2014,  crafts,  creative,  Uncategorized

“Absolutely filthy”

The title of this post is what I said to my mum this afternoon on the phone when she asked how I was. It’s probably not the best title for this post but… I got nothing else.

I went to a clay workshop this morning. It was the second time I’ve done one with this tutor, I did one at the end of November as well. I thought as I keep telling people I blog about crafts I should actually blog about crafts (admittedly the main reason I haven’t blogged about my recent crafts is because they will be gifts so must remain off of my blog until finished and with the recipients) so I took a bunch of photos of my clay work as I went. I had a lot of fun with it but ended up absolutely covered in clay dust and such like – not helped by the fact that at one point I covered my clay in slip (a mixture of clay and water used to stick bits together) and then it fell over against my chest covering my fleece.

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So we started off by making a bowl.

Most of us made them with lids. It was tough. You had to cut a circle and then work it round with your fingers to make the bowl shape. I didn’t find that at all easy and sort of wished I had someone with me to help me with that (often my mum or one of my friends want to do the workshop too so they can help out if needed but today I was solo). The tutor helped me and at one point when I said I thought I’d have to abandon that she told me no, it was sort-able. Then I rolled “sausages” which was also harder then it seems because you have to get them dead thin at which point mine kept falling part. Once we had sausages, (several of us cheating and putting clay through a potato ricer to get them) we could decorate our bowls or lids if we wanted to. I did a spiral in the middle and then bits going off round the edges.

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Then we had the opportunity to make a jug or a mug.

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These two pictures are my jug as a work in progress. I had a bit of trouble explaining to my parents that I made a jug. They got that but I don’t think they got just how “oh my god I with my spaz hands and all my issues was actually able to take a lump of clay and turn into into something vaguely resembling a jug this is a huge shocking deal” I felt about it. We got a template cut out from a cereal box and cut two pieces of clay out to that size (reversing one) by this point the amount of effort needed to roll out the clay was proving tough – can’t really put my weight behind it in my chair so the tutor did a bit of rolling out for me. Bizarrely as I was rolling it out I was obviously moving in my chair a bit and it was making the damn thing squeak.

Sticking the two sides of jug together and then keeping it open enough to stick it to the bottom felt like it needed more hands than I’ve got! Or maybe just two hands that work better than mine (my left hand is weaker than my right maybe just because I’m right handed but even then I don’t think I’ve full useage of my right). I got there. It’s maybe a little squished in places but I like it. I strongly suspect it isn’t watertight however so it’ll have to be a decorative jug rather than a mug to drink out of as I’d first hoped! I won’t be the only one in that situation however and one of the ladies there said to me after she’d abandoned her attempts at a jug.

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Standing up on the base and actually looking properly jug like! Stuffed with newspaper to help with the shape. Then it was time to decorate the jug and paint both of our items.

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My painted bowl. Because I wanted it to look like a sun I painted the spiral in the middle yellow and the bits coming off red to make it look a bit like rays (originally I did those first in red and then decided to do the yellow). The rest is just plain grey clay in the photo but when I get it back from being fired in the kiln the clay will have turned creamy colour.

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My jug (laid flat again) after I used extra clay to decorate it and painted it.  I criss crossed a few small “sausages” of clay at the very top and then painted them and the handle blue. I was planning to leave the rest of the clay plain grey (so again it would be cream when fired) but I dripped some of the blue on the main body so I put a load of dots on so it looked more like I’d meant to do that! After I took the photo I also painted a blue line down the opposite side to the handle.

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In true Blue Peter style… Here’s one I made earlier!

This is the tea light holder I made at the end of November. It was made using cutters and a tin to hold it together. It’s a light pink base with stars round it. Two different sizes of stars with the middles cut out (painted a darker pink – the light pink with some red mixed in to achieve that – and a purple) and then smaller solid stars (specifically the ones I cut out of some of the other stars on it) inbetween. Those are painted red.  I quite like it but the paint is quite patchy – I tried to do a more consistent job today.

I had a lot of fun doing this but I was absolutely covered in clay afterwards and sleepy too. 🙂

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