BLUE EARTH - The pottery wheel spins round and round as the wet, gray mass in the middle is transformed into a small bowl in Anna Olson's hands.
The sophomore is a student of Linda Wells, who teaches visual arts at Blue Earth Area High School.
"It's forgivable," Wells says of clay. "It's a fun medium to have in schools. It's tactile, it's hands-on."
SHAPING?UP — Anna Olson forms clay on a pottery wheel at Blue Earth Area High School. Linda Wells, visual arts teacher, will instruct five classes on ceramic pottery for adults and teens beginning Feb. 25 for Blue Earth Community Area Education.
Jacob Peterson and Brianna Ziegler both enjoy working with clay.
Peterson, a senior, has made bowls and different types of Indian vessels.
"I like getting to work with my hands," he said. "I'd rather do stuff with my hands than keep my nose in a book all day."
Ziegler, a junior, has made a teapot and matching cups, a chalice, and a slump bowl.
"For the last three projects, we got to make whatever we want," she said. "I like glazing stuff because you never know what it'll look like until it's been fired."
Wells wants more people to experience working with clay, so she will teach a ceramic pottery class called "Have a Ball ... Of Clay" for Blue Earth Area Community Education, beginning Feb. 25.
The five classes will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through March in the high school art room. All tools and supplies are provided for $58. Call CER at (507) 526-3172 to sign up.
The classes are for anyone interested in working with clay, whether they are beginners or experienced.
"We'll teach hand and wheel techniques on the potters wheel," Wells said.
She'll start students off with a simple bowl.
"People who are more advanced can go into a more elaborate project, if they want," she said.
Students will have the opportunity to try their hand at making coil bowls, vases and chalices.
Those working on the wheel will start with a bowl, as well.
"If you can master that, then you can move on to vases, cylinders, something with a handle like a pitcher or a mug," Wells said.
Students also will be making slab projects, which are geometric-shaped vessels like a chest with a lid.
The last evening of the class will be reserved for glazing the creations.
"I just hope they enjoy making useful and beautiful items for themselves, enjoy being creative," Wells said of her students.