Last session Amie also took classes with my fabulous pottery teacher, Lisa Dolliver. These are some of the pieces she made:

The unicorn is a piggy bank. At the moment it has a clay blue heart sitting in its slot. Aren’t they lovely?

That, by the way, is a Go board: DH and Amie are learning the game together. Amie has quite the knack for it, and loves it. The read the book and play at least two games every night.

These are my pots.

I was very productive: three small plates, three medium ones, one vase, two soup bowls, one tumbler (pic below), and two large bowls, the largest pieces I’ve ever thrown, but I needed help from Lisa to do it. As you can see if you compare with previous sessions, I’ve found a pattern in the glazing. The idea is to make a dinner set. Also to take the pressure off me when glazing – I don’t like glazing much.

They stack up!

Yesterday I went to my teacher, Lisa Dolliver’s annual show. After wowing all the pottery on display and making a small purchase I picked up the small, heavy box with my name on it. It contained the pots I made during the last session. The session before that had been cancelled so these pots were made after a long hiatus, but that didn’t slow me down.

I made an astonishing fourteen pieces (incl the two lids). I remember bringing home the pots from my first session, all seven of them. Two are missing – didn’t make it into the kiln on time.

Here they are, group picture:

These three and their lids were thrown off the hump, wherein you stick a large amount of clay to the wheel and only center, then throw the upper part into a pot. Then you cut it off and work at the next layer. It’s a large and fast production technique of throwing.

I don’t much like this “vase”. The foot came out too clunky, but it was interesting to carve out.

Last session I simply made the same thing over and over again, modeled on a small drinking cup I had bought at a pottery studio on Cape Cod. It was good practice, of course, and instructive as well in that I could really see how pots shrink in the kiln. I’m not entirely happy with some of the glazing, but I am never really cut up over something that doesn’t come out like I thought it would.  They’re just practice, experience gained. If once in a while the outcome is just right, I am thankful but it won’t make me expect too much of myself. I really do this for fun, to get out of the house on Monday nights, and for more practical than artistic reasons.

I was very happy with how this session’s pots have turned out, especially the glazing. I never seem to have any inspiration when glazing. This time around I went for a common theme: turquoise (which is matte,  as I found out last time) overlaid with a clear glaze (which makes the whole thing shiny).

Here is a video of my wonderful teacher, Lisa Dolliver. Her work is for sale at  her studio, Earth Changes, in Maynard, and her pieces are featured in the WGBH auctions (for which this video was shot).

Yesterday at the beginning of a new pottery session I got back the ten pieces I made during the last session. The glazing turned out totally different from what I thought it would be. Fortunately this ruined only one pot, as the glazing of its lid turns out not to match it. My first handbuilt piece – “a platter for garlic etc.” – is also a disappointment but then I didn’t make it with the right mindset in the first place.

I like the lidded pieces (except for the glazing on the one), and the “urn” (first picture), but for the rest I feel I am stuck in a rut, which my teacher generously calls my “voice”. This session I promised myself to be bolder!

We had our first major harvest from the hoop house a couple of days ago, of mache, minutina, claytonia, and some kale. Though the claytonia had bolted the leaves were still sweet. I bagged these and took them to NYC, where we shared them with our friends, along with a vinaigrette made with my blueberry-basil vinegar. I also brought them jars of fig preserves, blueberry jam and apple peel jelly, all from my canning pantry. We also introduced them to homemade pizza. Homemade food is even better when shared with good friends!

Another friend, who lives 20 minutes away, very kindly came and watered the seedlings in the basement and in the hoop house while we were gone. Still the seedlings were on my mind, especially since we came back a day later than we had planned. It was like leaving a coupl’a hundred little babies. I came home today to perfectly healthy and sated seedlings.

But half the spinach bolted. The lamps downstairs are set to 16 hours of light: maybe that’s what does it? I so look forward to spinach! The other half of the spinach I transplanted out, along with all the chard and lettuces, all in all perhaps 200 transplants. The hoop house is full plus half a bed outside. The rhubarb and garlic are doing well. And even after all that rain and even snow, all the peas sprouted and are reaching for the skies.

Pictures tomorrow, when I also do some sorely needed potting up downstairs and hopefully have some room left over for some more starts.

Today is warming up into the 60s, like yesterday, but yesterday I was cowering in the pit of the second round of this darned cold. Today I feel much better. I’m baking a second bread from the dough I made earlier,  opening all the windows to air out the house, doing loads of laundry and hoping my lines will hold the weight (sheets and blankets). Maybe I’ll even get to put compost and straw on the beds. All that fresh air will do me good.


One thing I absolutely must do today is carve the vase I made in my pottery class. I had a lot of help from my lovely teacher, so now I need to “make it mine,” as she puts it, by carving it. It will make for a lovely present, and I’m happy it will be kilned, glazed and ready before the holidays. I’m thinking a fine botanical pattern winding all around…

Here’s a thing I like  a lot, how life, family (multi-generational too), work and business share one smallish space (1200 sq.f.).


  1. carve pot – v
  2. laundry – v
  3. bread – v
  4. air house – v
  5. rake tons of leaves – v
  6. compost and straw on beds – nope

It’s raining which is good: the soil needs it. So I’m stuck inside, with some time to catch up on research, and to show off my creations from my first session of wheel-thrown pottery!

Here they are, thrown, dried, kilned and glazed:


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Their beautiful colors (glazes made by my teacher, Lisa Dolliver) are hard to capture in photographs. I love each imperfection, and the fact that they never turned out to be what I had intended them to be. I sit down at the wheel and play, letting the clay dictate. I signed up for another session and this time will try to be more goal-oriented: try to recreate something, for instance, try to get its shape and volume right.

Yesterday I made two plates/platters, which is great fun to do, all that compressing. I also still need to get the hang of collaring, which looks like so much fun. And my wedging leaves a lot to be desired… I think I shall move “pottery wheel” up on my Tools/Toys list.