When Pottery met Paper…

When Pottery met Paper…

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in.

Had a wonderful time at the pottery class this afternoon. You would be so proud of me!!

So I’ve been working on the coil pot for 2 full weeks now, remember?

Bit of a labour of love, but heyho. I am learning loads!

Look at the before and during here….

Started out looking pretty ropey indeed! At this point I have to admit, I wasn’t holding out much hope for my career as a potter!

But by today, and after a fair bit of burnishing with the back of a table spoon, it was starting to look  far more appealing!

My homework since last Wednesday had been to think of a way to decorate it. I decided to cut a mask – or four. In fact, I die cut one of our new Birds in the Tree dies out of an old book, and took that along.

  There was much interest among my fellow potters, I can tell you! Most folks reading this blog will know full well how I arrived at these papercuts, right? But that’s because we come from Papercraft world…

This was a real game changer in Pottery world! I do hope it works!

The thin book masks stuck easily to the wet clay, so I placed them North, South, East and West.

Next, I masked off the area below the line I had made and painted the upper area with black slip. Two coats.

Tomorrow, when the slip is completely dry,  I am going back to remove the mask. Not sure where we go from there, but there are plenty of competent people to tell me. Even though the mask application and masking off the base was something I could do in my sleep, applying the slip (coloured clay, the consistency of paint) was new to me.

That’s it, isn’t it? When we learn something new, as I am here, and as you have surely done in many aspects of art and craft too, we create a shift. We move from a safe place where we know what we are doing into an area where we are what one might call incompetent. Don’t get me wrong! I mean incompetent as in the opposite of competent. Competence comes with learning and practice, and I am actually very comfortable in my state of incompetence at the moment, because it means that I have opened up a space in my life to develop new skills and acquire knowledge. I don’t care that I am clueless in the pottery realm; that’s one reason why I am attending a class! For me, this is the most nourishing part of the creative journey; when you are learning, trying to master something new, working it out – that’s the magical time.

There is a euphoria when you nail it for sure, when you master the art – whatever it may be. But I absolutely LOVE this state of comparative incompetence – there is still so far to travel!

Like a fantastic book. You read it, you devour each page, and when it is finished there is almost a sense of sadness. You know the story now, and you know the ending.

The best thing about pottery is that there is SO MUCH TO LEARN!!! It will take years I reckon! Especially if I don’t write anything down!! Hahahahaa

Time to go.

Love & Hugs,



34 thoughts on “When Pottery met Paper…

  1. Hi Barb,
    I can’t wait to see the pot finished! I bet you are so proud of yourself. I can see you selling Clarity goodies to your fellow classmates as well! You are right about the euphoria when mastering something new too. That’s exactly how I felt at the Groovi workshop at Leyburn. I was so proud of my little self when Linda told me my embossing was beautiful, gosh that was a moment! Maria did well today even though things sold out( have only seen the first half of the first show so far) but as ever the samples were stunning. Looking forward to watching the rest on catch up. Sending love and hugs Alison xxx

    1. Hi bloggy friends,
      Hope everyone is as good as possible. Another nice day here today although I have spent 2 1/2 hours in hospital! Had to go for my knee check up so decided to go early because the parking at Durham is horrendous. Typical – got in straight away! That was 45 minutes before my appointment. Then I had to wait over an hour after my appointment time to be seen ( wasn’t happy!). In with doctor for half an hour. Really pleased with my progress and told me it was still early days for this type of replacement and he wasn’t surprised that I still have some pain and swelling. Anyway that eased my mind. He did have a chuckle when I said my legs wouldn’t work properly when I’m swimming – said it was because I don’t have ligaments anymore so there’s nothing telling my leg to bend! Never thought of that!!! Sending love and hugs, Alison xx

      1. Hi Alison, well you have had a day.A very brave lady , it is always easy to say keep up the good work if it is not you that is going through it.
        Sending lot of hugs to you.

  2. Loving your pottery journey! Just wondered if you are doing it in Tunbridge Wells. There is going to be an exhibition at Trinity next week of pottery by my friend Brigit Head -a very talented potter and teacher – at Trinity next week if you need more inspiration.

  3. Its great to learn something new. I am trying mixed media which is messy fun and I am is so pleased that Leonie has joined Clarity and can’t wait to see where that leads.

  4. Words of wisdom again.🦉
    Enjoyed my day with Clarity, Maria & Scott today. Maria did a great job & led Scott the newbie with confidence & patience. A joy to watch. 👍

  5. Wow that pot looks great already. The shape and the paper cuts will look amazing when its fired. Glad to hear you are able to amaze even in a foreign crafty world. XX

  6. Evening bloggy friends, hope everyone is well. Nearly time to get my packing done. Might take my Clarity colouring book away with me this time. When I was in Wales in August I took my Clarity postcards, need something that isn’t messy. XX

  7. I am also learning pottery ….I’m 5 weeks in and finding it fantastic to learn this new craft, as you say there is so much to learn. Been a paper crafter for 20 years and I recon this helps my journey with pottery. Only problem is that at 70 I tend to forget the procedure that I have just learnt! Also helped an experienced potter out with a mask cut on my ScanNCut this week …. much to their amazement. Hope you Enjoy your pottery journey as much as I am.

