New this year we have begun to offer a limited selection of our virtual classes as Video-on-Demand!
All of the classes below are being offered as a ‘Rental’ through Vimeo which gives you access to watch the video as many times as you like for a thirty (30) day window from the date of purchase.
Melissa Weiss is originally from NY. She received her BFA in photography in 2000 from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Melissa currently resides in Asheville, NC where she runs a studio housing over 20 artists in an 8000 square foot warehouse called SouthSideStudios near the Swannanoa River. She is a full time studio potter. Melissa makes functional high fired pots from clay she digs on her land in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Melissa is a self taught potter yet has learned from many potters in the Asheville area. Melissa has attended John C. Campbell, Penland and Arrowmont as a studio assistant ,a work study and a teacher for wood fire workshops. Melissa has spent the last 15 years learning how to fire wood and gas fueled kilns. Melissa is the author of the book “Hand Built, A Potter’s Guide” Melissa makes all her own clay, glazes and slips and fires them in gas and wood fired reduction kilns to cone 10.
In this virtual workshop, Melissa will demonstrate how to make large vessels utilizing the coil method. She will talk about working on multiple pieces at once to manage dryness and wetness of the clay in order to go big. She will pay special attention to handles with some discussion (no demo) of surfaces as well.
In this online workshop Melissa will demonstrate how she makes small boxes using a straight forward technique called Kurinuki. Kurinuki means to hollow out. It is a Japanese subtractive method of making pots by starting with a solid shape and carving the pot out of it. Melissa will demonstrate how she carves boxes from a solid shape of clay. She will focus on feet, handles, followed by surface treatment and glaze decoration on bisqued pots.
In this virtual hand building workshop, Melissa will show you how she makes custom bisque molds starting with found (non-clay) vessels and objects. She will share her library of bisque molds and demonstrate how to use them to make slab dishes, finishing them with details such as handles, feet, and rims.
In this workshop Melissa will demonstrate how she decorates pots after bisque with a variety of materials and methods including how clay types, like the custom stoneware she makes from her land in northwest Arkansas, play an important role in the final aesthetics. She will use glazes, underglazes and oxides in conjunction with mishima and wax resist techniques. She will talk about cone 10 reduction cooling in her gas kiln, firing multiple times and her journey of developing her exciting surfaces.
Melissa will talk all about her experience running a pottery business and life as a potter. She will talk about pacing and figuring out the year in advance, pricing work, applying to shows, working efficiently, wholesale, retail, shipping, prioritizing time/work, photographing, social media, having an apprentice/employee. There is no demonstration in this workshop. Melissa will present the first hour and the second hour will be in-depth questions from participants.
Lynn Wood IS the Pottery Texture Queen. She is inspired by textures found in nature, architecture, and textiles and brings this joy into her work through pattern, texture, and color. Lynn has developed her own patterned texture mats that can be used on hand-built and thrown pottery in a variety of ways and they are available for sale at Sonoma Community Center. Lynn lives in Santa Rosa, shows and teaches nationally, and, of course teaches at Sonoma Ceramics.
In this virtual workshop Lynn will demonstrate a variety of simple effective techniques to create a wide variety of texture stamps and rollers. You will be able to make stamps and rollers unique to you. Even if you have made your own tools before, Lynn will have some surprises to share. These can be combined together and with other texture tools you may have to embellish the surface of both thrown and handbuilt work.
Learn how to use along with the “queen’s” texture mats. Your stamps and mats can be used beside one another and also stamps can be printed over mat images to create unique textures. As well as get a number of tips and techniques for using the texture mats to create wonderful surfaces on your work. Using your tools right away, we will make a dish with making sprigs from your new unique tools. This dish will serve to fire all your new goodies in. Come join in to see what simple quirky tips and techniques Lynn will share to take your work to the next level.
