I always find my kids making things — whether it be cardboard tube dolls, a shoebox spy gadget or a simple string of beads for accessories. It delights me and I support it. I admit, though, that encouraging them to be makers means I have to be okay with all the mess. I’m working on it, promise. At the same time, I’m also always on the lookout for ways to help cultivate their creativity not only at home but elsewhere. There’s only so much I can teach them, really, and I’m discovering that learning new things alongside them makes for really memorable experiences. So every few weeks, we go on little art adventures or studio visits where we are all able to discover something new together.
Last week, we visited our friend Mansy and Hey Kessy Pottery where the girls got their hands dirty molding and forming plates, bowls, spoons and other random sculptures using stoneware clay. They’ve worked with play dough and air dry clay before but this is an entirely new process that requires a kind of discipline and attention to detail that made it not only a creative activity but a character building exercise as well.
Mansy guided them through every detail of it. She went over what materials and tools to use, how the kiln works, how to properly knead the clay and the different methods of pottery. The steps were specific but the kids were given the freedom to make whatever they wanted.
Kneading the clay was a challenge and naturally they got a little frustrated when they couldn’t form some pieces into the exact shape they wanted. But over all, with a little assistance, they got into it easily and enjoyed every moment.
Emma made a bowl with floral impressions and a multi-layered burger. Summer made a small plate and a spoon. Jo made a plate too, and something totally random which she claims is a spaceship couch! I also joined in the fun and made a few pieces for myself.
Now we have to wait patiently for the next session where we get to color and glaze what we made. We’re quite excited and we’re hoping our work turn out just as we hope they would!
Big thanks to (Tita) Mansy for patiently teaching us the basics of pottery and for showing us that making pretty things involves getting our hands a little dirty sometimes.
Hey Kessy Pottery is conducting a number of basic pottery workshops this July for both kids and adults. If you’re interested, simply follow @heykessypottery on Instagram or go right ahead and sign up for classes here.