful tutorials. you make it seem so easy, i don't know how you do that! anyway, thanks for taking the time to post these tutorials, i look forward to the day my bravery is big enough!

cmvs said...

oh geez, i just realized that i think i left that last comment on the wrong post. sorry!

i love your description of your experience in the pottery studio. certainly sounds very good for the soul. i so hope you can take a step back there from time to time. your quilt block tribute is just perfect

Mama Pea said...

That's pretty neat. I like your block, but I especially liked your reflections on throwing! I took a pottery class in college, but we had to take hand building before you could use a wheel. I did the hand building class, but I really wanted to thrown on the wheel. I didn't really enjoy the hand building class, so I never progressed. Have always kind of regretted it.

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