I am definitely a lifelong learner, so learning a new craft has a huge appeal for me. I was therefore delighted to receive a pottery session voucher as a birthday present back in February. At that point, no sessions were possible due to lockdown restrictions, but just recently the classes began again. Hooray! My lesson took place at Clayspace in Margate (details below).
Pottery (or ceramics) is not absolutely new to me. It’s subject I really enjoyed at school but was strongly advised not to take at the age of fourteen. (It was considered to be a ‘non-academic’ subject.) So as a rather conformist teenager, I ended up with these subjects: English Language, English Literature, Maths, Biology-with-Chemistry, French, German, History and (Ancient) Greek. Later, at university I studied an academic course in French and Spanish (as a new language). It took me many years to return learning creative subjects as I had so wanted to do at fourteen. Finally, in my thirties, I went to art college to study textiles. It was quite a journey. Along the way, I also picked up separate qualifications in Embroidery and also in Patchwork and Quilting. (As I said, I’m a life-long learner!)
So how nice to learn to throw a pot. My tutor showed me how to take a lump of clay (as seen on the far right of the photo) centre it on the wheel and then gradually form it into the shape of a vessel.
It’s a very physical activity, demanding lots of concentration and very steady hands!
My time-slot allowed me to make four pots. This is one of them.
It is very helpful for someone who teaches (as I do) to be a beginner again. I loved every minute of the one-to-one tuition. There was so much to learn! The tutor was calm, patient, enthusiastic and helpful. She demonstrated techniques clearly. She also had to remind me of certain points more than once!
One of the enjoyable parts of my job is to teach absolute beginners how to make quilts on my own one-to-one course ‘Quilt in a Day’. This is also ‘learning a new craft’. I ask each person who comes what their favourite colours are and prepare a carefully curated selection of fabrics for them to use on the day, for example, pinks and greens – as seen in the photo below. (See the Classes page here for details of how to book).
Each class lasts from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, so it’s a very full day, but it is a joy to see someone go home with their own completed sample quilt, with the skills to make another in the future.
A bit like me and my pot!
You can find Clayspace at 61, Northdown Road, Margate Kent CT92RJ or online at: http://www.clayspace.org.uk