Last Saturday I took a pottery workshop at the house of Donna and Keith Taylor in Fairfield, about 30 minutes from here.
Keith Taylor is the president of the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society (SCSS) and has taught pottery workshops to SCSS members for the last couple of years. He is an accomplished potter and his creations are sought after by bonsai and caudiciform collectors worldwide.
Donna has been a potter most of her life and in recent years started to make a variety of objects out of recycled glass bottles. Visit her web site Melted-Bottle.com to see her wine bottle bowls, trays, and succulent containers.
Candy and Gerhard (photo by Keith Taylor)
I was one of three participants, the other being Candy of Sweetstuff’s Sassy Succulents and Anna of 4 Surya Garden. Candy and Anna focused on wall pocket planters for succulents and air plants while I made pots. Here are some photos of our combined output:
The white clay pots in the next photo are mine; the leaf-and-face wall pocket is Candy’s.
Here are my creations. The faces are from molds but the pots are all hand-shaped.
I may turn the faces into a mobile or wind chime
My favorite of the faces I made
Wall pocket made by Candy
Leaf patterns made with a metal tool designed to simulate fish scales
Finger nail pattern
Classic pinch pot
Letters from a box of alphabet noodles. The noodles will completely disintegrate during firing, leaving just the depressions.
Square pot with spiral decorations
Below is my pièce de resistance. It’s a very free-form pot made by pressing the rolled-out clay onto a railroad tie to make the pattern, forming a tube and then slamming the tube down on the table. Keith had demonstrated this technique, and while he got a very cool pot, I got something that looks like a dead tree stump from one of the Hobbit movies. Still, it’s unique and will work well as a planter for the right kind of plant. I’ll know what that is when I find it :-).
Donna and Keith will fire the pots when they’re dry and then we get to go back to their house to glaze them. I can’t wait!
Donna and Keith will teach more workshops at their house if there is enough interest. If you live in Northern California and would like to attend a workshop, please contact Donna at email@example.com. The workshops are reasonably priced and open to all skill levels. I have neither much skill nor experience, and see what I was able to make!