For many years I've wanted to take a Raku class but could never fit it into my schedule. So you can imagine how happy I was when I finally got in. As I walk into the Craft Center I'm filled with familiar memories, but it was also a bit disorienting. It has been a few years since I last took a class and the ceramics studio has moved while while the old one gets renovated. There are several people in the class that appear to be old friends, they seem like they have been taking pottery and Raku classes together for years. I was concerned at first that that they may be a bit clicky, but instead everyone is friendly and helpful. The class includes a friend of mine from the high school and another grad student. Ginny Gillen is our short dread locked instructor; she is very warm and approachable; a little earth mother. She gives us a short introduction to Raku and then proceeds to give a demonstration on how to make a pinch pot into a sphere, a closed container, or rattle. Several of us begin to make our own pinch pots while some of the old timers work on their slab vases and platters. I try throwing a few small containers. I was lent some Raku clay and was warned that it is particularly gritty and ruff on ones hands when thrown. The grog filled clay was abrasive but I was able to throw three small containers. A good beginning.
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