*i have such a crush on my instructor.
|mr. staal, my pottery teacher|
right now i'm trying to get the basics down as well as i can. i'm wedging and centering and starting to practice throwing cylinders. it's messy and challenging---two things i enjoy.
wedging works the air bubbles out of the clay, makes it more consistent, and helps align the particles.
centering is pretty much like it sounds---getting the clay centered on the wheel so it can be thrown. sounds simple and looks really easy when staal does it but it takes a lot of practice to actually be able to do it---i still have much work to do on this one.
|getting a feel for center|
i'm really good at making these...
|slippery gob of goo|
the little wheel pictured above is the one i'm working with. it has an electric motor with a little foot pedal (like a sowing machine pedal) to control the speed. staal has been building himself a kick wheel like one he built and used years ago. i find it a bit intimidating and i'm quite happy learning on the not-so-scary portable wheel.
staal's wheel has an electric motor he scavenged out of an abandoned swamp cooler that was sitting out behind the mill office---he rigged up belts and pulleys and a foot pedal to control the speed.
|view of the underside|
|beautiful to watch|
staal got us some glazes to try out and ordered some clay which should be here by the end of the month. we lucked out and got a good deal on a barely-used electric kiln at a yard sale.
|staal testing the kiln after wiring it into the electrical panel|
i made staal a chop for marking his pots...
|chop carved in stone|
it's kind of a hybrid between staal's demon potworks from his gilroy days...
and the staal double a/melina m, that he used when he made some plates and cups for me back in our courtship---a symbol that has sort of become our "brand" as a couple...
|bottom of my favorite plate|
looks like we're in pretty good shape to start making some pottery in the near future. i'm excited to be learning something new. think it's going to be a lot of fun. thank you, staal, for being my teacher.