All Handmade at Clay Ave Pottery Studio

This year has been a great year at Clay Ave Pottery Studio. More students are enrolling for pottery lessons in Manila. Souls are getting calm. Minds are becoming more focused. Kids are learning to be patient. And adults are discovering new ways to distress, by coming to the mud pit in Quezon City. Clay Ave has become a destination for spending time productively by being creative. Some come to be away from the noise of a daily routine. Others have come to relieve stress. What about you? What’s your reason for wanting to learn pottery? Whatever it may be, YOU ARE WELCOME! Let’s talk about it. Express your emotions through clay!

Private pottery lessons has started in The Philippines. Clay Ave is now mobile! Makati City, The Bonifacio Global City, and Boracay too! Traffic is such a hassle to most of us. But mobile potter, yours truly (Mia Casal), will go to you and teach pottery at the convenience of your home. Form a group of at least five students to start a class! Slots get filled up fast! Send an e-mail to clay.ave@gmail.com for 2012 to reserve a slot. The studio in Quezon City accommodates a maximum of ten students.

What should you expect to learn with the Basics of Hand Building Techniques: Pinching, Coiling, Slab Making, Introduction to Wheel Throwing, and Glazing. Skill is not the only thing to learn at Clay Ave. Patience, creativity, productivity, and satisfaction. These are just some of the words that one can acquire through the lessons.

Pinching is simply pinching clay between your fingers. Pinching clockwise or counterclockwise, opens up a ball of clay between your hands. Since this is the first of the five lessons, I always tell my students, “Play with your clay. This will help you get to know the material. It will tell you how it wants to be formed. But always remember that you are the one in control.” (This is mostly applicable on the potter’s wheel, where the clay wobbles a lot). The potter always takes control over the clay. 

Projects made: small bowls, mini jars, cups, wall pieces, jewelry components, etc.

Coiling is making coils out of clay. From a lump of clay, one rolls the clay on the table. Most people know this technique well, from making snakes with play dough. The difference is that with real clay, you attach a base to hold all the coils.

Working with clay is mostly done by forming the pot from the base to the top. A very strong foundation is important in making a coiled pot. If you start with thin coils, the bottom of the pot will collapse, as you keep building to the top.

Projects made: Vases, jars, tumblers, pitchers, sculptural pieces, etc.

Slab Making is rolling a lump of clay with a rolling pin, or simply making the clay flat, by tapping the clay with the palm of your hand. Different shapes can be formed with this technique. Endless functional and sculptural projects can be made too! Thickness of the clay is always checked, to avoid cracks in the drying stage.

I love adding texture to the clay! You can add anything that has patterns onto your clay. I’ve also tried pressing clay on the trunk of a tree and it looks very rustic! Any type of material can adhere to clay: lace swatches, metal, wood, plastic, rubber, real leaves too, etc.  Imagine all the possibilities! Endless!

Projects made: wind chimes, plates, platters, vases, sculptural pieces, architectural detail, tiles, wall art, coasters, bowls, bonsai pots, and so much more!

The five lessons will not end without teaching the students how to center clay with the potter’s wheel. After the Basics of Hand Building, students may continue learning several techniques with the wheel. The next five sessions will be concentrated on the spinning wheel! To those who are adventurous, you can even go on to the next level, Intermediate Wheel Throwing. And if you want to learn making big pieces, learn the advanced techniques in Wheel Throwing. You just want to keep making them pots bigger and bigger! Here’s the greatest part about it: YOU CAN DO IT!

Projects made: Bowls, plates, tea pots, tea cups, pitchers, tumblers, vases, jars, etc. This page is not enough to mention all the possible projects with wheel throwing!

I fire my students’ pots two times. First is called, “bisque firing”, wherein the temperature inside the kiln, reaches up to 900 degrees celsius. The firing will make the pots porous, and ready to absorb glaze for the next firing.

The second kind of firing is called, “Gloss firing”. The temperature is greater: 1260 degrees celsius. It takes a longer amount of time to reach this.  After each firing, the kiln needs to cool down, before unloading it the following day.

More detailed information about each technique will be featured here very soon. There’s so much to learn about this craft. Learning to form pots is just one thing. Knowing that it’s possible to bring life to a lump of clay is another.

Stay curious. Be transformed!

Learn a new hobby in 2012. Play with clay. Discover a new passion.  Please visit http://clayave.weebly.com to see more details about the lessons. Contact Mia Casal at +632 9665168 or +639178071978

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