Sophie has been coming to Nelson with us on Tuesdays for the past month. The older kids have Corazón rehearsal on Tuesdays, so I end up driving four teens to rehearsal and back. Fiona likes to come along for the pleasure of being out and about. I do the grocery shopping and run errands. Sophie usually likes to stay home and enjoy afternoons alone or with her friend Ali. But recently she’s been taking some pottery classes at Kootenay School of the Arts, so she’s been coming along on Tuesdays.

Sophie really likes working with clay. She’d done a series of kids’ clay classes four years ago and had always wanted to do more. She’d particularly hoped for a chance to learn to use a pottery wheel. The course for 8- through 13-year-olds at KSA seemed perfect. With a dozen or more pottery wheels on site, they promised to let the kids try out using them. The 8 – 13 age range proved sticky, though, since it included both Sophie and Fiona. And while Sophie had decided this class was definitely her thing, Fiona naturally wanted to be part of it too — Fiona is always keen to try anything! This is the one little corner of sibling rivalry in our family right now: Sophie really wants her out-of-home activities to be ventures in independence and a life apart from family. Having a little sister, even a precocious cheerful one whom you love, tagging along kind of ruins that feeling.

How fortunate, then, that it turned out the set of classes was being offered twice: once in January/February and once in March. Sophie took the first session. Fiona’s classes start next week.

Sophie’s instructor was very impressed with her work, but we hadn’t really seen what she was turning out until today. Here are the finished products:

I’d really like to see her continue with this interest. She obviously loves it. I think her pieces are awesome! The question is how we can support her in it, short of spending thousands of dollars on wheel and kiln. We have a couple of ideas. Time will tell.
Sophie at the wheel

8 thoughts on “Sophie at the wheel

  • February 23, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Those are amazing! My son and I did a pottery class a few years ago. I really should go again, I really enjoyed it.

  • February 23, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Beautiful pieces! I would think the bread oven could be considered a trial run for a kiln…
    I wish Sophie were closer. We live fairly close to a potter community called Jugtown. The ugly jugs or jugs with faces are created from clay dug right here on the riverbanks. The next town over is Seagrove. She might enjoy doing a google search and seeing some of the things coming out of those communities…

  • February 24, 2011 at 9:45 am

    those are really lovely! Perhaps she could open an Etsy shop to sell her wares and help support her clay habit =)

  • February 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    i think a wheel can be found for well under thousands of dollars. someone already suggested the bread oven their is also pit firings are something to look into. if she has any interest in other forms of pottery like slab work then all you need is clay and possibly glaze. i once took a class on alternative firing techniques and the pit firings didn't use glaze instead they wrapped pottery in copper wire and used wire to tie on cow patties and all sorts of random stuff and it made the outside amazing colors. i don't remember it well but it w as amazing. we also did a form of primitive pottery where we shined the clay with the back of a smooth spoon (burnished i think?) and then it was fired in a metal garbage can that had holes all over it and was filled with sawdust. for that firing we had to let the fired department know ahead of time because it makes a LOT of smoke.

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