Playing with clay… Week 2

Fred and I worked on our projects from the previous week… I need to be better about taking pictures, I don’t have even one of Fred playing with clay.


I’m slightly disappointed with the class. We have a very good instructor, I am just more of a structured learner and the class we chose is more of a free-for-all.

It is a mixed class. Lots of different levels and experiences and Fred and I are the novices in the class. I keep looking for specific instruction but get a more relaxed approach.

It’s okay, I’ll keep asking questions and learning via reading and practice. I like to know the why’s in addition to the how’s so this is a bit hard for me.

We have some really great classmates though. All pretty experienced and happy to share what they have learned. Two folks brought us books this past weekend. One is for us to keep, the other is to look at to see if it is something we want to purchase. How thoughtful was that?!

THERE ARE NO MISTAKES… just changes in design 😉

You may notice that one of my pots has a hole in it… Well, actually it has two holes.

When I scraped through the bottom I immediately said “crap” and then remembered Fred’s sage words about handcrafted items…

“There are no mistakes, just changes in design.”

Thank goodness, because my bowl just became a flower-pot (with drainage).

I’m experimenting too. Tried a little underglaze and some etching on the clay. Kind of excited to see how they turn out.

Fred tried a different type of clay this week. With two of us in class we each got to pick a bag of clay and decided to choose two different kinds so that we would have an opportunity to experience different things. Before the end of class we may pick up a third bag and try out the porcelain clay.

Right now we are using the pinch pot technique but my plan before the end of class is to learn a little about throwing pots on the wheel and at least trying to see what that feels like.

I finally thought of a project that I would like to attempt. I want to make a couple of Fire Bowls for Fred’s mom’s Koo.éex’ (memorial party) in October. I’ve been busy with project for that event and this would be a good use of my time.

Gankas’íx’i (Fire Dish)
This is done as soon as the meal starts. A member of the father’s clan of the deceased is usually called upon to “take the food” to the deceased at which time they will name one of their own deceased relatives stating it is their own deceased relative who is actually taking food to the person. Someone who returned from the dead once said that those on the other side still needed to be fed and in order to get food to them it had to be burned.

Bowls or dishes with food are given to the opposite clan and special guests. It used to be only certain ones received this now for some reason an effort is made to make sure everyone receives a fire-dish. At least two communities only have a dish for the deceased that is given to an honored guest, and no other dishes are distributed. This is not out of line with haa kusteeyí. A picture of the deceased is usually carried around to show the guests at this time by someone from the guests. Any container given must have something in it.

We are busy working on gifts for the guests of the Koo.éex’. I’m not sure how we are going to get all of this stuff up to Alaska but we will figure it out.

~ Molly

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Posted in Activities, Family
One comment on “Playing with clay… Week 2
  1. MECalvin says:

    Reblogged this on From our home … to yours and commented:

    Fred and I continue to work on our projects. Making progress.

    We started a business here in Washington that we plan on moving back up to Alaska when we go. Lovebirds Art & Design. That is why our work carries the ©LBAD2015 mark. Thought i would start practicing. 😉


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