Thanks for popping in.
Just got back from the Wednesday pottery class.
Thoroughly enjoyed it, although at first, when the teacher said I was going to learn how to make a coil pot, I thought, “mmm. boring. I want to go on the wheeeeeel!” You can’t help the thoughts that come into your head, but like a well behaved class participant, I smiled and said, “that’s great.”
Then she said i had to use the dark brown clay instead of the light grey clay. “Rats,” I thought, “that stuff dries out really fast and the pots looks like they’ve been discovered in an archeological dig.” But what i said was, “Oh. That clay’s not as soft as the grey clay, right?”
So there I was, using the shit clay and doing the shit coil pot. Great. But teacher knows best, right?
Can I tell you? An hour in, and I was really beginning to FEEL the pot. I was really enjoying the brown clay, the way it held together, and the way the clay rolled.
So I learned how to build up layers of coils, and make the pot go outwards….
I learned how to keep it nice and evenly thick, and symmetrical…
I learned how to smooth the clay so you can’t see the sausages – err I mean coils.
and I even learned how to come back inwards with the coils and change the shape of the let’s call it vessel.
The secret of the coil pot as I understand is perfect coils. I learned how to roll really good sausages – but it isn’t as easy as it looks! Check out the length of that perfect sausage!!!!
There was a sausage making machine in the corner of the studio. You can literally push the clay in the top, and perfect sausages come out the bottom. One of the other students was using it and knocking out perfect coils like you know what. So I just happened to pipe up with , “I think I may just have to try out that sausage making machine…”. “NO” called Eunice the teacher from the other side of the room,“You need to learn to roll coils”
Whatever, I thought.
“OK, Fair enough.” I responded with a smile. Obedient child I was too, although my parents might question that. And my maths teacher would certainly disagree. I couldn’t abide her, and I didn’t care what she thought of me – which is never a great basis for a good relationship, isn’t it. Eunice on the other hand I really, really like.
I’ve made a friend at the class too. Her name is Magda. She is wonderful, I bet she was a handful as a kid!! Honestly, she is so funny.
The teacher says, “let’s make a round base, and build up on the round.” Magda immediately decides she wants to shape hers like a boat. Teacher says that won’t be easy. Magda? DGAS. She gets impatient with rolling out sausages, and they’re not very good either to be honest. So she just nicks mine! Which is why I got so good at it! We spent the afternoon laughing, getting our hands dirty, and having quite meaningful conversations, too.
Turns out this lady has a beautiful little gift shop/café in Forest Row, called ONE The Square. I have bought many things there over the years. Ironically, ceramics mostly! And when we got talking, it transpired that she was doing the pottery class for the self same reason as me: to step away from work and calm the mind.
She also has a banging little business. She also works and worries, just like me, about the same stuff as I do.
Listening to Magda open up about her busy business was like listening to myself talk about Clarity. So it was ironic indeed that we were both assigned coil pots today. It was as though Eunice knew we should work together.
So there you have it. And I highly recommend Magda’s shop. It is superb, bang in the middle of Forest Row, very classy, and very much the hub of the village. She sells real unique and special things. Not the stuff you can buy in any shop along the high street. They have a little café, and they run intimate little arty workshops too. So it is a real destination place.
The web address is
If you are looking for beautiful and different, that’s the place for you. And say Barbara from Pottery class sent you!!!
Love & Hugs,