A little while back, my mom got into pottery in a big way. It started with a class at a studio and culminated in the building of her own studio in their drive-in shed complete with a throwing wheel, a kiln, and buckets and buckets of glaze. Her creations are beautiful: colourful mugs, plates, pitchers, knitting bowls. You may have seen a few if you follow me on Instagram.
Over the Easter weekend, she invited us to play around with some clay. My sister, brother-in-law, nephew, brother, and sister-in-law had all made the long treks from the places they live to spend the weekend so we all found a space to work in the studio and got our first lesson in hand building from my mom.
I did my best to create something to remember how tiny Isabel is right now. It’s not surprisingly difficult to convince a baby to push her feet into a piece of clay. Originally, I wanted a larger piece with both her hands and feet, but her hands were just a disaster. Her feet turned out okay, I think. Not perfect. Not quite deep enough.
After discovering the lace technique – doily, pressed into the clay with a rolling pin – I decided to make myself a little a something. At first, it was going to be a tile to lay somewhere in my garden, a pretty surprise among the tomatoes. Then, after I had decorated and cut it square, I had this idea to lay it in a bowl and let it relax – with a little help – into a bowl. It will, hopefully, become a little jewelry dish and will likely just serve to clutter up the house. At least it will be pretty clutter.
It was fun. I don’t think I’ll be jumping into working with clay for a hobby. But it was a good day in my mom’s pottery shop with my whole family. I think Isabel liked it too.