A day with pottery

my little cup ^ - ^

my little cup ^ – ^

One beautiful Thursday, I found an interesting place where you can try some handwork pottery! That’s how the story begins!

are you ready for some pottering ?

are you ready for some pottering ?

Let’s scan through some general info of pottery ^ – ^ :

“Pottery is made by forming a clay body  into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which will increase their strength,harden and set their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing.”

Before the “fight”, I spent so much time deciding what should I gonna make, and some images of my favorite things came:

my lovely cup with snow pink clovers on it ^ - ^

my lovely cup with snow and pink clovers on it ^ – ^

how abt some accessories?

how abt some accessories?

there is a garden on my mug

there is a garden on my mug

Or some of my dad’s creations :

a fancy bird on the plate

the fancy bird on a plate

another bird on the bowl

another bird on a bowl – love his eyes > v <

With a big hope that I can also creat some great things myself – my day in the pottery workshop started ^ – ^

Step 1: Prepare the clay

Make it round perfectly and put it on the center of the wheel-table. This step is super important, do it right or you won’t able to find the balance while spinning the wheel and shaping the clay body.

spin, spin

spin, spin

There are many kinds of wheel such as the electric wheel, classic kick wheel (spin with some “kicks” J,sounds too “manly” for me – I think ) , the one I used was classic hand-spining wheel !

the wheel of mine

the wheel of mine


Step 2: shape the clay

Use hands and fingers to shape your clay on the spinning wheel.At first I wanted to make a little vase with some dandelions. However,thinking (and hoping) is always much more easier than performing.

the body of the vase,when it came to the part of the neck, "game over" !

this was the body of the vase,when it came to the part of the neck, “game over” !

After abt 3 hours “fighting” (and game over abt 20 times), I said goodbye to the dream of the vase and started to make some cups instead!

I was not sure what my friend planned to make (might be a vase ,I guessed–based on his clay body’s shape).

However, it turned out to be a plate at last > v <

he did it well .. ^ - ^

he got the neck > o <  why couldn’t I ?

Note of the step:

-This is definitely not an easy game to play.

-Don’t be surprised if you want to make a gorgeous Eiffel tower then end up with a beautiful pyramid.


Step 3: dry your “baby” with a hair dryer

This step will take abt 15-30 minutes, feel the hardness, don’t over-dry it or you may hear something like:  CRACK CRACK – Then congratulations , you may have to restart the game from step 1 .

welcome back ,this is step 1 ^ - ^

welcome back ,this is step 1 ^ – ^

Step 4: fix the shape

 This step requires high skill of pottering, so all I could do was…watching (with my mouth opened like this —> : o ).


Step 5: Decorate it

“A clay body can be decorated before or after firing” – but somehow these 2 ways bring different effects. Some say it’s better to decorate the clay body before the firing,and I did that!

spring has sprung ^ - ^

the spring has sprung ^ – ^

if your clay body is still soft (like mine) , so hold it dearly , take a deep breath, then…stop breathing, ok , we may start to paint now !


Step 6: the firing process 

And plz say welcome to these new members of my family ^ – ^

a little yellow butterfly lost her way in the field of flowers

a little yellow butterfly lost her way in the field of flowers

Totoro and his cherry blossom forest !

Totoro and his cherry blossom forest !

^ – ^ Even though my very first “babies” are not very beautiful , I love them so well, love those memories (and pains – OM, 1 position – from 10:30AM to 4:30PM) they brought  ! Will keep improving my skill , hope that I may share with you guys a nice VASE someday, wish me luck!


77 thoughts on “A day with pottery

  1. Congratulations I think that the plates and the cherry blossom forrest are just beautiful… It even makes me want to take up pottery, hmmm…

    • Cool ^ – ^ just can’t wait to see your “babies”,Sofia,have you tried this before ?

      Your visit and these lovely words made my day, yah – those plates were made by my dad, I love them , too 🙂 Thanks for liking my little cherry blossom forest,Sofia ^ – ^ Have a nice day !

    • Long time no see ^ v ^ Yellow Cable !

      Thanks so so much for your very kind words ! To be honest,I’m not that talented , haha , I just follow the instruction, step by step .However, your compliment means a lot to me. Have a sweet day , Yellow Cable !

    • I’m flattered,many many thanks ,Ellie ^ – ^ wish you and HMC have a beautiful weekend !

      Drop by my garden anytime,I have some hibicus tea for us and some Tuna cookies for HMC then !

    • > v < Yah, Totoro now has a new place to call home, lucky him!

      Big thanks to you, The Peckish Kiwi, you are so kind sending me those nice words! ^ – ^ My first try is not so good, I think , but I really appreciate these!

      Have a yummy weekend!

    • 🙂 glad to know you enjoyed the story,Pat Benson!

      Haha , in fact, they are cups,Pat Benson ^ – ^ , may be , they looks bigger from the photos than their true sizes ! ^ – ^ I don’t know if I can be as good as my dad in art or not , but I love to paint , yah , and I hope that my children will fall in love with drawing things as their mom does, too !

      Have a blossomed day , my dear friend ^ – ^

  2. I got my undergrad in Fine Arts with a major in ceramics. There is definitely a real “zen” to working with clay. It is incredibly rewarding – and think – it will still be here centuries after we are gone!

    • It’s so true, I had to fight with the limited patience of mine , there was so many times I almost gave up,Dianne ,I made the clay body well, then eveything just went out wrong when I tried to make the bottom better , and I had to retry from the start, over and over again …> v <

      ^ – ^ you must be so good at this field,Dianne ! I didn't have big dream while giving it a try, just wanted to do my best 🙂 Don't know how long will their lives last, but I treasure them – now ^ – ^

      Thanks for you visit and sharing,Dianne, have a sweet day 🙂 feel free to drop by my garden and we may enjoy some tea for sure!

    • > v < Oh my , thanks so much Katyoparty , I love your place as well , so many amazing paintings and crafts you have!

      Glad to know you love the post and those little flowers ! Have a colorful day then ^ – ^ !

    • I love the name of your place ^ – ^ and that is such a lovely place,too ! Thanks for dropping by my garden and leaving me this very nice comment as well 🙂 I really love the field of pottery art , but it may take so much time to improve the poor skill of mine > v <

      Wish you and your family a warm and happy weekend !

    • Haha,to be honest, I couldn’t feel my feet (even my body) when I finished my "babies", Chris !However, it brought me so much fun and memorable things, love the experience !

      Thanks so much ^ – ^ , I also hope the day that I may share with you my beautiful vase – will come soon ! Have a healthy and nice coming week ,Chris !

  3. Your pottery is very lovely and great! Even I’m Japanese, I have never trried it, so I envy you. I want to make a mug cup or something like nice potteries you made in the future! But, it seems very difficult for me because I am clumsy.
    Anyway, thank you for commenting my blog! I want to tell Japanese culture such as anime for people all over the world. I admire you love Japanese cultures. I will do my best to tell Cool Japan.

    • ^ – ^ It’s no need to envy,Jundora, you may try it right away , Japanese’s ceramics are just amazing!

      Haha , I agree, using something that is made by yourself have a speacial and great feeling ,it’s alright , just give it a try,Jundora!

      You are welcome ^ – ^ I like the lovely blog of yours very well , I love Anime&Manga since I was a child , those like : Card Captor Sakura, 1/2 Ranma, doraemon, slam dunk,+anima, jack, maruko…” They were my very dear childhood friends ^ – ^

      Thanks for your sharing,Jundora, have a nice day then!

  4. Bonjour! Juste pour te dire que je trouve ton blog vraiment sympa. Les artciles sont rédigés avec bcp de soins et sont la pluspart du temps très pertinents.. j’aimerais bien avoir la même inspiration 🙂 J’édite moi aussi un blog .. a bientôt, Julie

    • ^ – ^ Long time no see, Yoggi !How have you been ?

      Yup, go and try it , Yoggi, you may have many memorable (in many ways) things then ^ – ^

      Have a wonderful week – to you and every single member of your little zoo,too 🙂 !

    • wow! This is such a nice way to start my day ^ v ^ so many many huge thanks to you,Paranoiasnfm, I really love the award ,you are just so kind sending me this !

      I have rose tea for today , it will be so nice if you take some , too! And hope you will have a wonderful coming weekend ^ – ^ , Paranoiasnfm!

        • =)) Haha, Everything that I like may all have that bonus word , you know , those like…dream place, dream garden, dream day, dream man, dream job, dream house, dream cake, dream blah blah blah…feel dizzy already , Hua Wei ^ – ^ ?

          • Hahahaha!! Good good good~~ Dreams are good but don’t day-dream.haha! Anyway, I would just simply take it as a gap between a guy and a girl, feel good now? Lol~

            • haha , it’s ok, girls are always a little bit more dreamy than boys ^ – ^ Anyway, I remembered there’s a guy who said :

              “Guess everyone has dream.

              Some DREAMS are big, some dreams are small.

              No matter what DREAM or what dream you own, CHASE FOR THAT!!!”

              I really agree with him , don’t you, Hua Wei ^ v ^ ?

              • Yinyin, I really WOW when you see that!!! That was totally a long long time ago post of mine!!! Isn’t it??
                Haha…you’re really nice and sensitive huh~~ A big big thumbs up for you!!
                Anyway, that’s so true~~ We are all to chase dream, I always admire those people who turn their dream to reality!!

                • haha , you are just so kind for saying these to me ,Hua Wei ^ – ^ !

                  You know, I’m kind of curious, I think ,I love to try new things, and see the world from another piece of life – with another angle – of another person -that ‘s quite interesting 🙂 And your place is such a nice place to stay around ^ – ^

                  Yup! Dare to dream and to chase the dream – really not an easy game to play huh ^ – ^ ? did you catch your dream yet ?

                • My dream huh? So close yet so far is the best description =D
                  My place is a nice and lovely place i guarantee, but people making it worst and worst.no longer as cute as the moment of my dad’s childhood time.
                  Recently was quite busy with work, seldom came to wordpress and no time for replying too, sorry for that huh!

                • Never mind,Hua wei ^ – ^ glad to know that you are doing well !

                  I have never been to Malaysia, but I heard many beautiful words abt your place, hope that there will be a chance to visit there someday ^ – ^

                  Yah,I do agree with that,Hua wei, time flies and thing has been changed a lot! I can hardly find some of my favorie childhood snacks or toys by now ! ( ‘ ^ ‘ )

                  Hope you have a nice weekend and happy coming week days,Hua wei ^ – ^

    • Thanks so much, Sartenada ^ – ^ for your visit as well as the sweet support ! Glad to know that you enjoyed the post !

      Have a beautiful weekend 🙂 !

  5. I spent my whole life untill 10th grade thinking I hated art, took a ceramics class, and now im a profesional artist! It’s a pretty amazing experience, isn’t it? You’re doing really well, nicely centered forms! 🙂

    • Oh my! sr so much for my belated reply!

      cool! now you are a professtional artist eh ?can’t wait to see more of your creations > v < !

      yah, it was an interesting experience ! ^ – ^ Thanks for those very kind words! Have a colorful weekend!

      • No problem! you can check out my art at austindanson.tumblr.com 🙂
        (though all the work there is a little old because my camera got stolen… I’ll try to take some pictures and update it soon)
        my weekend was quiet colorful, thanks! I hope yours was as well 🙂

  6. Excellent post. About 10 years ago when I first started work in Hangzhou, a friend helped me find a place to ‘throw clay’ and for almost year, when I was in China I would go there on the weekends and study with the pros. My great grandfather was a potter, so I thought perhaps I may have some talent…unfortunately, I do not so I often had to go back to step #1… 🙂 However, it was a great experience and the pieces you have are beautiful, congratulations!

    • wow, Hangzhou and Suzhou is truly heaven on earth they say !

      I had to restart to game so many times that I almost gave up,haha, but these things are really fun I feel ^ v ^ Oh! do you keep any creation of your great grandfather,Dalo ?

      Thanks for your encouragement ^ ^ wish you a sunny Sunday !

      • 上有天堂,下有苏杭。 Very true. I do have several creations from my great grandfather…and every time I look at them I feel great. Every time you look at your creations, you should feel the same! Take care.

        • Ah, I know this saying ^ – ^ hope that I may have chance to visit those 4-famous-zhou someday!

          > v < haha , you know Dalo, when I look at my cups , I feel like "yay me!" , then put my cups near my dad's creations, I feel "Oh my!" =))

          Thanks for paying my garden a visit ^ – ^ you are my very first guest of the week eh , have a beautiful coming-7-day-journey, Dalo !

just can't wait to hear from you ^ - ^

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s