Pottery class comes to a close


CAREFUL MOVEMENTS: Chuck Briggs carefully paints a lid he made, which matches one of the pots he created over the six-week workshop. (Pioneer photos/Meghan Haas)

BIG RAPIDS — Students have worked for the past six weeks at Artworks to turn clay into their own colorful creations.

Community members enrolled in the beginning pottery wheel workshop met over the past five weeks to learn how to use the wheel and spent their last meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 28, painting glaze on their pieces.


TAKING A DIP: Melissa Smith dips a bowl she made in a color of glaze. The glaze looks red, but after sending her work through the kiln, it will look blue.

“I’ve never done anything like this,” said Cindy Benkert. “It’s amazing to take a lump of clay and create something out of it, but it was a little frustrating at first. It takes patience.”

Benkert, like others in the class, enjoyed making pots, mugs and plates under the instruction of Gabbi Saraney.

“Teaching this class was a lot of fun,” Saraney said. “This is the first class I’ve taught.”

Saraney took over teaching the class for this session and will be teaching the next one, which will begin March 14. While some current students are considering taking the next wheel workshop, others will be taking some time off, like Melissa Smith.

Smith has taken approximately eight pottery classes so far.

“I never thought I would be talented at it, but there is something cool about seeing a finished product.” she said. “I feel like I’ve progressed. There is always something new to learn.”


WATCHING AND WAITING: Rebecca Stieg holds a bowl she just dipped into a bucket of glaze.

Smith and Saraney agree working with clay is a stress reliever and is a fun way to spend an evening.

“Not everyone gets to do this — walk in and walk out with a plate or mug,” Saraney said about the workshop. “And you meet a lot of interesting people.”


Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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