Solo A Potters Job is Never Finished

Eva has gone from common laborer to tiny apprentice

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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A Potters Job is Never Finished

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on June 30th, 2022, 5:20 am

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Summer 15th, 522 AV

Eva was excited to begin her journey down the road of pottery. After a long and firm while working under Nesra as a laborer, she was given the good news that she would start learning about clay. So, while Eva was getting up for the day and taking her usual bath and preparing her usual face, she kept thinking on what all she would be doing. She tried to think of what all the things beginners would do, like digging up clay from the river and hauling around buckets of water would probably still be on her to do list. She definitely didn't expect her labor jobs to just disappear just because she was getting an upgrade. However, she was hoping to get more knowledge and maybe some hands-on experience.

As Eva tied up her hair, carefully tucking in certain hairs, she did something she had never done before and prayed she would do well in this job. She decided to leave her backpack behind and only take her dagger and boots, not really putting them on, just carrying them with her. She trotted down her stairs and along the path to the commons, heading over to where she usually meets Nesra behind the community kiln. Approaching the area, she looked around before calling out for a response, soon getting one when Nesra stepped out of her tent.

"Good morning Nesra, what would we be doing first?" She smiled some as the potter still gave her a side eyed look before walking over to her wheelbarrow and gesturing for Eva to follow. She explained that they would gather more clay from the banks and show Eva where all the good deposits were. Eva gave a nod of acknowledgement and followed, listening as Nesra talked about how deep to go and how not to over harvest. She explained what clay was and how not all clay was the same.

"For example, Earthenware type clay is the oldest clay in existence. Why? Because it is said to be the birthplace of life's development when our ancestors discovered it's uses." The pair took a turn and Eva started hearing the river close by, indicating that they were growing near. "Earthenware clay is also extremely beginner friendly, having more of a plasticity than most other clays. It also comes in many different colors of reds, browns, oranges, and grays while wet, though can change its color when fired to lighter versions including white."

The pair arrived at the edge of the river and Nesra gestured to an area off the banks of the water. She explained that there was a deposit of red clay in that general area, and when Eva dug up a hole to refill it so no one would fall in. Eva nodded and turned to the spot, only giving a slight pause as a thought came to her mind. They didn't grab anything from the kiln to dig with, did they? Eva turned to look at Nesra, whom also raised a brow in anticipation

"Do you think I could run back to the camp and grab something to dig with?" Eva questioned, raising a brow and giving a small and hopeful smile. However, despite her efforts to act innocent, the woman only shook her head, preventing Eva from finding a digging utensil from the camp. Therefore, Eva groaned and went back to approaching the spot. It was slightly muddy on the bank area as she kneeled herself down and started removing leaf litter out of the way. Her fingers then sunk into the slightly soft dirt and began moving it off to the side as she tried searching for some clay. After a bit though, Nesra piped up with a bit of advice as Eva kept digging.

"When you hit some clay it will be much harder than dirt, but when you squeeze it it should squish but not break." Eva only huffed a sigh and wiped her forehead as she pushed her way forward, clawing away at the dirt and slowly making a hole. She then stopped and sat back, feeling a wave of disbelief washing over her. She was here, hand digging a hole, when she could probably find herself an item in the area to dig with instead. A stick, rock, or if worse came to worse she would use her dagger again. Nesra never said she couldn't use nature to be her spade, so why was she once again making it hard on herself?

WC: 748


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Evalynn Frostfawn
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A Potters Job is Never Finished

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on July 12th, 2022, 1:57 am

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Thirty minutes, that's how long Eva took to find the clay deposit Nesra was talking about. It was much faster than before, as she had found a large, flat stone to use as a digging tool. But she figured it would've been much faster if she had an actual shovel, but this was a teaching moment for her to never forget supplies again. Sitting back on her heels and wiping her brow, she studied the small chunk of clay she had dug out. It still sat on the ground near the hole, but from just glancing at it she could see that it was a reddish brown in color. After her breather, she leaned over and picked it up, smashing it between her fingers before confirming this felt completely different from the dirt around her.

"Nesra! I think I found some clay!" Eva turned and shouted back at Nesra, who then waved her over so she could see. Eva nodded and stood, making her way over to show her teacher the chunk she had found. "It feels different from the soil, and it's red like you said." Eva dropped the piece in Nesra's outstretched hand to let her examine. It felt like she was staring at it for ages, but then she rolled it in a ball, then a stick and then a ball again before giving a nod of approval.

