Go on a course: THROW A POT

Country Living (UK) - - The Good Life -

ON AR­RIV­ING AT WOOD­SIDE

POT­TERY IN DORSET, I’m of­fered a cup of tea in one of pot­ter Grazyna Sch­wei­dler’s hand­made mugs. I can see her thumbprint where the han­dle joins the mug, and it’s beau­ti­ful and tac­tile. Mugs, how­ever, in­volve a more com­pli­cated process, so for me – a pot­tery novice – we start with a sim­ple bowl. Grazyna slaps a lump of clay on the pot­ter’s wheel and demon­strates how to cen­tre it, then shape it. She makes it look very easy, but it isn’t. As I bring my hands around the clay on the wheel, it lurches into all sorts of com­i­cal shapes. For­tu­nately, ever-pa­tient Grazyna ad­vises me how to steady my arms and, be­fore I know it, she’s got me draw­ing up the sides of a bowl between my thumb and fin­gers. I man­age to throw two pots be­fore lunch, and in the af­ter­noon I take the eas­ier op­tion of ‘hand-build­ing’ a bowl with­out us­ing the wheel. A cou­ple of weeks later, Grazyna has glazed and fired my own hand­made cre­ations – com­plete with thumbprints.

Pot­tery ex­pe­ri­ence day, £120; Wood­side Pot­tery, West Moors, Fern­down, Dorset (wood­side­pot­tery.co.uk).

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