Clay camp teaches children pottery basics

Published 12:48 am Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NATCHEZ — Kids in Natchez got a chance to show their creativity recently. Burns Pottery offered a Kids Clay Camp last week. Kids from the Miss-Lou, and even kids just visiting the Miss-Lou, gathered for a five course program on the art of creating vessels out of clay.

Burns Pottery owner, Conner Burns, has been offering the Kids Clay Camp for five years now. The philosophy of the camp “is not to teach kids how to be creative, but to show them that they are creative and to help them develop that creativity.” Burns said.

“We teach them three different techniques of working with clay.”

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Those three techniques are coil, pinch and slab. Coil vessels are made by rolling pieces of clay out like a snake, then layering those pieces. Pinch pots are created by pinching clay into various shapes. Finally, slab work involves rolling the clay into flat sheets. Those sheets are then used to construct a vessel. Each person in the class was given an opportunity to use all three techniques.

Chesney Petkovsek said, “Being able to make stuff you can use is fun.”

Petkovsek is a veteran at the Kids Clay Camp. She has been attending since the beginning. This year, Petkovsek made a canister with a sunflower and a birdhouse.

Lansing Brakenridge said, “Definitely my favorite part is the pinch pots.”

Teacher Lindsay Rogers, with the help of a few assistants, taught more than thirty kids this year.

“They are all so creative.” Rogers said. “Every year they amaze me more.”

While the clay camp may have ended on Friday, students will have another chance to gather again. On August 11, at 5:00pm, Burns Pottery will host a gallery showing of the pottery made during the camp. Lemonade and cookies will be served to students and guests. After the showing, students will be allowed to take their pottery home. The public is invited to attend.

Burns Pottery is located on 209 Franklin Street in Natchez. The Kids Clay Camp will be offered again next summer. Burns Pottery also offers classes for adults in the fall.