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 the workshop was timely and applicable. We practiced several surface treatments: stamping, slip sponging, slip trailing, and underglazing. Kristen was generous and took time to explain what she does to her pots and why she makes those choices.
She has made an instructional DVD of her surface treatments which is available for purchase. I watched it last year and found it informative and well organized. The workshop covered all the aspects she discussed in her DVD. It would be a useful resource for potters at any level.
There are several things that I learned from the workshop but perhaps the concept that is rolling around in my mind the most is that I need to actively seek ideas for my pots and consider ways to implement those ideas. Kristen showed us her sketchbook and images that she was working to introduce in her pots. This is the work that I have not been consistently doing and it is something I want to change.