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My New Hobby: Pottery

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A few weeks ago I decided to tick yet another bucket list item off the list and found the perfect pottery studio in Noordhoek, Cathrine’s Creations. Cathrine has been doing pottery since 1985 so she definitely knows what she’s doing. I didn’t want it to be another studio where you simply paint pre-made items, so I did some research and went off.

The drive to Noordhoek is about 30 minutes from home but the class starts at 10:30 so it was a leisurely Saturday morning and a beautiful drive out. I took my mom and aunt along for the drive and we were greeted by an absolute gem of a person! Cathrine is as radiant as she is knowledgeable in her craft.

The first class was learning to understand and get myself familiar with the clay. I remember making a comment regarding rolling out dough as I did at a bread baking class and she taught me something interesting, with baking bread you normally aim to add air into the dough so the bread or pastry is light and fluffy; with clay, the aim is to remove the air (bubbles) out of the clay.

Having a teacher that is visibly passionate about pottery, dedicated to teaching the best techniques and so incredibly patient is certainly a gift in itself. After rolling out about a 1kg ball of clay, I proceeded to make two little bowls, I used stamps, paints and other little tools to craft the bowls as creatively as I could and before I knew it, it was almost three hours later. From the delicious tea and biscuits to the warm, light conversation in a creative studio, it was the perfect morning.

Fast track to this past weekend, I finally got to mess on the pottery wheel for the first time! This has been on my bucket list for years and I was finally ready to craft something. I had a picture of what I wanted to ‘throw’ and without hesitation, I cut my clay to about 1kg and sat at the wheel for the first time…

Cathrine helped me every step of the way, guiding my hands and allowing me to find my way with confidence. It’s an incredible way of teaching independence but still being right there, willing to assist, guide and teach so I never felt uncertain or confused. It is such a therapeutic craft, a creative process where you’re not entirely sure what you want to create until a point in the process where it simply finds direction. I knew I wanted to create a flower pot…but the shape was up for debate. My pot changed numerous times and then towards the end, I stuck to a rounded design with a classic, not too fancy design.

Understanding the textures of the clay and the wheel and using our hands to shape and mould it into something is pretty cool, to say the least. So I started on another pot and it turned out completely different to the first one. During the process, it was a mug, then a very abstract milk jug and then finally a really cool, ribbed flower pot/ vase. You just never know what you’re going to end up with but the process itself is so soothing to the soul.

I daydream about sitting in my garden on a sunny day, music playing and creating cute little clay goodies. I’m looking forward to creating a bunch more pots, bowls and everything in between. The journey has only just begun:)

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