I'm not really one to share what I got for Christmas in a giant post, since I feel like Christmas should be more about giving to others than showing off what you got for yourself, but I do want to share with you a few presents that I gave to people, because several of you have wanted to see everything I made in my ceramics class at school. This still isn't all the stuff I made, but they are most of the things I gave as gifts to people. Ever since I was really little, I loved making gifts for people, and I think it's safe to say that these were the best handmade gifts to date.
I will be so much more appreciative any time I eat off of a plate or drink from a mug, because there is a lot of effort that goes into making a piece of pottery. If you're making something on the wheel (which most of my pieces were), you have to be extremely careful with the clay, especially if you're making a tall piece. I mostly used recycled clay because I didn't want to spend extra money buying new clay, so little air bubbles or pieces of gravel made working with the clay extra hard. Plus you always have to keep in mind that the form will eventually shrink, so you always need to make your pieces a little bit bigger than what you actually want. And if you're crazy like me and are wanting to make a ton of pieces exactly the same, you're up for quite the challenge.
Once you get the top of the piece formed, you have to wait several days until it's mostly dried, and then you take it back to the wheel to form the bottom. After doing that (and not poking a giant hole through your mug or bowl), then it has to dry completely before it goes into the bisk. After the piece comes out of the bisk, you can then glaze it! This is my favorite/least favorite part. Least favorite because you never really know how the colors will turn out, even after doing sample pieces and a million different combinations (and different ways of painting it on the clay ... I learned the hard way that hand painting a color on will make it be a completely different color from just dipping the piece in the liquid). It's my favorite part though because the piece is totally transformed after it comes out of the kiln after being glazed. I've made some ugly pieces that I ended up liking after they were changed by the glazes.
But with all the complications, ceramics is definitely a very fulfilling medium. I'll have to show you guys the other things I made that are back in Oregon, like my teapot and matching teacup. Sadly, Intermediate Ceramics didn't fit into my schedule this upcoming semester, but hopefully next year I'll be able to take another class, because I'm now obsessed and want to make pottery for the rest of my life.