Pottery Day Course 'Cats!'

Wednesday, March 16th 2011  'Cats for all'

Starting OutThis was one of our day courses run for groups of friends who, though not necessarily experienced potters, fancy getting together for a day at the pottery.  We usually offer a theme for the day and in the past have covered such ideas as hares, planters, statuesque ladies and the odd tortoise! Based on hand building techniques these days offer even those who haven't touched clay since schooldays (if they were lucky!) to enjoy being creative in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.  Everything is on hand - all you need to bring is yourself and a few like-minded friends. 

Building up the main shapesThis time the theme was 'Cats'.   Using Special White Stoneware clay (we also use Terracotta for some themes) each member of the group prepared their slabs and pinch pots to create the main structure of the cat, after an initial brief demonstration and discussion of the 'one I made earlier'.   Individual tuition and help is given wherever it is needed as we go along on these days.  As the slabs became the bodies of the cats and the heads went on using joining techniques (and plenty of slip!)  the individual characters could then be created with batting, pushing, pulling and smoothing.   One of our group even tried dropping his cat's head on the floor to see how that might help ......actually it turned out rather well in the end!!  (nine lives?)

Smiling CatCurious CatThe hush of concentration that flows over the group from time to time was mixed with plenty of friendly chat and exchange of views and news - oh, and stops for coffee/tea and lunch were take when the group felt it was a good moment for a break.   By the afternooon everyone had a fully formed cat (some had produced smaller versions, working without templates, which goes to show how creativity and confidence grow on these days) and work could be done on tweaking  shape and details of each cat - including the curl of the all important tail (which brought in a bit of coil clay work).

Finished CatsAfter a last cup of coffee/tea and a clear up of tools and clay, the cats were safely moved to one side of the pottery, labelled and their fond creators gradually said their goodbyes.   The cats will dry thoroughly before being bisque fired and returned to their owners........     Another purrrfect day..... (sorry!)