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Turning and decorating

I was determined not to leave it too long before I went back to the pottery, and so last Sunday I joined day two of a weekend throwing course that Jon was running.

On the first day the participants learn how to throw pots, they are dried out overnight, and then on the second day they are shown how to turn and decorate their half-finished pots. Since that was the stage I was at with mine, it made sense to join them. It’s easier for the pottery staff if everyone is at roughly the same stage – if I’m throwing while everyone else is turning, then they need to keep me supplied with ready-wedged clay, which I’m the only person using. It’s not so inconvenient if I’m turning whilst the course participants are learning how to throw, as I’m pretty much self-contained and just sit in a corner getting on with it. But overall it’s easier if we’re all doing roughly the same thing.

I had fifteen small bowls that I threw last time, which had been dried to the “leather-hard” stage and then wrapped in plastic. I tidied up the bottoms of the best ten, taking off the extra heaviness on the bottom and turning a foot-ring to make them more stable. Then I down-selected five from those to decorate. I’m not at all artistic, so I concentrated on bold colours (blue and turquoise) and simple patterns. Plus I painted a plain white slip on the inside to add some further contrast. They looked quite striking, but I forgot to take a picture of them before I left. I’ll have to get one when I pick them up in a few weeks time.

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