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Handle DemoCourse outline: We will develop and define our wheel throwing skills in order to make simple pottery forms. We will learn the methods of trimming pottery, jug spouts and perfecting handles, paying particular attention to finishing details.

Barbara Joy Peel explains what the outcome of this week should be. We all have to make a set of 4 horizontal forms (plates), 4 diagonal forms (bowls) and 4 vertical forms (mugs). They have to appear to be a set (1 colour of clay will help here) and we have to present them in 2 weeks on Friday afternoon.

This is really nice of her. Instead of stressing us out, she has actually created a nice relaxed atmosphere where no one is feeling pressured. Her demonstrations are very organized and on time (something I like). She knows what she is showing us and most important, if we want to see it 3 more times because it is just too cool, she will do it. She is putting her attention where it is needed the most.

We are all doing well. Everybody is past the first struggle of centering and even if we don’t get it centered all the time, half the time it is working. After you’ve passed that point, you have to start pulling it up and the clay has a will of it’s own; it’s going everywhere. But as the week goes by, we see mugs with decent handles, plates, bowls and interesting forms showing up on the 16 carts. We are weighing clay, throwing pieces, reclaiming some of it and we are learning how to wedge. She suggests we keep the first piece we make in the morning and the best piece of the day.

Barbara is showing us some really nice decorating techniques, how to make stamps, gives us formulas, tells us to “compress, compress, compress” and introduces us to “magic water”. Wow, our second week of throwing is over and it went really well. She taught us so much in a short period of time, it is great.

Yes, we are going to be potters. Maybe not now but later: it will happen eventually.