Scott is in the spotlight this coming Saturday, July 23rd. He will be demonstrating bowl making on the wheel from 1:00 - 3:00. Stop by enjoy movie popcorn as you watch him turn clay into bowls. Saturdays in Seagrove during the month of July has been an exciting time for visitors. Sometimes when you visit it’s hard to catch the action or maybe the part that's most exciting to you. With each piece of pottery being handled over 18 times, finding that just right moment could be a little tricky. Two weekends left to catch some behind the scenes activities that you might just miss, on a regular day in Seagrove visit www.discoverseagrove.com/saturdays for the itinerary.
I am always amazed at how many bowls Scott can make in just an hour. He has big, strong hands and can easily turn large amounts of clay. Well, it looks easy anyway. Most of the time he prepares his clay the day before, wedging up 3, 4, and 5 pound balls. He knows exactly what to make out of what he has prepared and usually turns about 100 lbs. at a sitting or I should say standing, as we turn on the wheel standing up.
Finding an empty rack can sometimes be a challenge. I usually have them full of new work in the drying process, bisque ware that has been unloaded waiting to be glazed or glazed pieces waiting to be fired. You can bet if Scott needs a rack for his pieces, I can definitely find space. Scott is a busy man and often finds there is not enough hours in the day. With coffee in hand he usually makes his way to the studio early on Sunday mornings. The studio is quite and pleasant and Sunday is always a good day to make pots.
He makes short bowls that will be used for baking and tall bowls used for serving. Sets of bowls and individual baking dishes all come together on the racks as he turns up his clay. Quiche pans and sometimes a batter bowl will appear in the grouping. Small, medium and large just depending on the amount of clay he has prepared. Once they have dried a few hours it is my job to put on the handles. Summer is a complicated time of year to make pottery. Here in the piedmont the humidity can really hinder the drying process and can stretch out your day. Fans and air condition can make it difficult too, so you have to monitor your work to catch it just at the right stage for applying handles. Kinda like the 3 bears and their beds. To soft, to hard and just right can make all the difference in the finished piece.
I call Scott the bowl man, he makes lovely bowls that are used for baking your favorite cobbler, casserole, scallop potatoes and serving that wonderful pasta salad. Heat it up or chill it down, stoneware pottery is functional and durable for everyday use.
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Exciting day at Thomas Pottery as participants made their own woodland mushroom. Many signed up before the event and several joined in the fun on that day. Three sessions were offered, starting at 10:00, 1:00 and 3:00. Each lasted about an hour and a half.
A welcome and short orientation, most importantly the location of the restroom, was the start of each session. Introductions were made including our two kitty cats, sweet Opie and grumpy cat Susie. Next, an overview of the project was discussed as we looked at some finished mushroom caps.
A demonstration of the steps to make the piece followed as I showed them how to cut the clay at a 45 degree angle, scratch the surface and apply slip to the area to be joined. Many design decisions was yet to be made. Pottery tools and patterns were available to each participant along with step by step instruction. As I explained how to apply texture to the clay using wooden rollers, sponge stamps and simple rubber stamps, I suggested which patterns they might combine together or use exclusively. The texture tools available to be used was unlimited, ranging from items found at a yard sale, to things found in the kitchen or purchased from a craft store or from the dollar store. I am always amazed at the choices and how participants combine different textures. Inspiration is glened from each session as we each create unique mushroom caps.
Once the pieces are finished and all the edges are wiped smooth with a sponge, they are placed on a drying rack. A small slip of paper with their name and glaze color is put with their piece. The final steps to finishing the pieces is left to me. The wet pieces will take about a week to dry and will be fired twice. The first firing is a bisque firing, which will burn out any remaining moisture and organic material from the clay. Once the piece has been bisque fired the glaze color is applied and re-fired at a higher temperature which will melt the glaze onto the pot. When the pieces are finished, I will contact the participants so they can schedule a time to pick up their piece. Copper posts are included as the stand for the mushroom cap. The finished piece is a lovely garden ornament to be enjoyed for many years.
Feel like you missed out on an opportunity? No you haven't, plan your own private Clay Party by calling ahead. Schedule your event in the morning, have lunch at a nearby resturant or bring a picnic and spend the rest of the day in Seagrove taking in more pottery than one can imagine.