Go on a course: THROW A POT
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).