I started taking pottery classes with my husband and kids in September of 2018. I found it very relaxing and fun. I was impressed with the beautiful things we created and quickly became excited to learn how to do different techniques and improve my skills. Here are some of the things I made in that first pottery class.
A few months later, I had gotten lost down the rabbit hole of pottery on Pinterest and YouTube and became completely obsessed with all things pottery. I wasn’t sure I could go one month between pottery sessions at the London Clay Art Center not doing pottery, so we decided to start building a pottery studio at home. Here’s our little setup and the first few pieces I created at home.
By the spring of 2019, I was taking multiple classes a week and so excited to learn more and improve. I took a class which focused on learning different decorating techniques and fell in love with Sgraffito. Sgraffito is the art of carving a design into the pot (first photo top left). I also took a class focused on throwing mugs. Here’s some photos of work from the first half of 2019.
In the summer of 2019, I was able to take a week-long wheel class. Spending many hours each day on the wheel really helped to improve my throwing skills. My glazing and decorating techniques also improved noticeably from this class. I really started to get into a rhythm of making pottery.
September 2019 marked my one year anniversary of starting my pottery journey. That’s when I became a member of the London Potters Guild and could access the equipment, glazes, and kilns every day. Between the Guild studio and my home studio, I was now doing pottery almost every single day and this also triggered a noticeable improvement in my skills as a potter.
The London Potters Guild studio space.
I launched this website and started my pottery business in December 2019. Just in time for Christmas shoppers to buy some special gifts. In it’s first week, I sold more than a third of the inventory on my new website.
A few weeks before Christmas, as I was preparing special gifts for family and friends, our old little kiln finally died almost exactly a year after we bought it. I was able to quickly order a brand new kiln to be built and ready for pick up in about a week. They really came through so that Christmas gifts could be fired and ready to fly with us to Edmonton and Vancouver for the holidays. Here’s the old kiln with the new kiln, the difference in vibrancy of colours using the exact same glaze recipe on a pot in the new kiln versus the old kiln, and one of the special gifts that was finished just in time for Christmas.
At the beginning of 2020, I decided to start to learn about production pottery. I needed to produce 75 good quality pieces over the next few months so that I could apply to be in my first Potters Market. Wish me luck!
In the first few months of 2020, I felt that there was another noticeable improvement in my wheel throwing technique and my glazing technique. Here are a few of my pieces from those months. The cauldron mug in the top right hand corner was my first commission piece.
What does the future hold next?
Well, it’s funny that those were my last words on here before Covid. The future held lots of surprises I guess. Including the cancellation of the first Potters Market I was hoping to sell pottery at. So, all those dishes are now for sale right here on my website instead. I had my largest sale to date of 28 pieces in a single order in June 2020. The pandemic closed the London Potters Guild and therefore my access to a pottery wheel. I feel very grateful for my home pottery studio and kiln which has allowed me to continue to hand build pottery during these unusual times.
A year into the pandemic and I have shifted from learning about production pottery (I’ve added here a few images of ramekins in fun new colours) to embracing the process of making pinch pots – bowls made by hand, not thrown on a wheel. It’s always been my favourite thing to make, so now I mostly just make those. We’ll see where it leads to next!