Online Hand Building Pottery With Kibo Studio

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Kibo studio handbuilding pottery fired pieces

I enrolled myself in a virtual hand building pottery class earlier in January. I had no prior experience, nor did I have any expectations; I just wanted to try something new. It was my friend Sher who encouraged me to try it out with her, and I obliged. Time to exercise my openness to new experiences muscle. : - )

Hand building pottery with Kibo Studio

The class was held on a Saturday afternoon; I cleared my work table and set the materials neatly on top. I also wore my favorite floral top, since it was via Zoom and I wanted to be prepared in case there would be any class introductions. 

Lo and behold, we did have one! But it was a pleasant round robin of introductions, one wherein we shared about our passions, who we were outside the 8-5 (or whatever profession we had), and our hopes for the new year.

Our instructor, Reine, was patient and listened intently to everyone's sharings. She even added her own insights, which made it feel much like a candid conversation. I found myself in a safe and intimate space, even while in reality, I was just at home and everything I'm hearing and seeing was through a screen. 

After the introductions, we then proceeded to working with our clay. Reine explained and showed to us how to mold and knead it. The cool and smooth texture of the clay felt foreign to me at first, but I gradually became acquainted with it, as I began shaping the base then the body of what seemed to resemble a cup. 

Hand building pottery with Kibo Studio

Hand building pottery with Kibo Studio

I remember what Reine shared with us, which was that clay is forgiving. We can shape it into what we like, and if we end up not liking it, we can try again. And again, and again. It reminded me that I didn't always have to get everything right on the first try. 

After the zoom session, I planned out my after work activity for the coming week, which was to play with clay. I had no concrete goal in mind, but I just intended to get in the zone of slowly creating pieces that I knew would bring joy for me. I would sit on my floor, sprawl out the materials, listen to a playlist, and just spend my time with clay. 

Surely, it was messy, yet it reminded me also of working with oil pastels, wherein at first I have to admit I wasn't too comfortable with getting my hands dirty with the colors, but it was fun. I felt like my mind would be transported elsewhere entirely, as I drown out any other thought in my head, and allowed myself to just focus in the moment of creating something. 

Kibo studio handbuilding pottery bone dry pieces

Kibo studio handbuilding pottery bone dry pieces

This is how it looked like while bone dry. I made a planter, cup, tray, and two palettes for painting. I finished them all by March. The process really did take time, especially with waiting for the pieces to become bone dry. I've had to wait 2-3 weeks until I noticed that they changed in color, and that they were already cool to the touch. 

I did change my mind a couple of times on some of the pieces; I've had to spend time molding them again. It was well worth it though; I knew the process should not be rushed. I'd rather spend more time on it rather than produce half baked pieces. 

I then packed them up and sent them to the studio to be glazed and fired. I felt like they were my children; I initially didn't want to part with the bone dry pieces. I feared they might break during transit or explode while inside the kiln.. but they had to be fired in order to reach their full potential, which is to become useful ceramics. 

It was a long process; it took me about a month and a half to receive my fired works, but it was to be expected due to the volume of works that needed to be fired. Much like with every good thing, patience was key. Here they are after: 

Kibo studio handbuilding pottery fired pieces

Kibo studio handbuilding pottery fired pieces

Kibo studio handbuilding pottery fired pieces

Ever since I received these pieces, I've kept them close to me; I let them stay on top of my work table for over a week just so I could look at them from time to time and feel a creative spark. They are not perfect, but I love them. 

I hope you enjoyed reading through my experience, as much as I enjoyed writing them. As I wrote this entry, I was amazed to be looking back at months' worth of memories. If you are interested to join a class, visit @kibostudioph on Instagram!  

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Have you tried pottery before, or any sort of clay art? In addition to experiencing this online class, I also went ahead and experimented with air dry clay wherein I didn't have to send it for firing in a kiln. I'll be writing more about it next weekend, please look forward to it!

Hope your weekend is lovely, dear reader.

8 comments

  1. It sounds like such a lovely experience! Also your creations turned so well!

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    1. It truly was :) it was nice to be in the company of other kindred souls, albeit virtually. I was so relieved to find that they were all in one piece when they came back home. It's really different when you get to have an in-person session, but I'm glad things worked out, despite the delay in waiting. It's still a one of a kind experience :)

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  2. This is really cute! I wanna try pottery classes :))

    beyond beneathk

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    1. Thank you, Fiona! And go for it :) I encourage you to do so; the process is therapeutic and the outcome is fulfilling. :")

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    1. That's great, Julie! I think it's good to experience it. :)

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  4. I love your creations! I like that they're one theme (plants, right?) so they feel very cohesive with one another. The colors they painted it with are very nice too!! <3

    I always wanted to try pottery since the start of the pandemic. I binged pottery videos and artist vlogs on youtube for like months because of it. Sadly, there's no pottery studio or kiln near me :(

    — Dems, not a diary

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    1. Thank you, Dems! And yes, you're right, the theme is nature :)

      You could try air dry clay, wherein you won't need a kiln. It won't be durable as the ones fired in a kiln, but I'd say the process is still quite the same, except it just dries by itself after a few days :") I'll be writing about my air dry clay experience this weekend. Hopefully it could give you some inspiration and ideas :D

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