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pottery corner

This is a little step away from cakes for a moment as I actually had a day off! My good friend from way back (she was the first person I met when I turned up bright and early for my nerve-wracking first day at uni) had suggested that it would be nice for us to go pottery painting. I love anything crafty, especially when I get to draw or paint, so I jumped at the idea. I didn’t actually realise until the day that Rachel was planning to buy the session as my birthday present so that was an amazing, unexpected surprise, thank you so much Rachel!

My normal philosophy of “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” and I think I really excelled myself from beginning to end. It kicked in as a build up to the actual event as I spent mulling over ideas and trying to work out what on earth I could paint. I really couldn’t decide on what I wanted, what subject matter I would like to commit to clay and treasure forever…when suddenly, I realised…my budgie!! Initially, I thought of a kind of Andy Warhol style multi-picture design but when other half suggested a Picasso style painting, I was sold. However, after a bit of doodling, geometric shapes took over and I had my slightly deconstructed, geometric, blue budgie design.

Here is my design being traced onto my chosen 9″ diameter plate with carbon paper. Yep, that is indeed one of those paper towels that you used to have at school. I was inspired so I grabbed the nearest thing to sketch on. However, I didn’t realise that it would be become my actual template. The sizing was perfect and I was really happy with most of the structure so I thought it worked out too well to do it again…

…also, this plate took me four hours of solid graft to get finished so it was a good job I came prepared and didn’t spend too long amending my design. We were the first ones in and the last ones out for the morning session, with afternoon people starting to arrive. My friends were waiting, the staff were waiting, I felt like I was in an exam… The next day, my muscles ached. Honestly. There is nothing like taking something fun and turning it into a really serious event, but hey, if you’re going to do something, best do it properly 😉

After the initial tracing, I went over the design with a felt tip pen and added a mosaic tile border. It’s so good that you can tweak your ideas and make mistakes at this point as the pen fires off in the kiln so nobody will ever know 🙂

My first task was to paint in the white bits. It is worth it to make these parts really stand out in the finished product but I have to say, this bit made me panic as all of my friends were starting to add colour and see their ideas coming to life, and yet after a lot of hard work, my plate looked pretty much exactly the same 🙁 I felt a lot better when I got to add some blue though:

Here is a little more detail, including beak and branch…

And finally, here is the finished plate, all ready for firing. Took me about an hour to do the black outlines but I’m glad I did it as I think it really finishes it off.

On Saturday, I was able to go back to Pottery Corner to pick up my fired and glazed plate. I was so excited and when I saw how bright and fun it looked, I was over the moon! What do you think?

Also, this post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of my muse. I made the poor guy pose for a series of these photos, which I was initially going to colourise and make Warhol-esque. The image is a little bit grainy as I didn’t want the flash to go off in his face. He still wasn’t happy about it but he did let me do it without getting too angry…

Huge hugs of thanks to Rachel for such a lovely birthday present, what a great idea! Also, many thanks to Pottery Corner in Chorlton for a fantastic morning with a great atmosphere. I may have worked as hard as someone sitting their A-levels but I enjoyed every moment!

More details about Pottery Corner can be found on their website:

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy painting!

Beth x

05/12/2011 - 4:24 pm

Sophie - Love it, what a talent!!! 🙂

05/12/2011 - 4:58 pm

rachel - I honestly thought I was going to starve in the time it took you to do your outlining!!! It turned out fantastic though!!! Now you just need to get a plate hanger and it can go on your wall.

06/12/2011 - 8:17 am

cakesbybeth - Haha, I know! I had my sleeping bag in the car, just in case 😉 I will definitely be hanging it on the wall, just got to decide where now! xx

06/12/2011 - 8:18 am

cakesbybeth - Thank you Sophie, lovely as always 🙂 xx