Amputee woman making pottery bowl. How to make a ceramic bowl, my amputee pottery experience
Amputee Life

How to Make a Ceramic Bowl: My Amputee Pottery Experience

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My amputee pottery idea began during a recent trip to a local art studio.  A couple of months ago, Megan, Michael and I went to an art studio http://www.artescapenh.com to paint.  Make sure you check out that experience at My Venture Into Painting

We had such a good time, we looked into some of the other opportunities that they had available.  One of the choices was working on a pottery wheel.  The owner was explaining that she has a customer who is a young child without hands that works on the wheel and does a beautiful job.  The amputee pottery experience seed was planted.

My amputee pottery adventure:  Let’s do it!

So one day, not too long ago, Megan said: “Mom, let’s go throw some clay on that pottery wheel”!  I’m always open to trying new things so my reply was, ” Let’s do it!  It will be fun to see what a bowl made by an amputee with no hands looks like”! 

Amputee woman making pottery bowl

When we arrived, there were 2 small wheels set up on a table against the wall.  The instructions on how to make a clay bowl were hanging on the wall, in addition to three different sized bowls.  The step-by-step guide included instructions like add water, push with your right hand, pull with your left and crank your speed up to 75 mph (or something to that effect).  The instructions were somewhat complicated.  This is when the laughing started.

Immediately, my mind started thinking of the beautiful art that we were going to create.  How hard could it really be?  We were going to make a bowl with the clay.  However, we were making that bowl without hands…Eek!

Initially, I thought Megan and I would each make our own bowl.  However, thankfully she opted to help me.  I’m so grateful she did.  If you’re imagining the love scene from the movie, “Ghost”, get that thought out of your mind.  Let me tell you that for the two of us beginners, it didn’t seem to matter if you had hands or not. In our case, we had 2 hands and 2 arms and we still couldn’t make it work. Neither one of us could make a bowl. We laughed so hard that we couldn’t focus on that bowl.

At one point, I was pushing and Megan was pulling.  A couple of times we called the attendant over for help.  Her best advice was ” I think you should start over”!  More laughing.  It’s interesting to note that the attendant wasn’t laughing.  Thankfully she gave us aprons before we started because we were getting clay everywhere. 

Every once in awhile Megan would wash her hands enough to be able to take pictures. We knew you’d want proof of this fiasco.  Finally, we grew tired of our lack of success. We started over with the intent to create something that resembled a bowl, no matter what it looked like.  This was our last effort because we were frustrated.  Within an hours time, we created our version of a bowl.  It was time to leave.  We diligently cleaned up our mess.  The shop would take care of firing the bowl in their kiln and we should hear from them when it was done in 1 to 2 weeks. 

Fast forward 3 weeks and we still hadn’t heard from the shop.  When we called, we were assured that the bowl was done and ready for painting.  There was simply a mix up in communication. 

The other day, Megan and I went back to the shop to get our bowl with the intention to paint it.  Honestly, I was surprised that it didn’t blow up in the kiln because of the fact that there were some thin sides and I didn’t figure it would survive the firing.  It wasn’t pretty, however, we were told it would look far better once it was painted.

Amputee woman painting clay bowl

We chose purple with black speckles on the outside and green for the inside.  Then Megan painted a purple heart on the bottom inside.  As I did, when I painted last time we went there, I put the paintbrush inside of my stylus holder that I have strapped to my arm.  Once it was painted we left it there for another firing in the kiln.  It would take up to a week.  

Today was the day, we picked up the finished product from my amputee pottery experience.  I was so thankful to see how great it turned out for a first-time ceramic bowl made by an amputee and her beautiful daughter.  I’d love to hear your comments.  Additionally, if you have further ideas of projects or adventures I should try, please leave them in the comments below.

Daughter with amputee mother holding clay bowl

 

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37 Comments

  1. Half the fun was a memory built with your daughter!! Love that you don’t allow the circumstances of life to control you, which is very inspiring! Have you thought of painting on canvas? My husband was a forequarter amputee and his attitude and determination never ceased to amaze all who knew him! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Norma,
      Yes, I painted on canvas, with my children in fact. Look for the blog post, My Venture into Painting. It was a great experience, working with the clay as well as painting, mostly because of the company I was with.

  2. I love your bowl Wendy and I love the experience you had with Megan. Laughter is such a great way to get through any experience! You should definitely do more with clay. One time in never enough. Keep going, playing, creating, and laughing!

    1. Hi Maryann!
      Wow, it’s been a long time. So nice to hear from you. Thanks for your feedback. We will definitely have to try clay again. Next time, though, I might just paint something that’s already made.😉

    1. Hi Sara,
      Thank you so much. We had a wonderful time and are very please with the result. Although, I’m still not sure with what to do with it yet. Next time we go, I’m thinking of painting a pre-made ceramic. It’ll be new and different.

    1. Thank you, Summer. What a great way of looking at it, “imperfect pottery”. Do you think they would make great gifts? Maybe!

    1. Yes, Sarah, we were pretty pleased with the results. Before we painted it, I was thinking that it was pretty messed up, but the paint made all all the difference in the world.

  3. Wendy,
    Thanks for sharing your pottery experience. You and your daughter are good sports. Is it something you would try again? You are always trying new things, so I can’t wait to read about your future adventures!
    Lisa

    1. Thank you, Lisa, we might try it again. It was definitely challenging, however. I can’t wait to see what our next adventure looks like too.

    1. Hi Candi,
      It was definitely a fun bonding experience. My daughter is great at encouraging me to try new things. In fact, my whole family is.

  4. You GO! What a fun experience for both you and your daughter! I would be thrilled to create something like that – perfect for a little catch-all on the bathroom counter or bedside table! 🙂

    1. It was a really fun experience and we laughed so much. I haven’t figure out what to put in it yet. The main consensus is candy but that’s a dangerous thought, haha.

      1. I love that you laughed and had a great time with your daughter. Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder.. that bowl must be gorgeous because it was made with love and laughter between a mom and daughter! Xoxo

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