Pottery: Connect your soul to the mother earth
Ever feel like you can never do something artistic? (by counting whorls on your fingertips?)
Myth: Just some clever gifted ones can do art.
The truth is: Anyone can.
Don’t believe me? Okay, just do it, and this is one of our many SMALL new things.
Now, how to start: You may want to register to a 3 hour ceramic class just to practice. A session like that could be easily found via Google or Facebook search with around VND300-600k per day. You don’t need to enroll to a course of hundred hours, just try one day or two, and if you feel like it and want to advance on it, you can enroll later. The reason you need to find a class is that you don’t have available materials at home, nor the wheel, nor the kiln. Plus, attending a session will get you a mentor whom you can ask questions and help you a bit with your process.
The easiest way to start is to make some easy (chibi) figurines, which does not need any much sculpting skill. You may recall the feeling of touching and sculpting the clay back in your childhood days. It is even better. Feel the wet clay under your palm, it’s a bit cold. And believe me, it feels like you connect your soul to the mother earth. It’s a very good feeling, it makes you calm.
Then, paint your product with some colours. Beware that colours will fade in the firing process so make three layers so that your final will be bright. Tips: Use bold and simple strokes, don’t paint the figurine in details or you will get mad fixing it. It’s a 3D painting, not on paper, you can imagine.
You have to fire your figurine in a kiln at temperatures up to 1200 degrees C. The process can take from 10 to 14 hours. Then you glaze the figurine if you want and re-fire it to affix the glaze to the product. For the first class you make the first product then leave it there to fire, the next day you come to make the second product and glaze the first one then re-fire it. You can only have your final figurine at your third time.
For the second product you may want to try making a bowl or cup on the wheel (be careful to ask your mentor about safe colours and glaze for dinnerware products). Let’s imagine using your own making bowl for dinner or cup for everyday coffee, how does it feel? So cool right? In order to make it smooth and even (and not being wracked or totally destroyed) you will need to practice a lot, but that’s another story J
I first wrote that you feel connected to the earth when sculpting clay. But not just that, in order to make the clay works its function, you need the fire. Only with long hard heating the clay would be firm. You may don’t want to feel connected with the fire haha but look, it’s a magical marriage between earth and fire. The product you hold in your hands is the child of nature. It’s raw. It’s beautiful.
Try yours and share the story here if you want 🙂
One of my figurines:
It would be a lot more interesting if you document your first time of trying anything into a bullet journal, like below. You can download this free pottery template for your new thing as well. Have fun!