Sunday, September 25, 2016

DIY Pottery and Tea tasting, paper flower garlands

A few months ago I was standing in line at a craft supply store when I met Krista, of Krista Moll Photography. She was holding a stack of blank brown paper bags, and since the line was about 40 people long, I asked her what she was using them for. Her answer: a tea tasting event! I was intrigued. Turns out that Krista recently started conducting tea tasting events paired with yoga, and was planning a tea + pottery event! I started following her on Instagram and the rest is history. 
Click to read on about the pottery we made from clay!

We met up with Steph of Juniper & Lace and Krista to make a paper flower garland for the tea + pottery event and I really enjoyed working with such creative and kind people. These flowers were pretty easy to make, but took a cumulative 5-6 hours to make so many of them! We cut scrapbook paper circles, then cut a spiral from the outside in, leaving a small dot in the center to glue the spirals onto. Hold in place a few minutes with the glue and you have a 3-dimensional paper "rose"! 
Photo by Krista Moll

Photo by Krista Moll
They ended up looking really pretty strung up with twine in the wooden picnic shelter at Eno River state park for the pottery event.

At the tea tasting and pottery event, Krista and some other experienced potters walked us through the process of building our mug from a slab of clay, while we sipped on 6 different types of teas. Tea + working with my hands + Eno River State Park= a very relaxing Saturday indeed.

First we rolled out our slab of clay and cut out a rectangular shape, and shaved off a diagonal slice from opposite ends. At this point I pressed a piece of lace and a stamp into my clay to make a design. Others also used leaves and larger stamped quotes. It's important to press the lace/stamp firmly so that it shows up after the clay dries.

Then we scored the ends with a needle tool with tiny cross-hatch lines. We gently put the ends together so that the rectangle is now a cylinder (this sounds like a geometry class). 
Next, we pinched the bottom of the cylinder into 3 pointy legs and smoothed it out. On the side of the cup, we smoothed out the edges with a flat tool. I put a little triangular piece of clay to cover up the hole at the bottom and then smoothed it out so that the bottom is continuous.

Finally, the handle! I cut a narrow strip of clay, rounded it (with lots of help from the teacher), scored it with little cross-hatch marks and then attached it to the side of the mug.

This is how the mug looked after the initial firing and sanding! 

Pottery and tea tasting part two a few months later was for GLAZING our mugs! I agonized over the glaze colors beforehand and ultimately ended up doing Textured Turquoise (4 coats) on the outside of my mug, and sepia inside the mug (4 coats). 

Some of the glazed and unglazed mugs!

Glazed and fired mugs, ready for pick up

Upper and lower left photos: textured turquoise glaze on my mug! 
Lower right photo: The girl across from me did a pretty pink/orange glaze on just the top and bottom parts of her lace design.
Steph and I hard at work and tasting teas. Photo by Krista Moll
The final product after glazing!

For more photos taken by professional photographer Krista and to sign up for future tea + pottery events in Durham, click here

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