One of my favorite girl’s nights is to drive 20 minutes down the road to my Aunt Tena’s pottery studio.
Although she teaches with kindness, patience, and a humility that might lead you to believe she simply does this for a hobby, Tena is quite famous in the pottery world.
Her beautiful dishes are used by the most exquisite of restaurants from here to London, have been featured in multiple national magazines, and even on Iron Chef America, when local chef Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club defeated Bobby Flay.
To be taught by the best – and have fun doing it? A fantastical experience.
We had a great group of bloggers come to check out Tena’s studio, and we all looked really clean before we started.
(And somehow avoided the “after” shot all together.)
Another artist, Nabeel, was also on hand, offering one-on-one training to each of us.
Not to say that I’m an expert. I spent most of my time trying to keep my clay on the wheel instead of on my elbows,
Cheating off of my neighbor’s work,
And trying to explain to everyone that kept asking me “how do I do this?” that I HAVE NO IDEA – this talent is clearly not genetic.
We spent our time divided between the potter’s wheels and making “pinch pots” by hand, all of which will be fired and glazed and magically transformed into beautiful works of art.
But until that happens, here’s me and my somewhat second-grade looking art project:
Oh, its going to look fabulous when it comes out of the kiln…
Notice how everyone else’s pinch pot has texture and character and shape…
Perhaps it was because they were all laughing and talking and paying no attention to what they were doing…
Or perhaps it was just beginner’s luck.
Then again, they also all seemed to have better luck on the wheels than I,
Focusing on creating symmetry,
Perfectly shaped bowls,
And – oh I’m getting a complex!!
At least Jamie was there, who also felt the need to shamefully hide her work.
But in the end, everyone ended up with beautiful creations that will be made even more fabulous by Tena’s glazes.
….and had a WHOLE lot of fun doing it.
We got to tour Tena’s warehouse,
and shop her “atypical” (and deeply discounted) area.
I bought two beautiful platters, and I’m still trying to find their atypicalnesses – they look perfect to me.
Tena also bestowed upon us gifts – a beautiful square dish created to be the perfect depth for an olive oil dipping sauce (or as I discovered later, a salad) – as well as one to give away to you (but I’ll get back to that).
The very next night, I used my two new platters, my gift dish, and three pieces of Tena’s pottery that I had previously purchased combined with a take-home meal from Nabeel’s, creating a perfectly Greek, perfectly local, perfectly beautiful meal for Chris and I.
(The colors of Tena’s plates make me so happy.)
Tena offers Girl’s Nights Out for $35 per person, and six week pottery lessons for $165. The lessons meet weekly for two hours, plus all of the practice time that one desires. And if you mention my blog, you get a $15 discount on the classes!
As I left Monday night, I was already ready for more, so I went ahead and booked a Girl’s Night – for which any of you local enough are welcome to join me! It will be on Monday, October 22, from 6-8pm, and the cost is $35. Everyone gets lessons and the opportunity to make some awesome pottery. If you’d like to come, let me know as soon as you can (via comments or email – graspingforobjectivity at gmail dot com), because there are only 15 spots available, and 5 have already been claimed!
So now. I know you’re all waiting for the giveaway - right?
I brought home one of those fabulous plates for you. Your plate is a deep olive with speckles of bright blue. Isn’t it gorgeous??
If you’d like to win it, simply leave a comment below. For extra entries, you may do one or all of the following:
- Like Earthborn Studios on Facebook or follow Earthborn Studios on Twitter.
- Like Cahaba Clayworks on Facebook.
- Visit Tena’s online store and tell me your favorite piece.
- Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.
- Tweet, Facebook, or Blog about this giveaway.
Be sure to leave separate comments for each of your entries! This giveaway will be open until Monday, September 10. I will announce the winner Tuesday, September 11 on my Giveaway Winners Page.
Disclaimer: As mentioned, I was given a piece of pottery and the opportunity to go to this event. Also, I suppose you could call me biased because Tena is my Aunt. But did you SEE how beautiful her work is? Who couldn’t be excited about that?! That’s what I thought. My opinions are always my own.