What it means to “throw a pot”?
To throw a pot, you have to go through four distinct steps. Centering, opening, pulling and trimming. Sound simple? It’s not. At least not to the untrained potter.
Pottery is an art form – an ancient one at that. The potter's wheel was invented in Mesopotamia sometime between 6,000 and 4,000 BCE but the art form itself dates even further back with hand-shaping and firing in bonfires. The art of transforming a small lump of clay into a vessel or a usable piece of art is fascinating, and you can experience the process firsthand.
In celebration of Culture Days, the Kingston Potter's Guild is holding an open house to perform demonstrations on the potter’s wheel and talk about the history and culture of making pots. They’ll also give folks a chance to try their hand at making a pinch pot or even trying the wheel itself.
Potter Patty Petkovich shared with us what it means to her to “throw a pot.”
Q: What is it about the culture of pottery that interests you so much?
A: I love that it’s been around for thousands of years and historically is one of the oldest crafts. We’re continuing to carry on an ancient artform. For me, I think it’s just such a lovely craft; it’s something that connects you with the earth and it’s also about making something that you can use on a daily basis - it’s this work of art that’s also useful and that will last you years and years. Or until you break it (laughter).
Q: What’s the best part about sitting at your wheel?
A: It’s really therapeutic! When you’re making a piece of pottery, the concentration that’s involved and the focus you give to the piece you’re working on takes you away from everything else; you just concentrate on your piece. It’s very peaceful, almost meditative.
Q: How do you feel after you`ve created a pot? What makes it special to you?
A: It’s all the thought and care that’s put into the piece when you make it, rather than having it massed produced. It brings you away from all the commercially produced things that are a dime a dozen.
Q: Why is the Potter’s Guild so intent on making sure the art of pottery is exposed to the community?
A: We’ve been in existence for almost 50 years and that is proof positive of its importance. We have a strong member base that’s already involved in the community. (The Potter’s Guild donates between 300 and 400 bowls each year for Martha’s Table’s Empty Bowls fundraiser as well as promotes pottery in the schools.) We want to be able to share what we do with the community. Plus, make sure they know it’s something that anyone of any age can enjoy!
The Kingston Potter’s Guild Open House takes place Saturday, September 28 from 11am to 5pm at 52 Church Street in Portsmouth Village. The studio is located in the old Harold Harvey Arena next to Domino Theatre! (Domino will also be hosting a Culture Days event so you can get two in one stop!)
For more information click here.