Take This Job & Love It: Unity Pond Pottery

Updated 3 years ago

If you have an idea for an up coming “Take This Job & Love It” email Chelsey at canderson@wabi.tv———–In this “Take This Job and Love It” Chelsey Anderson headed to Unity in search of a new job.She spent the day at Unity Pond Pottery, but did she get the job?————-Robert Esposito, Unity Pond Pottery: “This is a pug mill. It de-airs the clay and pushes it out into a log.”Robert: “We’re cutting for pates today.” Chelsey: “Okay.” Robert: “We throw the shape and then tomorrow we would put handles on, but that’s only if you’re hired.” (laughter)Robert: “Right there tells you how long it is and how to cut it.”So I measured out our clay and filled our cart to take over to the wheel.Robert: “In that same clip board it will tell you what size to throw under pate.” Chelsey: “4 1/2 by 3.”I watched on as Robert went to work.Robert: “So you get your bat.”Robert: “You get yourself a piece of clay.”Robert: “You want to get your clay nice and wet.”Robert: “So what you want to do first is center it.”Robert: “get it into the shape that looks like the size we’re talking about.”Robert: “And I just open up.”Robert: “See what I’m doing? I’m pinching the wall like that.”Robert: “So now when it’s straight like that again then I pull to the height.”I continued to watch on as Robert finished his pate, wondering how I would be able to do this.Chelsey: “I’m a little nervous. I’ve never done anything like this. The extent of my pottery experience has to do with the movie Ghost.” (laughter)But Patrick Swayze wouldn’t be helping me through this venture. I threw my clay on the wheel and Robert and I got to work.Robert: “Now lets spin her up.”Robert: “Little faster speed.” Chelsey: “Whoa! Whoa!” Robert: “Don’t be afraid.”Chelsey: “Okay.” Robert: “Yep. Now open your hands. Now that’s more or less centered.”Robert: “Now you want to start to open up. Put your thumbs down.” Chelsey: “Oh dear.” Robert: “Keep pushing them down.” Chelsey: “Okay. I am.”Robert: “Now we’re going to pull up.””Make your hands feel like they are coming in. See there you go.”Robert: “Open your hands.”Robert: “You’re going to be in like this and pull straight up.”Chelsey: “Oh dear. I think its getting wobbly.” Robert: “Come in.”Chelsey: “That’s not so good looking.” Robert: “Oh no. That’s perfect for your first try.”Robert: “Now lets take this pin tool.” “Hold it like this. Come in a little bit and make your beveled edge.”I used fishing line to clear the pate from the bat. Then I added red iron oxide to the top rim and a lavender to the middle. After glazing and firing they would turn gold and cobalt.Lastly I added what Robert calls squiggles to the colored areas.Chelsey: “That is so sad.” Robert: “It’s a great first start.”Robert had me make another one, completely on my own. I was hoping it would be better, but it was definitely worse! It was time to try my hand at something else.Wendy: “This is a candle lantern. And I use this little tool right here and I carve a design into the pot.”Wendy Esposito, Unity Pond Pottery: “I like to get as many designs as I can on a piece, so the light of the candle will shine through.”Wendy: “Okay, now you’re going to take the carving tool. And you’re going to do your own design.”Wendy: “Use the edge like this and do a quick flick of your wrist.” Wendy: “It’s not even caving in!” Chelsey: “Oh, that’s a good thing! I forgot it could do that.”Wendy: “Now that looks pretty full. So when you’re done you light your candle and it looks like fire.” Chelsey: “Oh, pretty.”Last I helped unload the kiln. And then it was time to find out if I got the job.Robert: “Well, you wouldn’t be hired to make pots on the wheel, but there were a lot of things that were positive about your experience with us.”Robert: “So you could be hired as an assistant.”———In September Unity Pond Pottery has an open house where you too can see things go on behind the scenes. To find out more visit: www.unitypondpottery.com


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