During this class, all pieces were hand built, no wheel used. I'm very interested in throwing on a wheel, so I think I'll try to find a class that focuses on that technique next. The class was called a fiber pottery class because we applied fiber-be it human hair, dog, cat or alpaca hair- to some of the pieces immediately after they were removed from the kiln. Once the fiber touched the object, it would burn and carbonize onto the piece, making neat, squiggly designs. There really is an art to it because if you put too much fiber on at one time it forms a black blob. The trick is putting on just a few pieces of fiber at a time and turning the object as you go.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the pottery class was held at an alpaca farm, Eyedazzler Alpacas. I was able to get up close and personal with a herd of alpacas and learn more about them. They really are beautiful creatures, but they are not very social with people. I had heard that they don't like being touched on the head, but I learned that they're not fond of being touched anywhere really. They were very curious and would sneak up behind me to get a good look, but as soon as I'd turn around and reach out to them, they backed off. There were a few who would come up and take treats from my hand, but not as many fell for this gesture as I'd expected. They are sheared once a year for their luxurious fiber, which had recently been done, so they were all sporting new hairdos.
This was the first time I had been to our property without snow on the ground. It was exciting to see all the plant life that lay beneath the now-melted blankets of snow. We spent our evenings sitting outside of the camper, watching the sunset, listening to the birds and taking in the magnificence of the Wet Mountain Valley.
Overall, I would say it was a very soul-nourishing, relaxing weekend.