Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pieces . . .

Last year I tried pottery painting for the first time.   I wasn't sure if I would like painting pottery because I was worried that my perfectionist tendencies would make the experience more stressful than enjoyable.

My friends and I found a pottery painting studio in Noe Valley called Terra Mia and off we went. 

We usually start the day happy and talkative.   Then by the end of the day we are so over it.

The first piece I did was a "sushi" platter.  I was inspired by a plate the studio had displayed on the wall.  It had small dots that spread out across the plate.  

I could replicate that.  And I figured "dots" wouldn't stress me out because you can't really mess them up.  

EIGHT! HOURS! later I had stiff neck and back and as I was putting the last dot on I smeared it!  I didn't let myself freak out.  I just tried to think of a way to mask the mistake.  Hence the "Sun Burst" in the center of the plate.

Here's the other thing about pottery painting; the color that you paint on the clay changes completely when the piece is fired in the kiln.  So you really have to think about what the end product is going to look like, not what it looks like right now.  Then depending how many layers of paint you put on; the color can change.  That means you have to keep track of where you have put multiple layers of paint to make sure the piece looks consistent after it is fired.

The second piece I did was inspired by a photograph I took of the Golden Gate Bridge.  After the eight hour "dot" experience I figured I might as well try and paint an actual image.  This time my friends and I completed our work in six hours!  

I really liked how this piece looked.   That is I really liked how it looked before it was fired up in the kiln.  It is still pretty cool, but not quite what I thought it was going to be.  

Our most recent trip to Terra Mia was last weekend.  With a birthday gift certificate courtesy of my friend Shamoli in hand, I was ready to get my paint on.  

This time I decided to branch out from the flat plates and try something a little more difficult.  I decided to do a vase.   

I am happy to report that I finally have a piece that I am really happy with!  It turned out exactly how I envisioned it!

The Song Of The Day - Pieces Of Me by Ashlee Simpson


  1. good for you just jon. i think all of your pieces look great. i am sure i could not do anything half as beautiful. did you know, i did take pottery making and glazing in college, actually the same school you went to, so i do understand the glazing differences before and after firing and the stress and pain of it all. keep on enjoying.
    love, mom

  2. Nice work. You can tell you got more comfortable with each one you did. They are all pieces of art. Reminds me of the Firefly Ceramics in Ventura.

  3. they are all so pretty! i don't think that i have every taken eight hours to pain a single plate. they are all so pretty! i like the way the dots look like a sunrise on the sushi plate. its really pretty. i also like the way the golden gate bridge looks so real! i also like the vase because of all the colors!


  4. meg you are such a cutie pie
    love gramma

  5. Beautiful Vase! Love the colors!