So, last night I attended my first ceramics class at Northbrook College in Worthing. Which is a big deal for me, as it’s been decades since I worked in clay, not since being a student in fact.
Despite the slightly hair raising journey (as it’s been years since I drove out to Worthing), I got there in one piece and early. I will skip the intro bit about having my piccy taken for my badge etc (apparently I looked sombre!), and move straight to the class.
Tamar Rose, the course tutor, introduced herself, and took us to the studio where we would be working. A big room full of heavy machinery (industrial lathes etc) as it’s also the woodwork studio, and proceeded to outline the course aims to us. Her plan is for the course to be fairly loose and organic, and pretty much led by us, what we want to do and want to get out of it, which I think suits us all very well.
We all introduced ourselves (13 in all including me). An interesting cross section of people, some from a creative background and some not. The group included a couple of teachers, a process engineer (I looked that one up, very interesting), a painter, a fine art graduate, a couple who had done the course before (good sign) and some who just wanted to do something different.
After chatting about the course aims and describing what we would be doing, Tamar asked us to make a ‘stamp’ to be able to identify our work. This proved more challenging than you would think, and took me a few attempts before I had something I was even vaguely satisfied with.
We then moved on to our first project. Tamar made a slab pot (I think that is what it is called). First off, a small piece of clay was rolled out, then cut into a circle and this applied to the bottom of a tube that had been covered in newspaper, the circle folded over and smoothed out against the tube. More clay was rolled out onto textured paper, trimmed and cross hatched on the back, then wrapped around the tube. The piece applied to the bottom and the piece rolled around the tube was then smoothed out and tidied up. We then had to pull out the hard tube, leaving the newspaper behind.
Not sure my explanation makes sense to any one other than me, but I am sure you get the drift. We only had about half an hour left to do this, so I was quite impressed what everyone came up with. For myself it was a case of ‘less haste more speed’, so I will be interested to see how my first attempt comes out once fired. Next week hopefully will get to decorate and learn some more.
I really enjoyed my first class. Tamar is a good tutor and very easy to talk to. It was great to get my hands dirty, meet new people and start to learn something new. Can’t wait for next week, despite the even more hair raising journey home in the dark!
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