Pottery with Becky Bell

by Julie LeMay

Julie LeMayBecky Bell is a local potter from Seattle who does most of her work at Pottery Northwest. Her first experience that sparked her interest in clay was when she was five years old. When she was thirteen, her father, who was a Colonel in the Army, was stationed in France. She received much encouragement from an art teacher there, renewing her interest in working with clay.

Her enthusiasm for her work was evident when she visited the school to assist the children on a pottery project the second Monday of Braille Camp. While the children were in a circle, Becky passed around several of her pottery pieces for the children to feel and discover the many shapes, such as a vase, candy dish, bowl, and soap dish. Becky explained a bit about how the clay is processed to make it into a workable medium. She also talked about the firing process that results in a smooth matte or glossy shine.

When the children were assembled at the tables, a section of clay was distributed to each child. Much pounding ensued as they flattened their clay in readiness to craft an object. Most of the children eagerly participated, while a few hung back, not so sure of what to do. With help from the volunteers, several creations emerged: snakes, bowls, a cup, a bird, and various creatures. The children delighted in displaying their clay crusted hands as they were marched to the restroom to clean up. How exciting it will be to see and feel the pieces after they are glazed and fired.