Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Learning!

This Spring, as a fundraiser for the school, the PTA again offered parents a variety of continuing education classes.  In the Fall, I took the Thai Cooking and Interior Design classes and liked them so much that I signed up for two 8 week classes for this session - ceramics and Pilates.

The ceramics class met for the first time last week and I really like it! The instructor is one of the elementary school art teachers and we will meet in her classroom once a week for 1 1/2 hours.  She has all of the supplies and tools set up for us so we are ready to go the minute we walk in the door.  There are two other women in the class so we have quite a bit of one on one time with the instructor.  Our first lesson was in using stamps/molds (really anything that will leave an impression on the clay) to add design and texture to the piece of clay that we are using for our piece.  Last week, I made (well, began the process for) a picture frame and two small dishes.  

The instructor fired those pieces for the first time over the weekend.  Before the pieces (in the photos below) were fired, they were the color of ebony (or, in ceramics lingo, "green").  After being fired for the first time, they are considered to be in the "bisque" phase (as shown in these photos).  I forget what the final phase is called. 

My "larger" plate (about 5" x 7").

My picture frame.
Close ups of the detail on the frame.
My smaller (3" x 4") plate.
This week, I made a very large footed platter which the the instructor will fire sometime this week.  In future classes, we will learn how to make a small vase, a large vase and a bowl, as well as an item of our own choosing.  After all of the pieces have been formed and fired once, she will teach us how to glaze and/or underglaze (different techniques to add color) the pieces.  After the pieces are glazed, they will be fired for a second time and we will be able to take them home.  So, not only am I learning a new skill but I also get some new pieces for my decor!  

I am not as thrilled about my Pilates class as I expected to be.  In my never-ending quest to find a cross training activity that will complement my running and strength training, I thought I would try Pilates.  After our first session ended, I felt like I did not even exert myself.  In fact, I think I didn't even break a sweat.  Maybe the instructor went easy on me because it was my first time taking the class and she wanted to familiarize me with the exercise.   Anyway, I have 7 more sessions and hope it gets a little more strenuous so I can continue on with it next year.  If not, I think I might try yoga again.  There are quite a few instructors in Nichada and classes are offered on all days & times either at the gym or in private studios so it will be very convenient.  

Have a great Thursday!

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