Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Tiny Unicorn

I don't remember if I've told any of you that I'm a potter. The sad part is that I'm a potter without a studio. That's like being a painter without any paintbrushes. I have much of my equipment and could set up a studio, but I have no kiln. That's very important for a pottery studio, and they are rather pricey.

Many years ago, after high school, I took my first pottery class. It was called Stoneware Pottery I. I was in the class with about fifteen other people. After a tour of the studio, we were each seated at a pottery wheel. Think about Demi Moore in the movie Ghost. That's what a pottery wheel looks like. The smooth and artistic shapes she made at the wheel are what you're supposed to do with your hands. Folks- it's not that easy! Clay has a mind of its own and the ability to dance all over the place.

My first attempts were comical. I really wanted to learn this and I wanted help from the instructor. She was very kind, but fifteen newbies at the wheels were a lot for her to handle. Some folks took to it like the saying of ducks taking to water. Others, like your truly, struggled. Walking requires extreme coordination for some of us! I kept trying to ask her things and get some help. She finally asked me to step away from the wheel to come with her and get some clay. She told me to take some clay and go sit in  another area of the studio. Time out? I wasn't asking any more questions than the others who weren't getting it, but she felt a need to move me. She gave me some clay and told me to familiarize myself with it and make something. At that point she left for a very long time and dealt with the others at the wheel. When she returned she found this:

This is the unicorn after he had been glazed and fired.

close up of his face

The instructor had a surprised look on her face as she said, "Why in the world would you ever want to throw pots when you can do that?" The remainder of the semester, I happily sculpted in clay. Many other creatures, and hand built trays were created.

"Little Brother" unicorn was the next thing I made. I 
wasn't very good at glazing, but I think he has a comfortable, "funky" look.

A few years ago, I returned to the same art center and took basic pottery. I was  able to do the wheel much better, but it was nasty on my lower back, so I ended up back in my old routine. This time, there wasn't a unicorn in sight. I made lots of fun and functional thing and loved my "me time". After three semester, it became too impractical for me to travel a distance and spend  a lot of money on a class. I decided to put that money towards my own equipment. Regretfully, other things took priority, but I hope to one day play in clay again.

Today I'm linking  to Katherine's Corner.


”Thursday

25 comments:

  1. Yes, I agree with the instructor. Why would you wanna do pots when you can do fine details like that!!! I'm amazed.

    I dream of having a studio too, but mine would be for painting pottery. I love doing that kind of stuff, wish I could do it without having to go to a shop and pay them to fire up my stuff in their kiln.

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  2. Those are so cute! I would love to do pottery again. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love the unicorns and agree with the instructor - so much prettier than a "pot"

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  4. I hope you can return to your dream someday, you definitely have a gift!!

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  5. Hi lovely lady.
    I also love your Beautiful Unicorns !! I also hope you can follow your dream sweet lady.
    Your comments on my tablescape was so sweet thank you!! Hope you have a wonderful week with your family.
    XXOO Diane

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  6. Oh I hope you get to set up a studio one day! You are so talented! I still love my okra Santa!

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  7. You have such talent. Don't give up on your dreams.

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  8. Oh ny, you never fail to amaze me...I never know what wonderful talent you are going to share with us next....I could say ditto with the first portion of your post but I wasn't sent to sit in a corner and I definitely did not sculpt anything as beautiful as this unicorn....but girlfriend, I just couldn't get it...I am pretty creative but pottery was not for me....I so admire anyone who can make anything on a wheel.....

    But my next question is if you can sculpt like this, why don't you sculpt until you can get a kiln.?Who knows, you may fall in love with sculpting.....But if you want a pottery studio complete with a kiln, then go for it....Your heart must be pushing you in that direction....Keep us informed.....

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  9. If you're interested in sculpture, craft stores carry this stuff called Sculpy III or Super Sculpy. It's a polymer clay that you bake in your oven to harden. It's not too expensive and it really scratches the itch to sculpt things. :-)

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  10. Those are adorable! You really need to find the time to get back to sculpting one day, you definitely have a gift.

    Happy thursday!

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  11. They are so precious and MAGICAL!!!!!! what a gift! : ) hugs...

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  12. Cute little guys- you are so talented!

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  13. Patrice, you are full of surprises. Wow, you are talented. I would just forget about the pots. Get yourself a small kiln. There must be some for sale second hand somewhere near you. JB

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  14. Patrice, I love your unicorn. Did you know it's the patron saint of the lost, wayward, homeless and foundlings? I think there's one flying over the farm; I can't see it but to the foundling animals that end up here, it's as plain as day.

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  15. Oh my goodness, you definetely have a talent there!

    Kathy

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  16. Thank you for stopping by my lil'blog and leaving sweet comments :)
    Have a lovely weekend! ... nice work by the way. You are very talented!

    Greetings from Australia♥

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  17. I adore your unicorns! I can just picture you contemplating the clay and then, almost without thought, having your hands craft the creature.

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  18. I do like the first tiny unicorne.

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  19. You certainly have the talent! I hope you're able to play in the clay soon!

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  20. You really are very talented! That is a gift and it is so much fun to be creative! ♥

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  21. I like your unicorns! I also love your blog header!

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  22. Well, I like learning things about you I didn't know. I have a potter's wheel sitting right outside my bedroom window. I threw pots and I loved it. I haven't like you now because I need a kiln. I found out today that Em's already perfect friend, ran the Ceramic department at our college. Ron has wanted to get into it so he could throw his own bonsai pots. I totally understand about working with clay. Kessie is a sculptress. Except she uses Skulpy. Have you used that? The kind you bake in your oven. She taught that to her art students.
    I think your teacher was wise. My teacher said I was the worst untalented person he ever saw and I got kicked out. :) It was okay, I went to a class that taught needle arts. But still, I am always so slow and I would have done better in a room by myself.
    I will be praying about your day tomorrow.
    Hugs, from me.

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  23. You are a very talented artist.The unicorns are wonderful. Your instructor is incredibly smart to recognize such a lovely artist as you.Thank you for your bloggy friendship and participation at The Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop Linky Party xo

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  24. You are very talented. I would love to see more of your clay work.

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