There is an art centre in my city; it’s only a short bike ride from my house. I’ve lived in Bunbury full time for over a year now and I’ve been saying I should go and do one of their classes for about the same amount of time! A four hour evening class making Egyptian clay beads sounded interesting, I’ve never made anything like that before. So after work I pedalled over to the Stirling Street Arts Centre to play with some clay.
It was great fun. Our tutor, Davida had already mixed the clay and pigment in little zip lock kitchen bags and so all we had to do was add some water and squish the bags to mix it into a paste. Egyptian paste is a clay and pigment mixture so it doesn’t need glazing afterwards.
We made two colours, cobalt carbonate, which makes a deep darker blue and copper carbonate which gives a bright turquoise blue. The paste is a muddy, clay colour when it’s wet and changes when fired. My pieces that were supposed to be turquoise turned a bright silver colour, which was rather unfortunate and I’m not sure why it happened. I’m going to take the class again (I need to make more of these lovely things) and I’ll ask about it then.
I made plain beads, some flower shaped beads that I’d like to turn into jewellery and some little birds I want to turn into hanging ornaments. My favourite of all are the buttons. Our tutor had some she had made amongst the examples she had to show us and they were gorgeous, so I made some too. The colour and the texture are so beautiful for buttons. They were easy to make and to get a bunch of them about the same size.
This class really sparked my imagination. I found I enjoyed making things from clay so much I want to do a beginners ceramics course and make allsorts of lovely things!