Forecast for the Future

"Every individual without exception bears a potential writer within himself. The reason is that everyone has trouble accepting the fact that he will disappear unheard of and unnoticed in an indifferent universe, and everyone wants to make himself into a universe of words before it's too late. 

Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not that far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."

- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Friday, February 22, 2008

Week 7, Day 4: Clay Pottery

One of my primary inspirations for this week of arts & crafts sprang from the hope that I might be able to find a friend able to facilitate me playing around a bit with some clay. When I was a kid growing up, the only activities I ever really enjoyed doing in art class were the one or two times a year we got to use clay, and the excitement of those times coupled with the disappointment of everything else made clayplay a special time. Luckily, I have the good fortune of knowing le Popo, who brought me to her ceramics studio to mold to my heart's delight.

Before we got started in playing with clay though, she decided that it would be exciting for me to get a chance to actually make some. See below:

The mixing machinery

Big Blue, air cleansing machine (necessity with dust particles floating everywhere)

Bags of clay mix

"By the Book" directions for mixing clay, operating machinery, and cleaning up.

The recipe for perfect "new clay"

Retrieving "slip" for our clay.

Preparing the clay mix

Getting things cooking in the mixer (press the button!)

The mixer beginning to pug.

This process (which took about one hour) yielded much clay and we were finally ready to begin making things. Because we didn't have a ton of time, I decided to make an ashtray, which seemed relatively simple. E-bad recommended that I make this ashtray by utilizing a coil method, which involves starting with a flat base and then making long strings ("coils") to wrap around the base into the form of a pot.

Finally, after the pot was ready and I done all necessary clay additions/subtractions, I took some black slip and white slip and painted the insides and outsides of the dish.

And voila, I have me a new ashtray (which I, of course, can't use inside my own home because of our self-imposed moratorium on indoors smoking).

It was a great night and a truly pleasurable--and relaxing!--experience. Looking forward activities for today and tomorrow.


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