Clay Play

My Aunt Tena of Earthborn Pottery and Cahaba Clayworks hosted myself and a dozen other bloggers Saturday to let us experience pottery making first hand.

In all the years that Tena has done pottery, I’ve never taken one of her classes, and so I’ve been SO excited about trying it out! I had no idea what I’d been missing.

(I might have a new obsession to add to my already way-too-long list.)

We started out with a tutorial on how to use the wheel from both Tena,DSCF2914
And her business partner, Larry. We were most impressed with their ability to take a mound of clay,
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and turn it into a piece of amazing art in less than five minutes. DSCF2965
Tena also gave us instructions on how to hand-form pieces:DSCF2934
And then she set us loose with balls of clay.DSCF2945
Half headed to the wheels, and the other half of us started hand-forming. Tena and Larry walked us through every step, and would come running when we had a claymergency.DSCF3005

I started at the hand-forming tables, and quickly realized from the shrieks of the other side of the room that I had definitely started out on the “bunny slopes” of pottery.

I started out trying to make a coffee mug, but it’s massivity might require it to be something else, or I will never sleep again.DSCF3025

The other hand-formers seemed much more suited to the task than I, especially Jamie, whose creation was so awesome that most of us started over and tried to make “Jamie Mugs”.

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After lunch, my group headed to the wheels. DSCF3120
We quickly learned that if you lose objects on the spinning wheel, it’s REALLY hard to catch them.DSCF3048
Luckily, Tena was there to help us harness our clay.DSCF3055

We also learned that the instructions to “make a cone” didn’t always turn out…cone-shaped.DSCF3059

After much less practice than I thought it would take, we managed to tame our clay and actually make it resemble actual pottery. My favorite part was putting my thumbs in and creating the cavern for the first time:

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And my final creation:DSCF3101

I know, I know. My clay really had an asymmetric ambition, and I decided that I was not the type to deny it being what it felt that it should be.

And really, I was a bit smitten by its wavey look.

We had our messes,DSCF3102

Our successes, DSCF3092

And we ALL had some failures,DSCF2997

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But in the end, we ended up with a dazzling array of pieces, especially for a bunch of women that had never worked with a pottery wheel before. DSCF3117

(No, I have NO idea how everyone managed symmetry but me.)

Tena will glaze these for us, and they will have the same beautiful and bold colors of her pottery that is used around the country to serve five-star meals: DSCF3149

We had an amazing time – I had no idea that pottery was so doable for an unskilled person like myself. I am already mentally planning a girl’s night of pottery making to get my next fix!!

If you’re interested in buying pottery, playing with pottery, or taking lessons,

  • Information on buying Earthborn Pottery can be found here.
  • Six week classes (a two hour class per week plus unlimited studio use for practice): $150.
  • Pottery Parties (like the one we did) are $35 per person, with a minimum of six guests, can be scheduled at a time of your choice, and are two hours.
  • Information on the classes and parties can be found at Cahaba Clayworks.

I’m thinking about doing another pottery party for bloggers or anyone that reads my blog and would like to come socialize and make pottery at the same time – it would be $35 per person, and it is SO much fun! Let me know if you’d like to be a part of it!

And…stay tuned for a giveaway of a piece of Tena’s pottery later this week!

DSCF3134Standing, from left: Cheri, Me, Mama Hen, Jill, Jamie, Rhoda, Leigh, Tammy, Beth. Kneeling: Nanci, Trina, Jessica.

…Now I’m dying to go make another piece of pottery.