Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: family, pottery, Taylor

Today was a fun day at the studio. After a hectic holiday, it was great to get back in the mud again. And today, my parents brought my niece Taylor into the City for a day at the studio. She’s been there a few times before, but this was her first day working on the wheel. I gave her the choice… hand-building or wheel-throwing?! Never afraid to get dirty… she chose to spin fast with wet sloppy clay.

We started out with the basics. A demo of wedging, followed by a step-by-step tutorial on the wheel. With quite a few mentions of how “frustrating” this is going to be. And that my adults take a 10-week class to learn, and she’s got just a few hours. My Mom bowed out of the fun, but Taylor and my Dad stepped up & hopped onto their wheels.

As always, centering is the hardest part to learn. Both were struggling. See?… not so easy.
I was just happy that they were both keeping at it… and Taylor was still smiling!
Already wearing clay in all the cutest places!!!

More centering. More throwing. More goofing up. More splattering.
More wedging. More centering. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

A few hours later, Taylor was still focused. Eyes on the prize.
She wouldn’t give up… as my Dad was quickly reaching the end of his adventure.

Still smiling… and still making some sweet pots.

At the end of the day, they both had the “fun” of cleaning up their workspace. They cleaned their wheels, tools, buckets, splash pans AND the wedging tables too!!! It’s all part of the process, right???

And I was left with a couple ware boards of pieces to finish up for them…
and a sheet of instructions as to how she wants her pieces glazed!!!

Another great day at the studio… and hopefully another great memory for Taylor!!!

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