Sunday, November 28, 2010
I attended my first class on pottery making. A free class given out by a fellow parent from our parent support group, DSP.
It was held at Sonny's school yesterday morning. The class Wifey goes to most Saturdays, helping out the teacher with her pottery making class and at the same time learning the art by making her own pieces as well.
Yesterday, it was open to the teachers there and a few parents from the support group, since the classroom can only accommodate so many. I tagged along and doubled as the DSP photographer for the club, and also got to learn the art and got my hands "wet" with clay.
A few of the teachers brought their children along, so did a few parents. The children made the class less formal and more spontaneous and interesting with their honest and mostly unabashed observations on their work and their parent's.
Each of us was given a lump of clay, some white and some brown... the latter is the more difficult one to shape and given to the more seasoned participants. Wifey got the brown one since she is very familiar with the first technique we got to learn yesterday, called pinching.
Rolled the dough into tight rounded ball with our palms. Then press a shallow dent using our thumb into the dough to start off the opening of the mug... the goal was to make a mug. A sample was on the table and shown to the group to achieve that shape.
As it all turned out, everyone made their versions of great looking... bowls, including me.
After several hours, my first creation was a slanted and strange-looking bowl but am proud of my efforts anyways because the "imperfections are what make the creation handmade" and personal. The teacher said so, herself.
Well, that is the idea I'm sticking with because I could not make the rim even anymore without the danger of its wall collapsing. It was not as easy to "pinch" the dough gradually to make the hole deeper and the walls higher, but it was even tougher to come out with a decoration for the bowl once it was done.
I was stumped but fortunately there were samples of previous works done by fellow teachers and students to give some ideas to what my bowl should have.
I went for the big leaves motif. Simple and less work to clear off the many small lumps of clay when drew lines on the clay. Wifey went for the Oriental tea cup motif with bamboo trees decorated all around it.
We started at about ten in the morning and finished at about one in the afternoon. Not bad for a 3 hour work on the first attempt by everyone.
The many people participated resulted in the many versions of a coffee mug that was not meant to be. Instead, artsy bowl and a sense of achievement produced by everyone filled the room as each one placed their work on the shelve to air dry before they left the class.
Making pottery felt so therapeutic. The hours seemed to fly by so fast as my hands became more comfortable forming the dough and less awkward as the my fingers delved into the clay. I realized my confidence gained as I saw lump of clay slowly took its shape transformed into what I imagined it would be in my hands.
Thanks to Liz for giving me the opportunity to attend her class.
I understand now, why Wifey likes this art so much, producing her many beautiful pieces she produced week after week, apart from the fact that the pieces she helped made will be sold during one of the school's fund raising events for its children from lower income families.
The pieces that we made yesterday are to be sold off too at the same event. It makes me feel happy to get to know this art form and contribute at the same time.
It is a beautiful art form, for a beautiful purpose.