I love vintage school desks and bought this one about a year ago. I was drawn to its silly little basket. Deluded by TikTok DIYers, I thought it would be a piece of cake to fix up. It was not.
These are the listing images. I was probably also swayed by that beautiful flat file in the picture. At some point the original top had been replaced with these rustic floor boards (?) that were gross, warped, and generally stupid looking, so with the help of my husband and his tools, we made a new tabletop out of plywood.
The paint on the frame was chipped and the saddest of school beiges, so I decided to try stripping it off, which in hindsight, was a really bad move. There are so many crevices in that silly little basket. The paint easily came off of the bottom portion of the legs, but the rest of it was pretty stubborn and I set the whole thing aside for months.
Well I learned that unpainted metal likes to rust, and rust it did. So after scrubbing with WD-40 and sanding off the remaining paint, I was finally able to prime and paint. I picked a color that ended up being more vibrant than I wanted (why are the cap colors so different from the actual paint?), but overall I’m pretty happy with it and the extra surface it’s providing me in my art making space.
I FINALLY secured a spot in a pottery class in Portland, which, if you live here, know is a feat. Studios are brimming with people and it’s hard to worm your way in.
It all came back like riding a bike and honestly, I was much more skilled this time than when I last had a membership (2015-16). I wonder if years spent thinking about throwing pottery helped.
In this class, you get 20 firing slips and I used all but one. I also blew threw two bags of clay and had access to lots of surface design options like under glazes and slips.
I made 3 plates. I’d like to eventually replace what’s in my kitchen cabinets with more like this. One is still at the studio as I missed the last pickup window before the holiday.
And 4 bowls. Only one is really nice (pictured on the left). The wheel I used during class had some really loose bat pins that caused some really wonky pots. I bought a bat mate, which helped, but then I tried throwing with partially dried, used clay I poorly wedged which led to more wonkyness. I am proud of being able to boss not perfect clay into usable forms.
The theme this session was definitely plants. I made 9 pots and several already have new tenants. I really enjoyed playing with the studio’s green slip on these.
This one was very warped that my instructor encouraged me to play with. I’d like to explore this technique more next session.
I also made two mugs. The green one is slightly too heavy, it was one of the first things I made and I didn’t go as hard trimming as I should have.
I’m taking another 12-week course and then I’m going to evaluate where I want to go from there. Might take the hybrid hand-building and throwing class, or I might get on the monthly membership wait list.