  8. Your pot has really gone from “well…” to WOW. It is really looking great. As Maria says at her classes (and so does Matthew Palmer at his watercolour classes) “don’t judge a project till it is finished”. It is always the finishing touches that brings things together and your finishing touches are certainly doing that. Clever lady! xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

  9. Oh brilliant crossover -very mixed media. Look forward to seeing the finished item, it will be fantastic.

  10. Hello Barbara- love the potty blog today, you are really coming on leaps and bounds. Can’t wait to see the pot finished. Can I just say thank you to Deborah Wheeler for her kind words on yesterdays blog. Everything went well, just got to be a good patient for the next couple of weeks, and do as I am told. Not easy when your used to always being on the go. Have a good evening everyone, lots of love Donna X

    1. Hi Donna – glad it went well. You can spend the next two weeks planning lots of new crafty projects for when you’re back in action!

  11. What a masterpiece in the making. Truly beautiful.
    Maria was absolutely wonderful today with her demos and her fun. Well done to both of you and the design team and anyone out there who has become “competent” in some skill or other.
    I on the other hand – well have a laugh. Tried to do the double sided adhesive trick with the die. I forgot to peel off the die!!! Won’t be doing that again. Perfect mess.

  12. First of all, I must apologise for my lack of comments over the past couple of weeks. For various reasons, I have not been online and I have missed being a part of the Clarity community. Hopefully, I will now be back on a daily basis again.
    What a joy for you to have discovered a new craft, which captures your interest so much and gives you such pleasure. Long may your journey of discovery hold such magic for you. I know what you mean about learning and developing, as that is exactly how I feel about Groovi.
    Glad to be back. Annette. X

  13. Wow barbara welll don’t looks great it’s a great feeling when something starts to come together can see you having a house of pots etc very soon. What a great idea using the dies looking forward to seeing it finished sure soon the potters will be all die cutting as well, no telling were future lies exciting . Just watching Maria on tv know. Xx

  14. What great progress you are making. Thought the pot looked like a Grecian Urn or a Roman Amphora but when I saw the bird masks it made me gasp. What inspiration! When it is finished I hope you have a good place to display it and be very proud to show it off.
    Missed Maria’s shows today unfortunately but will try to watch them on catch up.

  15. Can’t wait to see the finished pot, those papercuts look great. I bet you can’t wait to get back there tomorrow for the big reveal. The joy of doing something new is the unknown & where it will lead you.

  16. Hi Barbara and everyone, well Barbara it is stunning when you add the design which I just love to bits it is brilliant.
    I can just imagine how the other members in your class reacted.
    You should be so pleased with yourself.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished project.
    A very clever lady.
    Lynn xx

  17. Your pot has developed into a beauty Barbara, and the paper cuts were a fantastic idea and will look great when they are removed to reveal the finished look. Your crafty background certainly gives you the edge when it comes to thinking outside the box with design ideas. Glad you are enjoying it so much. x

  18. Well what can I say Barb. Fingers crossed it works a proper treat and you open up a whole new world to the potters.

    I really am jealous I always fancied a go but never managed it.

    I can’t wait to see your finished pot and so pleased you have found yourself a little interesting down time. Xx

  19. I think the pot looks great Barbara. How pleasing that you have found a craft that gives you a challenge but also joy. I missed Maria’s shows today but hope to catch up on rewind.

  20. Hi Barbara
    I’m really enjoying your potty journey, the coil pot has turned out really well hasn’t it and it’s going to be fascinating to see if the die cuts work. I think you may have a few Clarity converts if it does!
    Love Diane xxx

  21. Hi Barbara
    WOW I love how your coil pot is coming along. You really seem to be enjoying it, and that is the key to learning. The more you enjoy the subject matter, the quicker you will learn the subject, and if you can have fun and laugh, that will only help to create memories, which means that you will remember your subject matter and be able to recall it through your memories.
    I am sure that if you haven’t already brought your fellow students over to the Clarity fan club, by the time your course finishes you will have them all, even your tutor 😄😁
    Love & Hugs

  22. Looking great Barbara! I think my dad used to leave the mask on and it burnt off in the kiln during firing. Not certain though. I wonder if you could cut them out of waxed paper and use your heat gun to get a wax resist on the pot too? I’m suddenly having to learn about charity fundraising and it’s quite freeing when you don’t know the rules isn’t it?!

  23. Hi Barb, that pot of yours is looking fabulous, a great idea to use the die cuts, and I think the end result will be tremendously satisfying. I love learning and as you put it nailing something new and often totally different to what you have done before. They say when you stop learning and thinking, that is when your brain starts giving up. Take care all. Bx

  24. Hi Barbara – the pot looks amazing grace. Can’t wait to see the finished version. You’re so right about the joy of mastering a new skill. I still smile everytime I think about the first Gelli plate print I managed to pull successfully in one of your workshops – I felt like running round the room cheering!
    Have a great day bloggy friends

    1. Sorry for the typo – predictive text added “grace” after amazing ….. might be something in that though!

  25. So looking forward to seeing the finished article, Barbara.
    I attended pottery classes 40-ish years ago and still remember the anxious waiting to see what would happen during firing week!
    Hope all goes well x

  26. You are doing great at pottery Barb! Certainly a lot better than my picot cutting for sure 😂. Oh well, practice makes perfect – as long as we can accept the shift from incompetence to improvement! That is my aim anyway! Can’t wait to see the finished pot xxx

  27. Another use for your gorgeous dies, I really love this set and I’m really excited to see the end result. I thought your mugs were superb and so I look forward to the big reveal. I really enjoy learning new skills too, it’s all about enjoying the journey xx

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