A Potter’s Diary-Part 1: The Journey Begins

Published by


Yes tis’ be true! One of the many traditional skills I’ve wanted to master above all is the art of pottery. And no, this has nothing to do with the classic wheel throwing scene from Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

So after months of searching around, I finally found a quaint little place hidden in the heart of USJ called Clay Expression to start this new journey of mine. Unfortunately, in all my gung-ho-ness, I have forgotten to document my very beginning and was left with the first creation!

So getting into business, Class 1 was more of an introduction to tools and workspace. Personally, there is a sense of serenity that is so perfect and sets you in the mood of working. My teacher was this young soul named Chloe. She was so soft-spoken to my usually noisy self. At this point, I remembered my random encounter with a Priest who looked me straight in the eye and told me that I need to learn to spend time in quietness. This made me realise that I was in the right place to start my new journey in life.

For starters, Chloe gave me a short tour of the studio. Her tour opened my mind into the various stages and labour that is needed for creating something purely by hand. Just to let you know, I had opted for the hand-building technique which mainly focuses on building pottery. This is very unlike to the traditional wheel-throwing technique. Nevertheless, once the orientation was over, she guided me to where the clay was stored and brought me to my designated working space. The next step, was to knead the clay. Now the term knead is only used for baking dough, the correct term for clay is wedge. This was the first part of labour. The act of wedging the clay is to release the air bubbles within the clay. Caution! Failure to wedge your clay may result in your formed pottery to explode when firing in the kiln.

Moving forward, I was taught on how to hand-build a bowl using a mould. Also I learnt how to create simple swirls, stamp patterns and random shapes using cookie cutters. All these pieces are build and attached as we go to avoid the clay drying up. To get the pieces to merge, the technique called blending is taught. We use the tip of the finger or the nail to gently merge the pieces to form the bowl. After three hours, I finally did it!

More adventure to follow suit as I journey with the rest of my classes!

#pottery #clayexpression_my #claymaking #apottersdiary

%d bloggers like this: