Doing Dishes

Doing the dishes is not a favorite chore of mine.

But today I had enough with the sink full of dishes, and the counters covered and the stove covered.  Time to get to work!!  But it isn't one of my most favorite things to do.

But tonight, I had a chance to "do dishes" another way.

I started my Ceramics class tonight.

Class number one was about learning about the clay, some terms, and pinch pots.

Our instructor Rachael gave us some notes about the process the class will go through to make a finished product. 

Tonight we took a lump of clay and created something.

I found it a bit confusing at first, trying to figure out how to pinch the clay.

But I got better.  I found it to be very relaxing, working with the clay.  As I began the process, it wasn't working right, so I had to start over.  But the next try was better.

I think I have always wanted to learn to work with clay and create pottery, because it is such an ancient craft.  The Bible has quite a few references to clay and the potter, such as Jeremiah 18,

“Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.

Isaiah 29:6 says:

You turn things upside down,
    as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
    “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
    “You know nothing”?

And Isaiah 64:8:

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

And in the New Testament, in Romans 9, it says:

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?"

Many of the verses refer to God as the potter, and we are the clay.  As I learn to work with the clay this summer, I hope to more fully understand the meaning of these verses.

Tonight I made one pinch pot, and started another. 

Here is my first attempt, before it is dried, fired and glazed.  It is a little pot that could be used to hold a candle or maybe a little plant.  There are holes on either side of the top so I could put a string or piece of wire through the holes to hang it up somewhere. 
We were told to add some texture to the pot, so I poked some holes in the back.
On the front I added the word "Peace".
I also added some lines around the top rim.
We were then given our big 25 pound block of clay, and cut some off the block, and were told to start another pinch pot.  This one must have texture, and something affixed to it, such as legs, or a handle or other embellishments.
As I started working with this piece of clay, it began to turn into a tub.  My goal is to make a clawfoot tub soapdish.  I will add some "feet", and fixtures, and decals inside the tub that the soap will set up on.
Here is what it looks like from the top.
As we progress through out six weeks of class, we will make slab vases, and learn to throw pots on the wheel.  As our instructor kept saying tonight, "I have a lot I want you to learn, so I am going to keep you busy."
Next week we can come in two hours before class and work on our project.
I can't wait to see what fun and creative things I will be making this summer.
But I can tell you one thing...only after one class, I can tell I love it already.
This way of "doing dishes" is much more preferable to washing dirty ones.

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