Next, you throw it (literally!) on the wheel. Sometime it turns out, and sometimes it doesn’t. One of the gifts of clay is that you can always start over and make something more pleasing.
When you’re happy with the shape, you let it sit till it gets leather hard–it’s called greenware at this point.
You then have the opportunity to trim (fix up) the piece one more time. Removing extraneous clay, creating a pleasing foot, smoothing rough textures. You can also embellish the piece with stamps or colors at this point.
Next up? Glazing! Dipping, pouring, combinations, textures, interruptions…so many many options and as many outcomes! This glaze for example generally turns out to be a creamy white to pale yellow finish.
Once again into the kiln where it gets freakin’ hot. Up to 2381 degrees Fahrenheit actually! It takes quite some time to complete this process and to cool down. Finally the kilns are unloaded and viola! There is your masterpiece!
Thanks to all my models: Thalia, Lucie and Joan.
Thanks to the amazing pottery program offered by Santa Barbara City College Adult Education at the Schott Center. And mostly, thanks to Barbara my teacher.