The Cooking Ladies

Playing In The Mud, How Much Fun Is That?

Just one of the unique opportunities offered by the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, Alabama, is a hands-on experience at a potter’s wheel. Resident artist Abby Leach guided Phyllis through the process.

B Coastal Art Center  (2)

A fist-size piece of clay is cut, like cheese, from a large block, formed into a ball and slapped onto the bat in the center of the wheel. Using her right foot on a floor pedal, Phyllis set the wheel in motion, adjusting the speed as if driving a car. Like a first time driver, there were a few jerky moments before she found just the right speed.

C Coastal Art Center  (3)

A grey slurry slipped between her fingers as Phyllis gently squeezed and shaped the soft, wet clay up into a cone, down into a mound,
and up into a cone again. Abby drizzled water over Phyllis’ hands with a sponge, to keep the clay moist and pliable.

E Coastal Art Center  (5)

H Coastal Art Center  (8)

F Coastal Art Center  (6)

The more pressure Phyllis applied with her thumbs into the middle of the clay, the more dramatic the change in the shape.

G Coastal Art Center  (7)

“You have to feel the bowl, the shape, the vision of what you want,” Abby said. “You will know when it is right.”

I Coastal Art Center  (9)

J Coastal Art Center  (10)

K Coastal Art Center  (11)

M Coastal Art Center  (13)

Phyllis brushed the dried bowl with a pale turquoise glaze. Abby assured her that when it came out of the kiln it would be the color she had chosen, a bright blue, and it was.

N Coastal Art Center

At the Coastal Arts Center Clay Studio you can get right into the “mud” the way Phyllis did, or hand build, paint and fire a ceramic piece to take home or watch Abby Leach as she designs original pieces and demonstrates traditional techniques.

P1050837

www.coastalartcenter.com

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail