Two Crafty Ladies

In October, Dannie and I got in touch with our creative side when we participated in a pottery workshop at Willowpond Pottery and Herbs, Willowpond Pottery is part of Green Bluff Growers in Mead.

But first … before we exhausted ourselves by being creative, a stop at Beck’s Harvest House for pumpkin donuts was a must.  More on the pumpkin donuts when I do my blog on their Fall Festival.  But suffice it to say, that yes, the line was long, yes, it was a bit chilly, but yes, a fresh pumpkin donut (or two) is well worth the wait.

At first glance, I thought these were cookies and was so excited over what a great workshop this will be.  Is there wine, too?  After putting on my glasses, I soon discovered they were not cookies at all, but sponges.  Whew !  That was a close one and could have been very embarrassing.

Here, Cindi (she and her husband, Craig, own Willowpond Pottery) is showing us how to cut out our mug pieces from a slab of clay.

Do we dare give Dannie a sharp instrument?

I am using a fine picture of Leo the cat as I do not have any pictures of our next step.  Being creative is not a clean process and I didn’t want to get my phone covered in clay.  Leo is watching us decorate our mugs by using stamps.  Cindi has a great assortment of stamps and is a wonderful instructor in bringing out our inner creative beings.

It takes a village of three to make a mug.  Cindi, along with her helper, Iris, and Dannie are putting Dannie’s mug together.  At this point, the mug bodies are stamped and decorated, so the last thing you want to do is ruin the design, but the mug still has to be firmly attached to the base and be somewhat round.

Now Iris is lending me a hand, showing me how to slip and score in order to make a good bond at the seams.  We also took a mini-coil of clay and mushed it into the inside of the mug, along the base.  Again, we slipped and scored the coil smooth to give the base more support.

Dannie and I are using the extrusion device to form the handles for our mugs.  Had I known that exercise was part of making a mug, I would have made a plate.

Our mugs are decorated, assembled and the next step is to fire them the kiln.  Mine is on the left, Dannie’s on the right.  Note that I got ahold of the alphabet stamps and stamped Roxy and Otis’ name on my mug.  Not because I like them or anything mushy like that, mainly to draw attention to the mistake that I made and wasn’t able to correct.

Do you see it?

Two very fun and fine ladies … Cindi and her helper, Iris.

Exhausted and hungry from all the brain power it takes to make a single mug, Dannie and I had to stop for lunch.  We ended up at Five Guy’s and had a delicious cheese burger, fries and orange Fanta.

Two weeks later we were back for phase #2 … the glazing.

This time, we had a youngin’ in our class, so I had watch what I said.  It wasn’t easy.

Dannie is concentrating on pouring glaze in her mug to coat the inside.

The inside glaze is poured into the mug, then it is swirled around to coat the entire inside.  The color of the wet glaze sometimes does not reflect the actual color that the project will be after the final firing.  Cindi had finished color chips to help us pick out our colors.

And yes, my mug colors are orange and blue.  The best color combination in the world universe.

The next step is to glaze the outside of the mug.  We started with the color that we wanted to be inside the cracks and crevices.  I think we all spent too much time covering the entire mug with the underneath color, only to wipe most of it off with a wet sponge (not a cookie).  I should have just concentrated on getting the glaze into the cracks.

The next step is to glaze with the top color.

Can you see the mistake now?

How about now?

Just to be spunky, I went one creative step further and glazed one of my hearts red and a star yellow.

Iris’ mom works at the pottery shop, too.  She did a fine job with Iris.

This is Basil, the other pottery cat.  My hands were covered in glaze, so I do not have any pictures of our next step, which was putting two coats of gloppy grey glaze over the outside of the mug.  This is covered 100% of what Dannie and I just spend an hour painting.  But Cindi and Iris assured us that our artwork would come shining through after the final firing.

Just a random chicken picture.  Cindi and Craig have chickens all over their place.  They are beautiful, all different shapes, sizes and colors.

Kinda like people and dogs.  And cats, too.  And flowers.  Well, everything.

And then … Dannie and I stopped by to pick up our finished masterpieces.  The mugs turned out so beautiful that we were sure that Cindi would want to sell them in her shop.  She insisted that we take them home and enjoy them.

Thank you, Cindi and Iris for all the learning, the fun and the laughter.  We plan to show up next summer to make our dessert plates !

~ Dorothy

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