Friday, March 20, 2020

Pottery Time Apart

I have come to the conclusion it isn't safe to have classes due to the COVID-19 disease outbreak. It isn't worth the risk of any of us getting really sick or worse, or spreading it. I can still continue to help you create pottery from a distance. I want you to have some fun and get into The Zone (no distractions) while creating, during this confusing and separate time. There is no pressure to do this. I hope you are doing something healing for yourself.

If you want, arrange for a pick up of clay and tools! You can pay for the clay, and borrow needed tools like you check out books from the library. You can do hand building at home then return your finished work for firing later, paying for firing fees instead of paying for a class. Estimate for firing fees: $2 for a piece the size of a fist.

Tell me how much clay you want, the tools you would like to borrow (see images below), "sign" the borrow agreement (see below), and arrange for a pick up time.

About the clay amount, I don't have a scale so we will estimate. The bags that sit on the stairs are 25 lbs. each. I pay about $20 for them (half of a box including travel time/gas to pick them up). Tell me what portion of a bag you would like to buy from me and the color of clay: $5 would get you a 1/4 of a bag (4" of the 16" full bag and about 6.25 lbs.). You could get that amount or less for one or both clays, just let me know. I will tell you your total when you get back to me with your interest. (The average amount a student usually centers on the wheel at a time (about the size of a fist or two) is about a 16th of a bag.)

If you want to order your own clay, you can. But it is a lot of clay for you to get at a time at home since it comes in 50 lb. bags and the shipping is almost the cost of the clay. I buy it in bulk and pick it up once a year or so in Attleboro. It comes from Sheffield Pottery in Sheffield, MA. Please ask me for the kind of clay I buy if you still want me to fire for you. I will not fire clay that is not the right kind or unknown to you/me. It is too much of a risk to fire "wrong clay" as it might damage my kiln and/or other pieces in the kiln. 

There is a lot you can make with clay at home. Hand building is fun. These are some simple little things I made with slabs of clay flattened in my hand, formed, and stamped.

Olga made this cute little birdie at home this week 
with recycled clay she thankfully saved from a past project:

Eri made the ram (this spring, at home) 
and I bisque fired it for her. 
She glazed it in class now that we are back (July). It is so cute!

Notes for if you make pottery at home that I will fire for you...please...

1. ... save your carvings and scrap clay and return it for me to recycle or recycle yourself (preferred). It can dry out. Keep your unused clay moist in a plastic bag. If it starts to dry out too much, sprinkle in some water.

2. ... do not let anything get stuck in the clay, ie. wood, plastic, or metal...only add water and love to clay.

3. ... do not have finished work be too thick or have air bubbles in it. You know this by now, I think. Just stating it again for the record. 

4. Keep your finished work leather hard in a plastic bag so it won't break when you transport it back to me.

5. Get ideas by searching for "pottery" on YouTube.

6. You can return work by appointment, for me to dry and bisque fire. All glazing will commence when we are back to having classes (aka Studio Together!).

Take pictures of what you make. I can share them here. Have fun during this stressful time (one reason for this offering of remote pottery time.) 

Tools that you can borrow (unless another student borrows before you ask; I'll let you know about that when you tell me the numbers you'd like to use): 

I'll add pictures of stamps you can borrow too.

Eri wanted to give me something to "rent" the tools she is borrowing; as I told her, I will donate anything she gives over the cost of clay (my cost too) to folks asking for help on I will do the same for all volunteered rental fees. Thanks for your support Eri!

The borrow agreement...write me a message (over text/email) to "sign" this: 

Do you agree to return all the tools you borrowed, in good condition or replace them, to the studio when classes start up again? All tools not returned within a month of us classes starting again will cost the borrower $5 each.

Remote hugs and take care,

P.S. Please see the next post also and participate in our Favorite Pottery Share!

Favorite Pottery Share

We unfortunately had to cancel the Stone Soup'r Bowl Party for now; we will reschedule when we are able to gather again after this COVID-19 separation time. Let's go ahead now though and remotely enjoy each other's favorite pieces.

Please send me a picture of you holding your favorite piece of pottery (made by you), and the reason why it is your favorite. I will post those things here.

Below is my newest student, Rachel
She is so new to Studio Together, she hasn't had a chance to make much, or to glaze her few pieces. 

Rachel will share later, why this is her favorite of her three bisque-fired pots.

"Please understand my tired appearance.
I've been busy with my mom- she's been ill and trying to find a nursing home. 

I love the very first piece I made:

I love the black interesting variation and simplicity of the piece."