The Birdbath: A Work in Progress

I’m slowly working my way through the challenges presented in the British reality TV series, “The Great Pottery Throwdown.” My friend and pottery studiomate, Stef, are calling it our Wee Pottery Throwdown.

The first challenge was five nesting bowls. That one took me several tries. I had to throw about ten bowls to get five that nested nicely.

The second challenge is a birdbath, and I had a false start with that one, also. I threw a large platter starting with five pounds of clay. I liked the shape I ended up with but I decided it wasn’t wide enough, and the sides were flatter than I intended. I was going for that classic wide bowl birdbath shape, like this one:

What I ended up with was definitely more of a plate. I decided to make a decorative wall hanging with a witchy steampunk energy.

I was really happy at how it turned out. It’s hanging on my wall now.

I have been back at the studio and I’m taking another crack (poor choice of words given the pottery context) at the birdbath challenge. I started with more clay this time, closer to ten pounds. I got the bowl shape I was aiming for!

This week I added fish for decorative effect. I’m hoping it will look nifty when it is full of water.

I used a fish mold that I found on Etsy. I think it’s supposed to be used to make resin jewelry or maybe for candy making. I got it to work with the porcelain clay, though. After some trial and error. Though, I still have some cleaning up to do before I fire.

Now I need to decide if I will throw a stand or buy a metal one and balance the bath on top. Then I’ll need to figure out how to glaze it! That’s assuming it survives the firing, of course.

Wish me luck!

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and stepmom. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. My essay "The Red Rock Chronicles" was published in Contemporary West magazine. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my family and our Goldendoodle. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

One response to “The Birdbath: A Work in Progress

  1. Gina Weaver


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