A Lesson in Pottery

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After a lot of searching, I finally went to a pottery course in Copenhagen. I used to do a bit of pottery a few years ago and I really wanted to pick it up again. I found Estet Studio through Googling and comparing the availability and prices of a few other studios in the area. Its located just 10 minutes away from Copenhagen Central Station, nestled in a quaint courtyard.

I was met with the pottery instructor at the door and led down into the small, but lovely studio lined with ceramic items on display and works-in-progress from a community of potters. I was welcomed with a cup of tea in a gorgeous homemade tea set and began to wedge the clay as the tea steeped. Since the 3-session course was a one-on-one instruction, he tailored the class to meet my (still very much beginner) level.

It felt amazing to get my hands back on a pottery wheel. There’s nothing quite like the tactile experience of working with clay.Pottery is as much physical as it is mental. your hands have to be steady and your mind focused, otherwise you might get a wobbly mess. However, wobbly messes are still wonderful and fun and are just part of the process of doing wheel thrown ceramics.

The first session, I ended up throwing two small cylinders to turn into cups later. The instructor helped me improve my centering, opening and pulling technique by guiding body positions, pressure, and speed. During the second session, I created two more pieces: another cylinder, and a shallow dish. The shallow dish was the result of one of my wobbly messes that we saved by cutting off the top of a bad cylinder and restarting by pulling from the leftover clay. At the last session, I trimmed the excess clay off the pieces to make them look nicer.

I left not only feeling more confident in my pottery skills, but inspired by the instructor, an expat from London with 10 years of pottery experience, a well-traveled musician, and sommelier. Throughout the sessions we had engaging conversations and I was pleased to be introduced into such a creative community in Copenhagen. In a week or so I’ll glaze my bisque-fired pieces and they will go through a final firing process to become finished pieces for me to take home and serve as physical reminders of the invaluable experience I gained.