First time in Ceramics Workshop

Wheel stations in Ceramics Workshop

Admit it that you are thinking about the romantic scene in the old movie Ghost, when Sam and Molly holding their hands together on the pottery wheel. At least I did when I saw the wheel for the first time in Ceramics Workshop. 

One of the assignment from the course Design and Culture was to see the exhibition of Tapio Wirkkala in Espoo Museum of Modern Art. I was inspired and amazed by how this iconic Finnish Designer had mastered different materials in his lifetime. I decided to start with clay and plaster. Ceramics Workshop master Tomi Pelkonen gave me and two other students an instruction session in two hours. He introduced the spaces, equipments, and safety rules. Then he taught us the basic skills to work with the wheel, and demonstrate how to make our initiative ideas come true. I was totally fascinated by the magical process and how smoothly and elegantly Tomi performed. Then I started my first encounter with plaster and wheel. It turned out not easy at all.

It seems a good start. I felt great working with hands and learning the characters of the material closely.

I ran into the same problem again and again, the thickness was not consistent.

After six attempts, this was the one that I had closest to a cup.

After the instruction, we all tried to work with plaster on the wheel for the first time. Several attempts were all busted, I realized how hard it was to make a simple cup. Then I turned around and saw the German exchange student had made a coffee cup successfully. The moment of truth hit me. It was quite sad to find out that I was not born ceramics genius. On the bright side, there are other workshops in Aalto, Metal and Jewelry, Glass, Wood, Weaving, Sculpture and many more. There is still hope, my talent must lie in one of them. I plan to explore all workshops, do all kinds of experiments and material researches, also learn skills and possibilities for future prototyping.

Check out more about Ceramics Workshop.

Workshop and Studios in Aalto University

Hsiao-Pei Liao
Creative Sustainability

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