Friday, 11 July 2014

Pottering About

Weaving on Monday, and now Pottery on Thursday. I found out about this place at the Stitch'n'Bitch group last week and straight away I booked in. I have wanted to try the potter's wheel ever since seeing people doing it at school and 20 years later - here I was! I also again got one to one tuition from a lovely english speaking teacher too. So lucky!
Pottery Lesson in Ebisu
I was having the 'taster session' which was 90 minutes and as much clay as you can eat. The session costs 3800 Yen which is about £22 and then the firing and glazing was extra, depending on the size of what you decided to keep - you could just ditch everything and leave with no evidence of your output!
Pottery Lesson in Ebisu
I don't want to brag, but in general, manual activities come pretty easily to me. But this? Oh no. It is so much harder than it looks. On my third go I did start to get it and felt much more confident after an hour of 'throwing'. My first attempt did that stereotypical pottery thing of collapsing and splatting off the wheel. This is what the teacher managed to salvage - it should have been a cup a fair bit taller than this and without quite so much 'base'.
Pottery Lesson in Ebisu
I was pretty embarrassed about it but the teacher was genuinely lovely and so patient! On my second one, which was also really bad, I got more of a feel for the clay and by my third I felt much more confident in my understanding of how it moved and how to touch it. The key is moving your hands very slowly and never, ever, suddenly disengaging. I found myself thinking about it as being like laying a new baby down - you don't just plop it down and let go. You support the head and then ease your hand out from underneath very carefully. This was like that.

All in all I made six somethings - 4 cup-ish things and 2 bowl-ish things.
Pottery Lesson in Ebisu
I decided to pay to get four of them trimmed, fired, glazed and fired again which cost me an extra 3000 Yen (about £17, calculated by the size of the objects) so it wasn't a cheap afternoon activity, but I did have a brilliant time. I could go back and do the trimming and glazing myself but not being particularly bothered I opted for the brown glaze and they do it all for me.
Pottery Lesson in Ebisu

Having always wanted to try this, and having found a place only a few minutes walk from the flat, I couldn't be happier with how this session went! I would definitely recommend the Shirogane Ceramic Art School to anyone wanting to have a go. As for going back - I'm not sure. I did enjoy it very much but this isn't something I want to get really good at so I think I'll leave it to the professionals and go back to my sewing. Or maybe...weaving....


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