After Indian food, we stopped by Starbucks. Nothing says 'fun' like a caramel macchiato on an unseasonably chilly and windy day! Coffee in hand, we walked as a huge pack down to our final destination: Good Dirt, a local clay studio.
Making pottery has always been one of those things that I've thought I'd like to try, thought might be fun, but never with enough confidence to actually want to sign up for a class or pay for it. So this was the perfect opportunity! Try it in the company of my friends and coworkers...and on someone else's dime! Perfect.
We started by putting on aprons. I grabbed the prettiest one I could find. It had a random monogram on it, but I didn't let that deter me. My name could start with K, right? Then we sat down at our wheels.
Earlier that morning I had asked Matt what I should make. A vase? A platter? CEREAL BOWLS, he replied, without a moment of hesitation. We really need more bowls. Make cereal bowls. I'd laughed at his quick and emphatic response-- apparently I was unaware about how tragically low the cereal bowl situation in our kitchen had become! Later that morning, before we went to the studio, he'd sent an email reminder. Don't forget to make cereal bowls. (PS. His birthday is next week. Guess what I'm getting him??)
First the guy taught us how to smoosh (technical terms, sorry, I'm a pro now!) the clay down onto the wheel so that it didn't fly off. Turns out this was an important lesson that I didn't fully grasp until later on...oops.
After the smooshing, there are a lot more steps (and no more pictures, cause our hands (and clothes, hair, arms, etc.) were filthy for the duration of the experience)...you squeeze water over it, use your hands to center and shape it...then do some magic stuff to squash down the middle to hollow it out...then do some other stuff to make the walls come up...blah blah blah. I understood it all in theory.
In practice...not so much.
It's safe to say that pottery making is not my gift.
After about 10 minutes I came to the realization that Matt's request for cereal bowls was not going to be fulfilled. I was not able to actually create anything intentionally. Things just...happened. I smooshed and shaped and whatever appeared, appeared. It was a surprise to all of us! OH LOOK IT'S KINDA LIKE A REALLY SHALLOW VASE THAT YOU COULD STICK THE HEAD OF ONE ROSE IN!!!!! THAT'S GOING TO BE SO PRETTY ON MY- oh never mind, it collapsed. Now it's a...coaster! For my- never mind, now it's lopsided. Ummm...it could be...dangit. It flew off the wheel. Shoulda paid attention to how to get it to stick. NEW CLAY, PLEASE!!
It was TONS of fun. But don't anticipate receiving a new handmade set of serving platters and bowls from me anytime soon.
I ended up with two completed products that I was able to paint (and they'll glaze and fire and do other things to them later so that we can take them home and use them!). They are both bowl-ish. Small. You could technically eat cereal out of them if a) you're on a very strict diet and only want to eat about 40 Cheerios, and b) you have a really small spoon.
In other words, I'll probably be selling them for $400 each at a craft fair soon.
Here's a sneak peek for you! The colors will change a bit once they're baked or whatever. Maybe. Something.
I think the subliminal message of yesterday's Staff Fun Day was don't quit your day job to 'make it' as a potter. Noted.