"What you just saw me do was testing the clay to see if it was usable. But yes, this is indeed red clay, now take this wheelbarrow down there and start loading some up. But don't take too much! Depleting the 'vein' of clay will damage the ecosystem. When you're done, we still head back and I'll show you how to clean it." Nesra gave the chunk of clay back and gestured to the wheelbarrow for Eva to take. With a nod of understanding, she grabbed the barrow and trotted her way back down to the hole, parking it next to her and beginning to dig again. Another forty-five minutes passed before Eva stopped digging around and started filling in her hole. She had taken a good amount out of this large deposit and now it was time to fill it back in.

“Alright Nesra, I have collected the clay. Would this be enough?” Eva inquired as she parked the wheelbarrow near Nesra to examine. She gave the haul a quick glance and nodded, mentioning it would be enough to teach Eva how to clean it. With that, Nesra turned and led the way back to the community kiln, with Eva close behind. Once back, Nesra instructed Eva to park the wheelbarrow where it had come from and fetch a bucket of water Eva got the day before. Doing as she was told, eva brought the bucket over to a stool before carrying over the clay and putting it in.

“Now you are going to break up the clay and mix it well into the water. What you are looking for is a thick slurry mixture that we will strain later.” Eva nodded and sat on the stool, dunking her hands in and beginning to break up the clay. It felt weird at first, with her fingers sinking deep into the cool clay underwater, but then she started to find it fun as it squelched through her fingers. She smiled in a relaxing and calm way, finding this as a wonderful meditation technique.

WC: 574


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Evalynn Frostfawn
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A Potters Job is Never Finished

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 6th, 2022, 12:14 am

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It took Eva about an hour to mix and slosh around the chunks to produce a relatively smooth mixture. She had to admit, it was extremely messy, and the evidence was all up her arms, on her legs, and the ground when she pulled out bits of debris. It was also very tiring, as her breathing was labored and her arms and hands were sore from working the clay around the water. She even worked up a sweat, evident by the many small swatches across her forehead and chin. All in all, she was basically a walking clay doll in her eyes, but felt extremely confident in her work.

“Looking good! I would say this is perfect for straining, let's go do it.” Nesra gestured for Eva to pick up her clay slurry bucket and walk it over to an area she set up beforehand. It looked to be some sort of straining device laid across the top of another bucket. “You will slowly strain the slurry into this bucket, careful not to overflow it. Your goal is to get even more debris out of the clay as best as you can.” She then looked over at where Eva was last at. “Well, more than you had before.”

Eva gave a nod of her head and waddled the bucket of slurry closer to the empty bucket. She then kneeled down and lifted the bucket, slowly, and in batches, pouring the clay through the screen, running her hand through it, dumping out the debris, and repeating. It took roughly ten minutes for her to do this before Nesra called her over to the hanging cloth that was situated over a bucket.

“This step is a bit more tricky for a beginner, so instead of having you start from a high hanging cloth, I lowered it to just hover over another empty bucket.” Eva took note of how the cloth was just inches shy of touching the rim of another five gallon bucket. She gave a nod and gestured to the bucket.

“So, I should dump this in the cloth and I am assuming that it's going to allow the water to strain from it.” Eva questioned, even though her guess sounds about right. Nesra helped confirm this by nodding and gesturing for Eva to start pouring. It splashed and sloshed, slightly getting on her legs and running down them, but she pressed on and listened as Nesra continued to talk.

“Once you have finished pouring that, you will need to wait roughly three to five days for it to dry. And judging by how thick that surly looks, I'd say it should take somewhere in the middle. For now, I will show you what you will do when your clay is finished.” Nesra waited until Eva was finished before she walked over to a table with a large clay slab on it and softly smacked the top. “This is my finished clay pile I did a while back. I have already wedged it and removed all of the bubbles and lumps in the process. However, I am going to give you a demonstration of what you will need to do so watch closely as I wont do it again.”

With that, she proceeded to take a small wire and cut into the clay, taking off the piece and bringing it in front of her. She then proceeded to hit on the clay with the palms of her hands some before picking it up and slamming it down. The sudden and loud bang caused Eva to jump some, but Nesra only smirked as she pulled the clay back up and slammed it down again. She did this a couple of times, forming the clay into a square that fit perfectly into her hands before she moved onto the next step of this process. This one looked weird, and Eva didn’t know how to explain it in terms of understanding. To her, Nesra was using both her palms to push the clay away before using her fingers to pull and fold the clay back. In all of this, she also looked like she was turning the clay to the right? Or was it an inconsistent pressure? Eva couldn’t quite place it, but once Nesra was finished she turned to Eva and smiled.

“That is how you wedge a piece of clay. Once you can get all of your processed clay wedged and all the air bubbles out, I will show you how to throw on the wheel. Congratulations, you're almost finished learning how to make your own pot. Now stop standing here and clean up your mess and go home.”

