Way back a million years ago, I was able to squeeze in a wheel throwing class in my last semester as an undergrad. And I loved it! I still have a few of the pieces that I threw back then, a really heavy mug with a ridiculously big handle, a few bottles, and one vase that had a shape that I loved despite its horrible glaze.
After that first class, life was crazy and active for many years. A very crunchy granola graduate school that involved traveling around the US and camping out every night, counting fish on Alaskan fishing boats, working seasonally at nature preserves, and finally moving to a new city to settle into a new career. None of those endeavors was really conducive to getting back into pottery. But after life finally settled down, and my budget could finally afford a line for pottery classes, I finally got back to the wheel.
I was lucky enough to find Beech Grove Clay Works, a great little studio in a small city on the south side of Indianapolis. The studio is just 10 minutes away from my house, the classes are pretty affordable, the open studio time is incredibly generous, and the folks in the studio are just great! When I got to start classes, I was pretty thrilled to find that my centering skills, although rusty, still existed. Over the course of the class and a summer of open studios, I was able to create some passable bowls, mugs and my first lidded form! Although I still wished for better forms and lighter pieces, I was making progress.
Life again got in the way of pottery for a few years--planning a wedding, travelling lots, and getting used to life with my awesome hubby took precedence for a while. But this break finally ended last year, I'm finally getting to focus on improving as a potter. Beech Grove Clay Works also has made some changes, moving to a bigger location, adding a gallery, and gaining some great new instructors.
Just one photo for this post...a blast from the past. This vase is one of the pieces I've kept from my first pottery class. It's undergone a make-over with a re-glazing. Originally this vase was supposed to have a lovely glowy light blue glaze. Unfortunately, the originally application was too light. I held on to it all these years, loving the shape but hating the glaze. Last week I took a chance, and it came through its refiring with lovely new colors! Potter's Choice Vert Lustre over Blue Midnight.