So over the last while I’ve been attending pottery classes run by the wonderful Susan from ‘Bean Row Pottery‘. The classes are run once a week over 5 weeks, and I’m actually in to my third block because it’s just so addictive! It’s £62 (~$82) for the 5 lessons, which includes all materials etc, which I think that’s pretty good value. What makes going to the classes even more special is that I’ve been attending with my mum, meaning we always have fun and are learning something new together.
For the first three weeks Susan introduces you to different techniques and gives you a sort of starting point, e.g for pinch potting she set up the idea for tealight holders. During the fourth week you’re allowed to go ‘free style’ and put the techniques you’ve learned in to practice by making something out of your own imagining and the fifth week is spent glazing weeks 1-3’s work, as week 4’s work will still to be fired. The classes are two hours long, which sounds like tonnes of time, but trust me it flies in! Susan is a great teacher as she is very patient and helpful, but also knows when to sort of step back and say ‘well what do you think?’ or ‘how do you want it to turn out?’ and let you just sort of experiment.
So far my mum and I have made loads – some things flops, some things fabulous but that’s all part of the fun. One project that I think turned out really well were all the ceramic fish I made during my ‘free style’ week in block one – yes, you wouldn’t believe it but it did take two hours to cut out and texture all those fish. One the left they are still wet and just fresh, on the right they have been bisque fired (pronounced biscuit, how weird).
Once they were glazed, I decided that I was going to arrange them with a knotted jute net and hang them with nylon thread so it looked as if they were getting caught. (Maybe a bit sick but that’s reality I suppose). Net tying is strangely satisfying, I had to call a halt as I could have sat and knotted away for ages. I tried to give all the fish a different texture and ‘look’ so hopefully that helps further explain as to why it took two hours to make them.
And ta-da, doesn’t it look good once it’s all together? I sort of collect ceramic fish from the places I go and hang them on the wall above one of my fish tanks, so it was only natural that my own hand-made ceramic fish were to be hung there too.
Have you guys ever attended any pottery lessons? Would you like to see more of what we’ve been making?