Prospective Ceramics: Jules at the Wheel

EllenHeck_JuliannaCeramics3 First, an anecdote regarding that big-nosed man in the lower-right corner of my mom’s montage:  We were taught even at the earliest ages in the clay classes at Laguna Gloria to follow “The Rule of Thumb”, which is to say, “Do no allow any piece of your clay creation to exceed the width of your thumb in thickness.”  Because of this rule, that prominent proboscis had to be filled with a tight ball of newspaper.  Had I not conscientiously added nostrils, this would have been the last we ever saw of the daily edition; however, for almost a decade, if the mask – or even the wall on which it was displayed – shook for any reason, gray airy ashes would begin to sift from his sneezer.  :)

Now, middle of the three sisters mentioned in the previous post, Julianna has taken it to the next level.  Recently, when Jules was so nice to host me at Old Dominion, we spent a Saturday morning in the ceramics department. It was peaceful, and cool, and everything was covered in a layer of gray clay-dust.  Jules was hard at work at the wheel, making three symmetrical shapes for one of her first assignments (and I was very impressed with her ability to keep the chunk of clay in the center of that spinner).


Above is a view of one of the rooms in the ceramics studio and pictures and Julianna while she is throwing one of her three shapes.  (How she manages to get her hands to look that graceful in wet clay, I don’t know.)  Neither of us like the gritty feeling of the clay on our hands as it dries EllenHeck_JuliannaCeramics2 (or baking flour, or pastel on paper, for that matter), which might put a damper on its potential for a long-time occupation.  But while it lasts, I wanted to feature some of Jules’s great work.  However, adorably, her current work-in-progress is a planned Christmas present, so I can only give you all a small sneak-peek here.  This is only the greenware stage (when the clay is dry, but has not yet been fired.) I can’t wait to see how the glaze smooths itself over those hexagons.

Thus ends our posts on ceramics-related topics – for now at least. We may have more after Christmas! Have a great week!


  1. Melissa November 9, 2009

    The art of creating ceramics looks so therapeutic! I hope I can learn someday =) The work-in progress looks great! hope to see it when it’s done

  2. Muv November 9, 2009

    Here is fervent hoping that I am in the Christmas present loop!

  3. Marie-Jolie November 9, 2009

    I think pottery is inherently inspiring. There’s just something so earthy and raw about it… someday I hope to learn how!

  4. MamaOtwins+1 November 9, 2009

    My mom used to do a lot on the wheel – was even able to sell her stuff before she got sick.

    I always wanted to try it – but never got around to it.

  5. ellen November 9, 2009

    I always think throwing a pot should be therapeutic, but in reality I find it to be incredibly frustrating ! Mine usually go flying off the wheel and end up in a soggy lump on the floor. :)

  6. Helen November 10, 2009

    I hope we get to see the finished product after Christmas? I’m fascinated!

    Thank you for stopping by and for the lovely birthday wishes. xx

  7. Gabrielle November 11, 2009

    I love the pottery! One of my secret wishes, to be a wonderful potter!

  8. GMama November 14, 2009

    Jules: I would like to commission a cookie jar. xoxo GMama

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