Friday, June 22, 2007

Pottery experience.

Yesterday, after the damn mid term exam of 'art of cinema' , as I was walking down the wing hallway, I bumped into Evan, Emily and Jerica. Their 'Cults class' teacher didn't show up this morning so they didn't have any class. Poor guys, they had to get up early and come all the way to college for this. LOL. So now they were just sitting around waiting for 12 PM so they can go to the ceramics department and try their hands on pottery. I was pretty excited about that too. I'd always seen potters working on the wheel and it seemed almost magical how they made all those wonderful matkas and pyalas and gharas. I always love the smell of the new matka we bought every other summer. And I wanted to try and make one too. I wanted to know what went on during the process of making one.

But before we did, we had to go to Oakville place for some Thai food! you see, we had to bribe Evan with some food in order to make him stay for the pottery thing. The food was just too much for about all of us, so we got take out containers and brought it back with us.(The rest of which I ate this morning) I used chopsticks for the first time to eat rice. and it was much more difficult than grabbing pieces of sushi. But I think I'm getting the hang of it. I just hope yesterday's leftover chicken fried rice left in my backpack overnight doesn't make me sick now. On second thoughts it probably won't, I've got a pretty strong immune system.

In the ceramics department, first we were given a tour of the facility and were explained a lot of the processes involved in the making of a ceramic 'piece'. Then we were given a demo on the wheel, first making a long cylindrical shape, and then a platter shape. Then we were given our own wheels and clay, a water container and we were ready to get down and dirty! Luckily I had my apron, or else I would have badly badgered my jeans and t shirt. The first process, centering the clay, is a pretty tough thing to do. It requires the most physical strength as compared to any other process. Infact, the shaping of the clay, is a very delicate process. I had to learn that the hard way. The first cylindrical shape that I was making, got destroyed when I was pulling it up, i.e. raising the clay to make it taller. I gripped the wall too tightly and I suppose my hands were too dry and so the wall of the cylinder just ripped! there was a slit in it because I made it too thin and I had to start all over again.

By now, Emily was already finishing her first vase. Very nice and curvy. And even Evan was chugging along nicely. I think I should blame it all on the Asian student who was 'TRYING' to help me. LOL. Anyways, I finally did end up making a vertical vase shape on my second attempt, but again, cutting it off was proving to be a tough task... my fingers would start rotating with the wheel instead of coming straight towards me. Anyways, I was just happy to get done with that, and start on a platter form. This time around, one of the faculty was there to help me out. (yeah, my stupid brain can't remember the name of that dude) I looked around now, and noticed that Emily was in the process of making a third one, and even jerica and Evan's plates were actually looking like plates! Damn I suck! So after I was through with this one, I decided to do a miniature, small matki.

Well, now that I think of it, a diya would have been better. Atleast I'd have been able to use it on diwali! Ahem! getting back to the story, the first attempt at a small pitcher failed spectacularly! The other faculty then encouraged me to give up on it and start another one. This time around, I was more confident and stable with my hands and I actually ended up making something I really liked! I said "mom can use this for her pooja." I don't know though if I will be able to keep it intact till the time I leave for India, and whether it'll actually survive the trip in the cargo compartment. My soft luggage bag was terribly damaged while coming here. Oh well, lets leave that for the future. Next, I'm looking forward to glazing those pots and plate.

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