Monday, 13 January 2014

Do Something Different

Sometimes, it's worth pushing the boundaries a bit, and playing with skills you don't usually use. That, plus an offer of an evening of good company in a bring-your-own setting, was what led me to take a train under the hill to Glazy Dayz on a couple of Friday evenings a little while ago.

Not only experts in the techniques involved in painting pottery and happy to offer friendly advice and tips, but well provided for with reference books and their own inspirational work, Glazy Dayz are open for pottery painting sessions on regular weekdays, but a whole range of special events, for everyone from babies to the fully-grown. Between Ladies Night and the (non-mandatory) themed Adult evenings, me and my friends are happily provided for, and the timing (7.00pm – 9.30pm) is such that we can easily and conveniently catch trains after an early dinner, or even straight from work.

As to the craft itself, I didn't hold out much hope for myself – I know I cannot draw, and expectations should therefore be kept low. Rachel is of course immensely talented, and her creations were properly artistic and beautiful...

Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of her work – not even before the firing, when the paints take on their glazed finish and end colour. (It is worth being very aware of the difference between what you paint onto the pot, and the final colour may surprise you, even though the paints are carefully numbered to match fired samples for reference.)

What you get to see, instead, is mine! My first attempt was a plate on which I wanted to try the scruffito effect of painting two layers, and then scratching the top one off – much like the foil pictures you can get from art shops.

Since there are only so many pots that a house can hold, I decided that my second tries should be small, and therefore picked a square and circular tile – minimal space taken up, and I had a plan. The circular one has become a coaster, but the square tile needed to perform a very specific function. Over the years, I have amassed rather a collection of small historic figures, all of which have sentimental value, but which have a frustrating tendency to gather dust, and to get knocked over at any movement of the monitor or printer on my desk. The solution? Paint a tile and blue-tack the figures to that, so that they gain stability, and can easily be moved as required!

It may not be my greatest artistic achievement, but as a way to spend an evening, I can highly recommend it. I've tried many many crafts, and some have become passions, others have become skills to be brought out when useful, and some are simply fun. I find it difficult to do things I don't think I'll be good at – I don't like being out of my comfort zone, and I generally have a wide enough skillset that I can stay within it – but I had a lot of fun, and I sometimes need to remind myself that fun can be a goal on its own.

Different can be intriguing, and fun, and interesting – what's been new for you recently?

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