Friday, February 12, 2010

Art Anyone???

We do not consider ourselves to be artistic people. Not even a small streak of this sort of creativity resides within our brains, genes or inclinations. We can’t fathom how all 3 of our children have such well-developed artistic skills in one area or another. Nonetheless, when Xochitl and MaryZonia, the Mexican sisters we met in the town of San Antonio at the Cultural Center suggested we return and try our hand at pottery, Cathryn agreed. Today was the day.

We arrived at the Cultural Center at 9:30 and were met by MaryZonia who told us Xochitl would not be present today. MaryZonia proceeded to conduct a private pottery lesson for Cathryn that lasted 4 hours! MaryZonia first showed her how to knead the clay to eliminate air bubbles, then how to use the “pinch method” of molding clay to make a small tray-like item (see photo). Next she instructed Cathryn in the “coil” method of making a small bowl, then in the same method of making two identical bowls and combining them to make a vase. There was no potting wheel in use – it was all done by hand with only very basic “tools” to assist. We were both astonished that a first lesson could produce products that, while not elegant or sophisticated, would also not be a source of embarrassment. Cathryn ended up making one small tray-like item, one small bowl, and one small round flower vase. MaryZonia gave her some clay to take home to make an additional item. All the items will be allowed to dry for 3-4 days, then fired. No paint or ceramic material is used, so they’ll remain in their natural clay state (like terra cotta items you find for outdoor flower pots). Cathryn was so enthralled with the process and products she actually mentioned the possibility of a community college course in her future. Vamos a ver!!!

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