Gay Smith workshop at Truro Center for the Arts

A lovely workshop with Gay Smith at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill (TCA), on Cape Cod, ended today. The 5-day workshop, called Fresh Approaches to Functional Pots, was a hands-on affair, and while I attended Gay’s morning demonstrations, I spent the afternoons working on work from home that couldn’t wait. I also had time to enjoy uniformly spectacular early summer Cape weather — mid 70s, sailing breezes, remarkable light — and buzzing Provincetown, before the arrival of the full summer crowds.

The TCA has been offering workshops since 1971, but this is the first year it has been able to provide accomodations to workshop participants, thanks to the recent acquistion of 11 acres and several buildings about a mile from the main campus.

Gay’s inspired instruction, a wonderful living space, and an attentive  TCA staff, made for a terrific week on the Cape.

Gay Smith making a point at her June 2017 Truro Center for the Arts workshop

 

Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill

 

Part of the housing at Truro Center for the Arts

2015 Alfred University and 2017 St Pete firing results posted

I have posted pots from both my 2015 workshops at Alfred University and my March 2017 firing at the Morean Center for Clay in St Petersburg, in the Gallery’s Still Kiln Warm section.

The Alfred firings marked the first time in about seven years that pots of mine were fired by someone other than me, in this case Alfred ceramics graduate students. Given the super high volume of pots fired during  the workshops; the heavy utilization of a new kiln; and the availability of almost exclusively glazes unfamilar to me, I was very pleased with some of the results. Particularly successful were one tall jar and some darkly elegant cereal bowls.

As noted, the March 2017 Morean firing also presented its challenges, in this case of my own making. Nonetheless, it was not an entire fiasco. I was particularly pleased with the results of a new tallish, concave mug form that I intend to explore further.

I’m now back in the studio, beginning production for at least one firing in the DC-Baltimore area this summer and two in St Petersburg later in the year.

 

 

July workshops at Alfred (NY) University

Feeling the need to at least temporarily remedy my state of relative creative isolation, I’ll be attending two July pottery workshops at Alfred University in Western New York. Situated about an hour west of Ithaca, Alfred features arguably the country’s top academic clay program.

I’ll be combining a two-week workshop — led by Linda Sikora and Matthew Metz — with the last two weeks of a four-week workshop, led by John Gill and In-Chin Lee. Sikora and Gill are professors in the Alfred ceramics program. I’ve long been familiar with the work of Sikora and Metz; Gill and In-Chin Lee, not so much.

Hopefully, the month will provide experiences and benefits I wasn’t expecting. At a minimum, I’m looking for some serious creative recharging, and some bald critiques of my recent work. And, unlike all my previous workshop experiences — which were the traditional 3-day, weekend affairs — this extended program will provide me the opportunity to apply new things on the wheel in the more long-term presence of the sources of instruction and inspiration.

Beyond the clay, I’m looking forward to some pastoral biking in much less than 99-degree temperatures; a meal or two at Moosewood; a couple of minor league baseball games in Auburn, involving the Pirates’ New York-Penn League affiliate; and perhaps a day at the roots and zydeco-tinged Grassroots music festival.

 

 

 

 

New batch of mugs delivered to Vine

mugs_to_vine_april_2015I delivered 11 new mugs to Vine last week, rotating the same number out of the mix. All the mugs came out of a very nice, mid-March kiln firing at St Pete’s Morean Center for Clay.

The best results occurred in what I’m calling the “Graphic” and “Shino Blacksplash” mugs, captured in the front and back rows, respectively, in the accompanying photo and in the first two of four images on Page 1 of the Mugs gallery page.

Mugs similar to these, out of the same March firing, will be on sale at Vine from April 10th through the 17th.