Crafting is fun!

Not so long ago I was trying my hand at every activity I could think to try in the Bay Area.

Kayak with whales?

Did it and didn’t puke in high seas.

Race stock cars?

Did it and got the picture to prove it.

Pole dancing?

Tried my hand at it but discovered I was a better lap dancer.

Though I enjoyed most all of the activities – except for cave crawling – two activities stand out amongst the others:

Glass blowing and ceramics.

First I tried glass blowing.

I loved it so much I went back a second time and did the exact same thing I’d done before.

I made a beautiful bowl.

I have two GORGEOUS glass bowls for fruit or candy that I gifted to my mother.

I’m still floored that I was able to make them (the second time I was with my friend Kimberly and she made a bowl too)!

My ceramics class was also wonderful.

I made a dish and a bowl, which I glazed and fired and took home to my mother, not because they were something only a mother could love, buy because I wanted to share the beauty of them with her.

The only downside to my ceramics class was that it took place in a shady neighborhood in the Emeryville.

I’ve decided that for 2020, provided I survive this pandemic, I’m going to take up ceramics and actually pay to join the local ceramic shop – Higher Fire.

And I’m going to go back to the glass studio and make more glass objects to gift to my friends and family.

Nothing says I love you like a handmade gift, yes?

My grade school art teacher would be very proud, I think to know that I can’t throw clay without remembering the big nose mug I made in his art class in junior high.

I still have that mug (I use it as a pencil holder in the kitchen), it was made so well.

I think this is more of my homesteading urge coming to light, but I’m just going to go with it.

Crafting is fun!

Blog it

To be honest, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately.

Nothing I’m ready to talk about online, but suffice to say something HUGE is in the works.

And I’m working hard to be the best, most supportive person I can be.

But it ain’t easy.

There’s a lot I need to do to get me through the next few months.

Lean on my friends and family, is one thing.

Research LGBTQ issues is another.

But mostly, I need to find a way to reflect and find inner peace so that I have balance in my life.

I really want to try my hand at ceramics.

There’s a place nearby called Higher Fire Clayspace and Gallery.

It really appeals to me, making ceramics out of a lump of clay.

I also feel an overwhelming urge to go to the ocean.

Kayak with whales.

Take a whale watching boat tour.

Maybe just go to the beach and hang out with my thoughts and feelings.

Oh sure, I’ve still got the Junior League, the Village, and the Burners to keep me busy.

In fact, I have to figure out what my gift to the playa will be this year.

But overall, I’m sort of in an unusual place and I need to move through this and get to the other side.

It’s going to be a process, but I’ll make it.

And when I’m ready, I’ll blog it.

Pottery!

On Saturday, I drove my tired ass all the way from Los Gatos to Emeryville to take a pottery making class.

The first thing you need to know about throwing clay is that it’s not as easy as it looks.

The second thing you need to know about throwing clay is that having fingernails makes it very hard to work with the clay. One wrong move and your project is ruined.

That said, I embarked on my adventure with enthusiasm and visions of “Ghost” in my head.

There are stages to making any object out of clay and one stage is to make a cone. My cones always looked more like a phallus and I kept stroking it to try to get it to become more of a cone, but no luck. Still, it was fun.

My favorite part of the whole process was simply getting dirty and messy, kinda like I was a kid in kindergarten all over again.

In the end, I found the clay harder to manipulate than I had anticipated but still very fun to work with.

I definitely recommend taking a class or two and learning to make your own pottery.

So this is glazing

The first thing you need to know about glazing is that the colors in the bucket look NOTHING LIKE the final color.  Not one bit.

The second thing you need to know is that my mom took pity on me doing all these activities by myself and went with me to glaze my bowl and plate.  You can read about that experience here.

Step one is the underglaze – aka writing your initials and the date on the borrow of your piece – and let dry.

Step two is covering the base of your piece with wax to resist the glaze so your piece doesn’t stick to the kiln.

Let dry.

Step three is to apply the glaze first to the inside of your piece then to the outside of your piece.

Here is how my pieces started out on the pottery wheel.

This is my mom and I completing the underglaze stage:

 And the picture below shows the exciting “almost” finished product – a pale green plate and bowl.

In reality, the plate should be raspberry colored and the bowl will be celadon (that’s turquoise).

Pictures of the final products will come in about 2 weeks once they’re fired in the kiln.

As a side note, I originally decided on this activity because I found a Groupon for it.  I didn’t realize it would require me to drive from Los Gatos to Emeryville three time for a total of 330 miles.

Whew.  That’s a lot of gas when you’re driving a Hemi.

Pottery Class

On Saturday, I drove my tired ass all the way from Los Gatos to Emeryville to take a pottery making class.

As a side note, I had been praying for money that morning on some sacred beads my friend Danielle gave to me. But as I drove through the homeless encampments that surrounded the pottery studio, I got the message loud and clear, “you have enough.”

So I’m not expecting a sudden windfall, to say the least.

But on to pottery.

The first thing you need to know about throwing clay is that it’s not as easy as it looks.

The second thing you need to know about throwing clay is that having fingernails makes it very hard to work with the clay. One wrong move and your project is ruined.

That said, I embarked on my adventure with enthusiasm and visions of “Ghost” in my head.

There are stages to making any object out of clay and one stage is to make a cone. My cones always looked more like a phallus and I kept stroking it to try to get it to become more of a cone, but no luck. Still, it was fun.

My favorite part of the whole process was simply getting dirty and messy, kinda like I was a kid in kindergarten all over again.

In the end, I found the clay harder to manipulate than I had anticipated but still very fun to work with.

I definitely recommend taking a class or two and learning to make your own pottery.

Up next… Part two: Glazing your own pottery.