Many of the potters that are in the show have full time jobs or waited until they were retired until they could indulge their passion for clay. Our studios are generally in our basements, sheds and garages. Priya’s studio is in her basement and here you can see hers in the run up for the Christmas sale. She says this is her “messy studio” but she hasn’t seen mine! This looks positively spotless.
Last year when the doors first open for our sale, the woman that had been waiting for ten minutes outside (we let her and others into the vestibule to keep warm) was desperate to be the first to find the table of the person that “did this piece” and was it in the show. The piece that she was referring to was a platter with fish on it. And it was done by our talented Margrit Beesley. Here are some photos of work in progress in Margrit’s studio. See, she has made another of her popular platters, so no fighting!
Cathy is our Facebook and Twitter-ess. She also takes quite a few of the photos of various events. She posts all the wonderful things that we are doing, and keeps our public informed! Here she is getting ready for our upcoming show.
My studio is just a small downstairs bedroom that has been converted. I have a throwing area that has protective thick plastic sheeting on the floor – I am a little messy!, a working table, drying shelves and storage shelving along the wall – although there never seems to be enough storage space. My husband just built a shed for me so I could store my materials for glass mosaics and stone carving. This really helped in keeping my studio space organized and more stream-lined although it may not look like it.
The following pictures show the stages of throwing – it this case a bowl. First I weigh out the amount of clay I will need and form a ball. This ball of clay needs to be centered on the wheel. This is a crucial step. If the clay is not centered – you’re not going to be able to throw anything. Once centered, the clay is opened and the walls of the form are pulled up and shaped. It may take 2 or 3 pulls to bring the clay up to the height and thickness you want. The final shaping of the form is often done with a rib. The rib helps compress the clay and smooths out any throwing lines.
The form is then moved to the drying racks. It often takes a few days for the form to dry out to a leather hard stage. At this point, the form is returned to the wheel and the bottom rim in trimmed out, giving a nice foot rim. Once completely dry to the touch, the form is bisqued fired in the kiln to take out any moisture in the clay. Glaze is applied to the bisqued ware and a final glaze firing is done.
Lillian Forester is famous for her cheese mice. The perfect little friends to accompany your cheese tray! These cute little fellows won’t even nibble! Like the rest of us, Lillian is getting ready for the show, and has her kiln loaded and ready to go. Check out her beautiful work, before it is even glazed!
June Goodwin is the hardest working member of our guild. A lot of days you will find her at the gallery, either teaching or doing our books, as she is our treasurer and general “go to” person. How she has time to do her own work is beyond us all! Below is some of her work that has been bisqued and is ready to be glazed. That is where the magic comes! Every time we open the kiln, we never know what we will get! You’ll have to come to our sale to find out!
Click on the image to see a larger version. The work below includes not only June’s pottery, but our member Barb Zmozynski on our “Newbie” table!
Heathyr Francis and Colin Hoag are the team that make up Place in Nature Studios. They are working hard at creating some magical toad houses which will delight and enchant you. Below are Heathyr and Colin working to make some pieces for our upcoming Christmas show. And below that is a video of a Raku in progress!
As Hearthyr explains about their workspace.
As you can see, we work around the clock in our sun porch and garage. This is getting increasingly difficult at this time of year with less and less daylight and colder temperatures. We are looking to migrate indoors or fix up the sun porch so we can work til December or so in that space. I think January and February might be just too cold much work out there.