Pottery Obsession

So, I’ve mentioned it, I’ve Instagrammed it and if you follow me on Pinterest, you know I am currently obsessed with pottery.  Sigh.  I even dream about it.  Seriously.  I fall asleep dreaming about glaze combinations.  I think admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? But I’m not really sure I want help.

I’m not sure how far back my love of pottery goes. Quite a ways, really.  When I traveled to England with the family I nannied, I took back pottery and we still use is as our tooth-brush holder.  One of the souvenirs from our honeymoon is pottery and some of our gifts were pottery, too.  When my grandmother, Lena, passed away, I got a pottery bowl from her collection, too.  I’ve also been picking up pottery at yard sales and thrift shops, too.  I’m getting quite a collection…. My favourite coffee mugs are custom made for me by Sara Bonnyman in Tatamagouche.

A few years back, my bestie, Catherine, and I went to my other bestie’s place and took a Raku pottery workshop with her in Cape Breton, taught by the amazing Tim Isaac from New Brunswick.  You can read about the classes HERE, HERE and HERE.  That wet my appetite for pottery. But the opportunity never presented itself to learn more or, maybe I just wasn’t looking very hard because I was busy moving and starting my own business.

And then a friend of mine, Denise, built herself a lovely pottery studio and offered to guide me in the world of pottery and I spent one, I repeat only one, afternoon there with her and I knew I was in trouble.  She let me try my hand at throwing on the wheel.  Oh man.  I look forward to spending more time in Denise’s sunny studio but I also wanted to have some basics down before I showed up, too.

When it came time to figure out what I wanted for Christmas from the handsome Mr. Byrne the debate was between a compound miter saw and pottery lessons.  And we have one saw and I don’t build much so pottery lessons won out.  🙂

Enter Danielle Sawada into my life.  If you’ve never met her, you should.  She is patient, talented and has a great sense of humour.  Plus, she runs classes and a shop out of a brightly painted house in Truro.  So, now, every Tuesday night you’ll find me driving to Truro for lessons.  { Thankfully, the weather has cooperated for me, too, which was a concern when I signed up for lessons starting in January…everyone around here knows Mt. Thom or Nuttby are not fun in bad weather! }

The first lesson was about pinch pots.  And I built a sheep and a bowl that I didn’t love until after it was fired.  The sheep is still a favourite….of everyone’s!

farm fresh pottery

farm fresh pottery

Second lessons was on coil pots.  And let me just say how time consuming it is to build a coil pot.  Not sure what this will get used for….storing something or other in the studio probably.

farm fresh pottery

Third lesson was on slab work.  I built a mug that I enjoy drinking from, although I refer to it as ‘The-mug-only-a-mother-would-love’ because it reminds me of a project a middle school student would take home for Mother’s Day.  I also built a business card holder, a soap dish and our new coasters, which I’m really excited about!

farm fresh potteryfarm fresh pottery

And then, it was time to try the wheel in lesson four.  Oh – the pressure!  I was excited but nervous and I just, really, really, wanted to be able to do it.  First bowl of the night went okay, the second was meh and the third was a flop….  On the drive home I analyzed class and what and why it got worse.  Sigh.  Would I ever be able to do it right?

farm fresh pottery

The next few classes went better, I made some bowls. Tried a utensil holder which will make, ahem, a lovely bowl…. Tried to pull handles which sucks and is no fun at all.  Thankfully, I only made one more mug….squat as it is.  But I made lots of awesome things that I’m really excited about, too.  You win some, you lose some!  Everytime I post a picture, people are so encouraging!

farm fresh pottery

It’s fun to go to class from week to week to see what’s come out of the kiln bisque fired and what’s ready to glaze.  And after it’s been glazed and fired, to see what your finished piece actually looks like.  Because you really never know….er, at least I don’t know!  I love the different reactions between glazes and the colour combinations.  And the ladies in class are so willing to share what combos are good, bad and otherwise.  Below are the first two bowls I made in class, all completed! Gotta say, I’m pretty pleased!

farm fresh potteryfarm fresh pottery

And then next week is the end of Tuesday Night classes.  I’ll miss the ladies who helped me along, shared their weeks with me and laughed at my frustration because they’ve all been there, too.

I’ve loved learning about pottery and having made some successful things.  I’ve learned that patience is a good thing and you can’t hurry things along.  I’ve learned that no matter how long you’ve been doing pottery, there is still lots to learn.  And apparently people never leave class….pretty sure I met some ‘lifers’ on King Street the past few Tuesday nights.

To be continued,


  • michelle mccann - March 2, 2016 - 2:19 pm

    i’ve loved seeing your creations each week … and you inspired me to sign up for classes, too! i can’t wait for march 30!ReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - March 2, 2016 - 6:18 pm

      I can’t wait to see what you create, Michelle! Be sure to share your creations with us, too! 🙂 ~LoriReplyCancel

  • Debbie MacLean - March 2, 2016 - 7:31 pm

    I also take lessons from Danielle…. I’m a Saturday morning though. She is awesome! Better than awesome actually lol! I have noticed some of your pieces because you know we all check out each other’s stuff! I wondered who belonged to the little sheep! You have done some very nice pottery and I agree…at the end of classes it’s a little sad because what am I going to do until they start up again?ReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - March 2, 2016 - 8:28 pm

      Hi Debbie – first off, thanks for the cuttings – Jake was thrilled! And secondly, are you a lifer with Danielle? How many sessions have you attended? ~LoriReplyCancel