Handbuilding and sculpting pottery is one of the oldest human inventions known to man and yet it is becoming a lost art in today’s modern world. Jessica Haigh is working diligently to keep the art alive. Haigh is a potter who sells a variety of artistic creations, including pottery, at Boom Town Makers Market located at 324 Gault Ave. N in Fort Payne. She will be teaching a pottery handbuilding class at BTMM on Saturday, Feb. 27.
Haigh’s pottery may also be seen on Facebook under “Animalhouse Crafts.” The name “Animalhouse” was derived from the fact that she has four sons and together over the years they have had many types of pets. “Animalhouse seemed an appropriate name for my business because I do my arts and crafts at home where we have had lizards, cats, dogs, pigs, frogs, fish, pigs, and squirrels just to name some of them,” said Haigh.
For seven years Haigh, has been working on her pottery making skills. “I have loved working with any type of clay since I was a child,” said Haigh. She has used both a potter’s wheel and the handbuildling method to fashion her pieces over the years.
The process of making pottery takes 10-12 hours to fire in a kiln and an additional 10-12 hours to cooldown, which all depends upon the size of the piece(s). Students who take her pottery class will be able to leave their artwork with Haigh to bake and return later to retrieve the piece they created.
“The great thing about being a potter is if you mess up your project, while the clay is still wet, you can just dump it back in the bucket and start over again,” said Haigh.
Crafting functional pieces such as butterdishes, plates, vases, Christmas ornaments, bowls, mugs, and windchimes are among her most commonly produced pottery items.
Haigh said she has read books, watched videos, watched skilled potters, and practiced a great deal over the years. “Practice, practice, practice,” said Haigh’s. “That’s how you become a skilled potter.” Haigh said a potter has various types of clay to choose from and over time a potter learns what they enjoy working with the most.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic safety restrictions will apply. Supplies for the handbuilding pottery class will be included in the price of the class. Call BTMM (256-273-6929) to reserve a place in the class and acquire more information or message Haigh on Facebook at Animalhouse Crafts.
Jessica’s Motto: “We don’t say ‘we can’t’, we say ‘we will try.’”
— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.