Learning from the pros

After some frustrations with evening classes - and a total nightmare during my foundation class trying to learn to throw left-handed with only the aid of a right-handed tutor who was into hand-building - I decided it was time to crack it. I wanted to be able to throw properly. Everything I had been doing at evening classes was not centred enough and ended up uneven. (And caused a lot of jokes about me needing to be more centred (I live with meditating types)).

So. I booked a week long course with Deborah Baynes, whom I had found whilst googling, or was it more of those small ads in the ceramic review?

Anyway, off I went with my fancy new apron (a long waiters one with a spilt up the front in a fetching red & black spiral pattern).

It was hard to start with, un-learning all those old habits, but by about half way through the week it suddenly started coming together, my coning worked, my lumps of clay were centred, my pots were even. Hooray!

She made us start by trying to make 'cooling towers' that went in before they went out. Centrifugal forces had other ideas and everything went outwards whether I liked it or not.

We worked late into the night in the pottery behind her house. Eventually I got things under control

Each day she demonstrated new shapes; cylinders, jugs, lids, casseroles etc, culminating in the dreaded teapot. I never imagined I would get that far in a week - but dear reader I did! I was so pleased I trumpeted around the pottery using my spout as a trunk! (I was the youngest student there so got away with such behaviours.

She also showed us a nifty trick for making rectangular dishes but slicing through the base and pushing the sides in. Easier done than said as it turns out.

All in all it was a great week, and I'd happily have stayed for more. Deb kindly fires and glazes everything in her one spare minute per month. Cant wait to get the finished results.