Last summer I finally had some time to start learning pottery, something it’s been in my list for years. I took an intro class and spend quite a few late nights in the studio, practicing. Wheel throwing is challenging at all levels, from creating the first round pot to being able to replicate a piece a number of times. But it’s extremely rewarding – feeling the clay changing shape under a soft pressure, or discovering the vivid colors of the glazes after firing the piece.

It takes many steps to complete a piece: build, trim, fire, glaze and fire again. And all processes take time, which sets you into a slow pace – it’s a great way to end a working day in front of a computer.

These are some of the first pieces, ready to be trimmed. Those turned out quite heavy – the walls are thick and the bottom is fat.

These are small sake glasses, before firing the glazes:

And after:

A made a few more to complete a sake set:

I really like how the black glaze run under the blue to create this unexpected gradient:

Or how the blue glaze blended with the green in this one:

The glazes behave differently depending which ones you combine, how much time you let one dry before applying the other, etc. The results are always surprising, sometimes for good, sometimes not. In this case the turquoise glaze which was applied uniformly slippered over the clear glaze, forming thick bubbles.

In this other case, a green glaze under a clear crackle one worked well:

A bowl after being trimmed, and after firing:

I really like how this dark clay looks and feels, it has a soft grain really pleasant to the touch. In this ones I left the exterior of the piece raw, glazing only the inside so it’s food safe.

The glaze in this next piece turned out to be porous – it’s not inviting to drink from it. I made a pot for incense – the red sand is from the Merzouga Desert in Morocco, and the stones are from one of my favorite beaches in Menorca.

In this other pot I placed some pieces of blue glass at the bottom to melt during the firing. I made another small zen garden with this one – a more yellow sand from the Thar desert in Northwest India and some pieces I made with the same dark clay.

Those are hand build pieces from clay leftovers:

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