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So. Progress has been had with the latest colouring book, Cats & Co – drawing 18 is complete, so just two more to do and I can publish the book.

cats16-pup7

As for the pottery classes, I’ve now done four weeks. Loving it! I would love to learn to make and decorate pots with my animal pictures on. That may take me a few years to attain though.

The first week of class we stamped out tiles and decorated them with textures using a splendidly random set of objects. I made five tiles in all. Not the fastest of workers.

In the second class we built cylindrical containers formed around tubes. Mine was textured using an old jumper and a selection of embroidery flowers. Because I misjudged the cutting it didn’t quite meet at the front, so I cut a panel and pressed buttons down the front to hold it together. I made a cardigan pot!

In the third class we had been hoping that the tiles would be bisque fired, but they were still in the kiln so we made a strange assortment of textured bowls by decorating them with the textural gubbins again and throwing the result onto the bench at an angle, then draping them into slump moulds. The cylindrical pots were trimmed and put to dry ready for bisque firing.

Last Tuesday we had the tiles back to glaze. We had a selection of oxides and stains to use, with the oxides then being covered with white glaze and the stains with transparent glaze. I painted my five tiles and also a few belonging to another class member who had far more and found the process of painting boring. It will be interesting to see how they turn out.

On Wednesday it was my birthday. My present to myself was a little pottery wheel. I chose a Shimpo Aspire with hand control so I can use it on a standing workbench, as my playroom is also my rat room and it seemed best to keep the wheel entirely out of the ratties’ reach.

I didn’t get a chance to try the wheel until Saturday, when my first two attempts at centring made me realise that the clay was too hard for me to learn with, so then I spent some time learning how to damp down and wedge the clay. Today’s attempts went somewhat better. Trying to remember to brace my elbows against my sides and rest my arms on the splash pan.

Attempt three and the clay was easier to work with as it was much softer, but I still failed to centre it. I am also a very messy person. Clay everywhere!

Attempt four started OK, but as I opened it out it turned into a plate that slowly collapsed onto itself.

Attempt five produced a cooling tower pot that actually ‘looked like a thing’, as my offspring would say. On slicing it open I realised that I hadn’t cleaned up around the lower edge, so it was very thick bottomed and there was also an air bubble.

cylinder5a

Attempt six wasn’t much better.

cylinder6

Attempt seven I decided to keep and try trimming later on. I’ve got the base a little squarer inside with this one.

cylinder7

And attempt eight was an effort to make the pot as tall as I could, which inevitably collapsed. Then it was time to pack up and go to visit my mum for the afternoon.

cylinder8

I think I need to grab one of the wheels in pottery class and actually get some tuition, but usually all four are in use. Time to be assertive maybe? Or just watch more Youtube tutorials.

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