My fascination with clay began when at age 14 my friend and I signed up to a pottery class at our local art centre.
It was her idea...I reluctantly agreed!
My friend and I spent our entire childhood together as two total mish-mashes! She was bold and bubbly, whilst I was quiet and inward - my mum still declares that we 'evened each other out!'
She was hyper intelligent and got bored easily, so she'd forever dream up new elaborate plans for us to try and think of new places to go. Whereas I was content at home and would happily remain there to play out all these new things in my safe little world!
Thankfully, she had none of it and dragged me along with her to test out new ideas - this time it was 'lets make pots!'
This was one of her plans I liked the sound of, but the thought of entering a new class full of people I didn't know made me cringe and want to recoil back to safety!
You see, back then I was painfully shy and [even more] socially awkward but I'd usually relent and tag along with her anyway, then quickly wonder what I'd made all the fuss about!
And I'm so glad she nagged and I gave in, because not only was I indeed fussing over nothing, but it was here that I was introduced to clay and became instantly hooked on this simple yet complex material, with it's tactile nature and endless possibilities!
That one nudge out of my comfort zone ultimately shaped my life and 16 years later, following a Foundation, Degree and Masters, clay still has me gripped - Alongside painting and my dog Moby that is!!
Now that I'm making a full time living from art, I regularly feel the need to pinch myself that my 'job' is to facilitate these same introductions between people and material. I am humbled that I get to assist in their journeys with the creative process and hear their concerns change from;
'I don't have a creative bone in my body' or 'I can't draw/paint/sculpt'
to a few hours/weeks/months later,
'I was dreaming about using this material/creating this artwork last night', and 'I can't believe I sold a piece' or 'I'm setting up a studio at home.' and 'I can't believe I created this.'
It is such a joy to facilitate.
Want to try clay?
I teach ceramics across Northern Ireland through day courses, weekend retreats and term time classes so if you're located nearby, check out my in-person teaching classes to give it a go or if you're group would like a try, contact me for availability.
But if you can't make a class physically, don't worry, I've put together a freebie if you'd like a few tips on making little figures.
This FREE guide gives you:
- 10 actionable tips that can be easily implemented
- 8 bonus add on tips
- 2 proportion guides
- Template on body shapes
- 12 behind the scene photographs.
Check them out, I'd be honoured to help you try clay: