My friend found out about a pottery class at a place called "Good Dirt" in downtown Athens. It was a 'try it' kind of class, so for a pretty reasonable fee, we got a 2 hour introduction class, all materials, and in the end, two handmade pieces of pottery.
We started out with our empty pottery wheels. The instructor walked us through the basic steps, and we practiced making our wheel go at various speeds. I was doing great at this part!!
Next came the scary part, I actually got some clay.
Once we smacked our clay onto the wheel, we had to center our clay. This is the step where you pretty much use your entire body weight to to press down on the clay, trying to flatten it out into a flat little cylinder. We got to attempt this on our own, but mostly the instructor came around came around and fixed our attempts.
Here is my centered piece of clay:
Here is Laura, shaping up one of her pieces of pottery. She successfully made her first piece. On her second piece, I vaguely remember her clay flying off the wheel several times during centering. Apparently it's a pretty common problem, but it was pretty entertaining nonetheless.
This was my first bowl. There were so many people and only one instructor, so it took quite a while for the teacher to come by and doing the finishing touches on my bowl. She did some final shaping, trimmed off the bottom, and then cut it off the wheel. Looks pretty good in my opinion!
Once the teacher cut mine off, I got to start on a second piece. Here is my attempt at centering my new piece of clay. This was the good part. Right after this, my clay flew off the wheel multiple times. Thankfully, the teacher eventually came by with a new piece of clay and took care of step one for me.
Here is bowl #2, getting cut off the wheel.
After we finishing shaping our bowls and cleaning out our wheels, we got to paint them. Laura had a little more time than I did, so she ended up creating three bowls.
Christina, if you will notice, has much more interesting pieces than Laura and I. Just like our painting class, Christina completely rocked this and her stuff came out way cooler than ours.
My two bowls, ready to be painted.
I didn't actually have a vision for what was going to happen with these bowls, so I just picked colors I liked. It was hard to get them painted enough where I felt like the paint would actually show up after they were baked.
The finished projects, ready to be baked.
After we finished!
The end of the class was a little anticlimactic, as we had to leave our pottery there. There took care of firing it for us, the final step in creating a masterpiece. A few weeks later, we got to go back and pick up our pieces. I love how they turned out!
These bowls have now found a home in my bathroom, holding hair ties, tweezers, etc., and they look great.