Pottery Sessions

Every two years, we have invited a local island potter to come and play with our Spring Leaves kids.  Nancy Silo has been working with clay since the 1970’s, and her enthusiasm for sharing her skills with our group is always a special treat for us.  This year, Nancy led us through the steps of making bowls in a very surprising and delightful way.  Photos taken by Kenta Kikuchi beautifully illustrate the two days we spent working on them- first decorating and shaping, and a few weeks later when we glazed the bisque fired bowls.

After rolling out a flat piece of circular clay, the kids decorated their clay with a variety of stamping materials, as well as freehand drawing into the clay.  Then Nancy demonstrated a very surprising and delightful way of making the flat clay into a bowl- by laying the slab on a piece of foam, placing a bowl on top of it (there were two sizes to choose from) and pressing down hard into the foam.  When the bowl was released, the clay slab underneath had been pressed into a ripple edged bowl of varying depth.

A few weeks later, after Nancy took the bowls home and bisque fired them, the kids glazed them with a selection of glazes that Nancy brought in with samples of their finished colour and shine.  When she returned a few weeks later after their last firing, we finally got to see the end result.  Often with pottery, there is a bit of surprise all along the way, as the variations between the elements involved in the process take on their own actions and results.  Thank you, Nancy!  Thanks also to Kenta Kikuchi for taking and sharing the photographs.

finished bowlsdetails

 

 

 

glazed bowlsspring leaves group

Pottery class

For 2 years so far, we have invited local Pender potter Nancy Silo to teach pottery to our Spring Leaves group.  She has successfully been able to integrate the abilities of a large age range with the projects of  slab construction bowls, and with creating tiles.  Both times, Nancy has taken us through the careful steps of working with the clay in such precise ways so that our pieces will make it through the drying and firing process in the kiln.  Everyone was given glazing choices, which made each piece very unique.  We worked with coating the undersides of the bowls and tiles with wax so that the glazes will keep the kiln clean, and we experimented with the possibilities of design and sculpture.  The children treated all the tools and the clay with such respect and careful attention, knowing that they were working on real pieces that would be usable and valued.  The tiles were made in April, in celebration of Earth Day.  Nancy’s idea was that we would decorate our tiles as a tribute to the environment, so our tables were piled with such treasures as leaves, feathers, shells, twigs, and anything else we could make a print with.  On Earth Day, when our tiles were finished, Nancy displayed them at the Farmers Market as an example of many small masterpieces making one whole, or, the collaborative efforts of individuals.  We hope that Nancy will be able to continue her participation with our group, bringing more inspiring creative opportunities using the rich textural qualities of clay.

%d bloggers like this: