Potter’s Book Club: A Potter’s Workbook by Clary Illian

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in About Me, Books, Workshop | 1 comment

If I formed an actual book club for potters, Clary Illian’s A Potter’s Workbook would definitely be on the reading list.  It would be great fun to work through the assignments with other potters and then have a group discussion. Illian defines A Potter’s Workbook as  “a utilitarian pottery workshop in a book…designed to help students who are learning to throw pots, potters who know how to throw but feel the need for greater understanding, and skilled craftspeople who enjoy thinking about the objects they love” (pg 1).   And, I found it to be all of that and more. The chapters are organized...

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A Bit More About Workshops

Posted by on Aug 17, 2011 in Workshop | 0 comments

Before I leave the topic of workshops, I had a few more thoughts I wanted to share. In addition to time and money, there are several things to consider about going away for a workshop.  The first is distance.  Basically this is an issue of logistics.  If the workshop is too far to drive, potters must consider how to transport tools (usually requires checking a bag) and how to transport pots (usually requires a lot of bubble wrap and UPS).  I flew to a workshop in Pittsburgh and it was well worth the minor casualties my pots suffered.  Otherwise, driving is preferable because you can take all...

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Pottery Hangover

Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in A Bit Off Center, Workshop | 0 comments

I am recovering after a great week-long workshop at Arrowmont so I took yesterday to rest and piddle around the house (although I did unload and reload the kiln).   Workshops are fun but they are a lot of work.  Arrowmont is one of my favorite venues for workshops because I stay on campus (in a renovated old house) and meals are available in the dining hall.  Not to mention that the pottery studio is big and bright.   So it is a very pleasant place to be. The session was conducted by Kristen Kieffer and she focused on surface decoration.  This is where I want to make changes in my pots so...

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Workshops Part 3

Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 in About Me, Workshop | 2 comments

There are many pottery workshops available for all skill levels.   When no classes were available to me locally, I started attending a few workshops a year in order to keep acquiring skills.  Now I find them to to be opportunities for inspiration. This is the final post in a series where I have conveyed my impressions and evaluations of some of the venues where I have attended workshops. Arrowmont, Gatlinburg TN – Arrowmontis an Arts and Crafts School located in Gatlinburg.  I have taken two one-weekworkshops at Arrowmont.  Because it is an Arts and Crafts School, it hosts workshops in...

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Workshops Part 2

Posted by on Aug 8, 2011 in A Bit Off Center, Workshop | 0 comments

In general, potters are a very generous community.  Information, ideas, tips, glaze recipes, firing sequences, etc.  are graciously shared – especially at workshops.  When I first began taking workshops, I didn’t expect the potters to be so open about how they made their pots.  I am glad I was mistaken because I have greatly benefited from their accessablilty. As I have been getting ready  to go to a week-long workshop, I was thinking about all the workshops I have attended.  So in this series of posts, I am reviewing those venues. Claymakers, Durham NC – Claymakers is a private...

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Posted by on Aug 5, 2011 in About Me, Workshop | 0 comments

I began taking workshops as a means to supplement my pottery instruction.  After I exhausted the local resources, my options were limited because I knew I didn’t want to take classes at the university.  So I did two things.  First, I started throwing with other potters who were as passionate about clay as I was.  This is how Julie and I started working together.  Second, I started looking for workshops that addressed skills that I wanted to develop. Because I am preparing to attend a workshop this week, a lot of people have asked what pottery workshops are like.  For the most part, they are...

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