WC: 777


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A Potters Job is Never Finished

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 6th, 2022, 9:46 pm

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Summer 19th, 522AV

Today was the day that Eva would finally have dry enough clay for wedging. She had been checking on it often while she was working, so often that Nesra would occasionally yell at her to stop. Eva would chuckle some before skittering off, completing her day's work, similar to what she was doing now. Eva had to gather more grass for packing, and she was wandering up and down the beach to do so, filling her basket the best she could. She also checked on that nest she had found beforehand and was disappointed when she didn't find any more eggs. On a side note, she did find some unique looking shells and a couple more abandoned nests that she made a note of for later.

But now, with her basket full and a couple of bundles under her arms, Eva made her way back to the Community Kiln where she set up a small area for her to pack away finished pottery that Nesra had done. Most of the large orders would go to the Mercantile, but there was an occasional order from the bar requesting more jugs or maybe the inn requesting more dishware. Either way, the packaging and delivery of these orders kept her busy between the days of waiting on the clay. Eva had just arrived at the kiln when Nesra walked from behind it with her usual clay covered hands and a small smile.

“Finish packing up the remaining orders for today, your clay is ready to be wedged.” Eva nodded in response, and Nesra returned to her little camp behind the kiln. Eva turned towards the fired pottery and began to pack up the orders. First, there was a personal order for a set of 6 plates and bowls to a residence. This was easy to pack as all Eva really had to do was layer the grass and pottery in her little basket and that was ready to be delivered. The ones that she really found issue with was the ones that the Mercantile requested. Those ones now required her to nail together crates for the big pots and tend to use up most of her supply of dried grasses.

So, on she went, nailing together the crate as carefully as possible, tossing in a bottom layer of grass, and lowering in the pottery. Grass then got stuffed in the crevices between the pots before another layer went on top and Eva nailed on the lid. It took awhile to do, but when she was finished she would push the crate to the side and out of the way for later delivery. Now that she was done packing the orders, Eva made her way behind the kiln and announced that she was finished, prompting Nesra to instruct her to gather her clay and bring it over to the table. She nodded and did as she was told, peeling the clay away from the hanging cloth and toting it over to the table where she would drop it down with a thump.

WC: 508


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Evalynn Frostfawn
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A Potters Job is Never Finished

Postby Evalynn Frostfawn on August 7th, 2022, 12:17 am

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Nesra had instructed Eva to make as many as eight good sized portions from her processed clay and wedge them until they were able to be thrown on the wheel. Eva expressed she didn't know what that meant, but Nesra replied with something along the lines of Eva learning by feel. And so, here she was, standing at the table, cutting her clay into eight somewhat equal sections and using her hands to shape them into balls. The clay was firm and cool to the touch while also somehow being malleable enough to be shaped. To Evalynn, it was fun enough to just squish the clay into shape. Yet she couldn't do that all day, as she had a mission, and that mission was to wedge the clay and eventually make her own pottery.

After she was done balling up her clay and covering it with some plastic to keep it from drying out, Eva grabbed a ball and began pounding it on the table. At first, she put too much force behind it and the clay spread out and stuck to the table too much. She had to scrape off a few areas and remold the clay into a ball before she could begin again. This time she started softer and only increased her force gradually until she felt it was appropriate. Then, with a lift and turn she plopped it down again, lift and turn then plop. She repeated this until the piece of clay had formed a rough square. Next was to start wedging? Wait, wasnt she already wedging the clay? That technically could have been called shaping and dividing, then this step could be called wedging.

Whatever it was called, Eva took that squared piece of clay and tried remembering what Nesra had shown her a few days ago. Push with the palms and pull with the fingers? It sounded right, so Eva tried it, and at first it was actually quite difficult, as it felt like the clay was still too wet. It stuck to her palms quite a bit when she pushed, then when she pulled back with her fingers the clay seemed to stick to the table. Eva was confused, and took a moment to glance up at Nesra, wanting to ask her if this was right as it didn't do this when she was handling the clay. But seeing that she was in the midst of making a pot, Eva looked back down to her clay and pondered what to do.

Should she keep going? It only made sense as maybe her working with the clay would dry it out some. Maybe that is what Nesra meant by learning by feel, Eva had to come to her own conclusions on this and figure out if it was at the stage where it was appropriate to be out on a wheel and spun. Currently, the answer was no, as the clay still felt too soft and not as firm as it did when she took it out of the cloth. She decided to use less pressure when pushing the clay forward, and it peeled back a lot easier when she pulled. Being conscious of her pressure, Eva wedged the clay for a few spells before she noticed that it started to feel drier than when she started. Smiling to herself, as her hunch was right, Eva shaped the clay into a ball and set it to the side under a different piece of plastic before moving onto another ball.

WC: 586


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Evalynn Frostfawn
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Posts: 141
Words: 100191
Joined roleplay: February 23rd, 2013, 12:16 pm
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