For many, summer is a time to fine tune hobbies and take classes for enjoyment.
For the small group of potters gathered at the city of Columbia’s Art Center on a recent rainy evening, it’s a chance to share ideas and catch up with friends who have a common interest.
“We’re an eclectic bunch,” said Jeannie Lindler, as others gathered around the table overflowing with sculpting tools and bags of clay chuckled where they sat.
Lindler first became interested in working with clay after taking a class with her daughter years ago. She now comes to the studio about four times a week as part of its “open studio” plan.
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“It’s an addiction,” she said, as she sat pressing a small square of clay into a mold.
Recent projects include tiles for her kitchen’s backsplash, but her real love is crafting houses and other structures such as barns and outhouses. In fact, the funky little outhouses were a big hit recently with friends and family.
As Lindler explains, some in the room are throwers, meaning they prefer to work on the potter’s wheel while others, such as herself, are handbuilders.
Across the room, instructor Adele Chase, a longtime potter, was getting ready for the center’s Throwing for Beginners class. Chase, who was adding intricate detail to a bowl of her own, said introducing others to pottery has been rewarding.
“It’s made me a better thrower,” she said, as she set the bowl aside and began slicing up evenly-sized chunks of clay for the class.
Richard Lund, who works as a graphic designer by day, said working in clay has allowed him to be creative in a different way. Before him sat the graceful body of a horse almost ready to go into the kiln.
It takes seven years to become proficient in throwing or handbuilding, one potter in the group said. Lund, who has been working with clay for about four years, still considers himself a beginner.
“I’m still learning,” he said.