New School Pottery: Falling in love with clay
I was smug walking into my first pottery class, thinking I would master it no prob. That was a humbling first session.
By Amy Valm
An ancient tradition formed out of practicality, pottery has gone through a metamorphosis since its conception from a place to stash water to fine art. It peaked in the ’70s as a pastime and we’ve got the speckled specimens to prove it. But there’s been a resurgence of pottery amongst young artists in the last few years, and it’s worthy of your attention.
I was smug walking into my first pottery class, thinking I would master it no prob. That was a humbling first session. It takes a lot of practice, patience and muscle memory to throw on the wheel. Eventually you take charge of the clay, but to start, it rules you. Despite my shattered ego, I immediately fell in love with the process. It’s a therapy, really. The way the clay moves between your fingers as you pull it up and push it back down to center, drawing out a shape and creating a thinner and thinner wall with each pull. You’re creating a useable piece of art that’s welcome at the dinner table and cherished on the mantle.
It’s so much more than just mugs and salad bowls. Pottery is a fine art of mixed textures, impressive glazing techniques and out-of-the-box hand building. We tip our hats to modern-day masters like Brooklyn's Helen Levi with her marbled creations, Brisbane’s Nicolette Johnson who designs stunning works of art and Copenhagen’s Tortus (aka Eric Landon) who now travels the globe teaching others his art. Can we please stop with the Ghost jokes, though?
— Amy Valm is currently studying pottery and has a 10-year plan to live in a bungalow where she will write and throw pots and not Instagram about it even once. She hates talking about herself in third person.