In this virtual workshop Lynn will demonstrate making a unique rectangular slab teapot from start to finish. Details that will be covered include making a good teapot spout, a lid that fits, and integrating all the parts to work together. As you work on this iconic pottery form, skills will be practiced and improved. Lynn will also discuss her style of glazing and completing this teapot. Day 1: create the body of the teapot and use sprigs to personalize the form; Day 2: building the teapot.
Forrest Lesch-Middelton is a potter, tile maker, and educator living and working in Petaluma, CA. Forrest discovered his love of pottery at the age of 14 and since that time has seen clay as a vehicle to travel the country as a student, resident, educator, advocate, and artist developing a body of work that brings functional pottery and tile to life with rich political and cultural content. Forrest makes ceramics that “look like the products of an ancient civilization whose people proudly insisted on being buried with their dishware.” (NY Times, 1/31/2013). He has mastered the use of image transfer, and invented a technique he dubbed “volumetric image transfer” where he transfers screen printed pattern and imagery onto the surfaces of his pots while they are still wet and being thrown on the wheel, requiring him to shape the vessels from the inside only, so as to not disturb the pattern. His body of work has brought great acclaim, not the least of which was when he was awarded the distinguished honor of Ceramic Artist of the Year (2014) by Ceramics Monthly Magazine.
Forrest started making architectural tile in 2013 and has made tile for private homes, restaurants, hotels, and businesses throughout the world.
In this virtual workshop Forrest will demonstrate the volumetric image transfer technique he has developed for wheel-thrown vessels through silkscreening, newsprint, slips, and oxide. Using historic patterns to emphasize form and stress content on functional vessels Forrest will lead conversations about wheel throwing techniques, searching for content and finding inspiration, and the studio business practices that have helped him find success in the world of craft.
(b. 1984) Ruth Easterbrook was born in Redwood Valley, California growing up with the hills as her playground. She was first introduced to clay in High School which led her to pursue ceramics in college graduating in 2007 with a BFA at Syracuse University. She then spent many years learning through practice and hands-on learning as an apprentice at Hoyman-Browe Studios (CA) and assisting various artists including Whitney Smith Pottery (CA). In 2014 she began focusing on her career starting with a spring concentration class at Penland School of Craft (NC) and then spending extended time at Anderson Ranch Arts Center (CO) as a student, summer intern and returning as an Artist In Resident in 2016. In 2019 Ruth earned her MFA in ceramics at Alfred University. Now she continues her research first as an Artist in Residence at The Harvard Ceramics Program (MA) and currently at The Clay Studio (PA). She has been awarded the honor of Emerging Artist for NCECA 2020, and has shown her work across the country having pieces in the Alfred Ceramics Arts Museum collection as well as other permanent personal collections.
Through demonstrations, Ruth will show multiple ways to layer, map, and apply glazes to bring your glazing to the next level. Considering the relationship of form and surface from the early stages of making, Ruth responds to the many planes of the vessel to wrap her motifs around. Often glazing is overlooked or rushed through in the making process, by taking this workshop students will be amazed at the depth and complexity they can achieve at any temperature. Participants will be inspired at the many ways one can use wax, tape and latex beyond the foot of your pot, such as to block off, inlay and layer multiple glazes.
In her work you will see these techniques used with botanical designs on a range of pottery but these techniques are open to all forms and designs as well as different temperatures and types of firings. In Ruth’s work she uses cone six which she fires in an electric kiln (oxidation) which is becoming more and more common in studios around the world. In sharing her current research and process, she is participating in the contemporary ceramics community and inviting you to come along with her.
Originally trained as an architect, Sandra Torres eventually transferred her creative outlet into clay work. Her ceramic education started under the wing of a master ceramist at an experimental studio in Mexico City. She then continued hands on learning in Southern California in three different studios. Her ceramic education was augmented by traveling to China and Mexico to learn about traditional clay work and techniques. An apprenticeship at Studio Pieter Stockmans in Genk, Belgium, had a great impact on her work, and later directed her to be an Artist in Residence at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary.