Make & Slake with Simon Levin
It’s really all about the process not the product.
Stretch and push your clay and your boundaries to break through your comfort zone and move your work to the next level. This wheel-based hands-on intensive workshop will include a series of making and critiquing exercises that are geared towards not only improving your skills but teaching you how to problem solve and think critically about your pieces and your process. At the end of the workshop, only those pieces you deem worthy after a thorough critique will be bisque fired and ready for pick-up within 2 weeks. The rest will be dissected to further your self evaluation and then recycled.
There will be a one hour break each day for lunch. You are welcome to bring a sack lunch or to head out to a local restaurant - there are lots of options in close driving distance. Please bring a reusable water bottle or cup to minimize the use of disposables. Filtered water is available in the studio kitchen.
Skill Drill: Refining Forms Through Repetition
Soda Firing Workshop
This Soda Firing Workshop will focus on Cone 6 soda Firing with Ann Marie Cooper. The focus will be on how to make work that can be most successful in a soda firing - covering details about shapes, sizes, finishing details like feet, planning for wadding, decorating, glazing, etc. This information will be applicable to both wheel throwers and hand builders. This workshop will both start and end with the unloading of a Cone 6 Soda Kiln.
The format / schedule of the workshop is:
- Saturday 7/9 Noon-4PM: You will assist with unloading the next Cone 6 Community Soda firing so that you can see finished pieces as they come out of the kiln. This will help you understand the mechanics of the firing process and how the loading and wadding impacts pieces. We will discuss the pieces - what was successful and what was not. We will then move inside to dive deeper into a discussion on making pots for soda. You are welcome to sign up for the 7/5 community firing too via this link but you are not required to.
- You will then have almost 4 weeks to make pieces. If you are bisque firing at Burnish then pieces must be DRY and ready to load into bisque kiln by end of day Monday 8/1.
- Thursday 8/4 6PM-9PM: Group glazing session to review best practices for glazing using the Burnish studio glazes as well as a cone 6 Flashing Slip that can be applied to bisque ware. You are welcome to use your own glazes if that is important to you. You will also help with the mixing and wedging of wadding. You can continue glazing on your own on Friday if you do not get all your pieces finished.
- Saturday 8/6 10AM-5PM: Loading Soda Kiln. At the glazing session, you will sign up for one 2 hour shift with 4 people per shift - you will not need to be at the loading all day. Each shift will help complete one of the 3 stacks in the kiln. Ann Marie will place the pots into the kiln. You will help roll wadding, glue wads to pots, and bring posts and shelves over to the kiln. Ann Marie will discuss pot placement and how she decides what pieces go where in the kiln and why.
- Sunday 8/7: Firing all day. You are not required to come for the firing but you are welcome to - most of the process is sitting around watching numbers crawl up the pyrometer (kiln thermometer) and nudging the gas lever up and down bit by bit. The exciting part will happen in the late afternoon/early evening when it is time to make the soda burritos and toss them in the kiln. You would be welcome to participate in that process.
- Wednesday 8/10 5PM: We will unload the kiln, scraping/cleaning kiln shelves and posts and reapplying kiln wash as we go. We will then discuss the results of the finished pieces.
Cost and What's Included
- This workshop includes the firing fees of one half cubic feet of pots (12 x 12 x 6). Participants may purchase up to 1.5 additional cubic feet of space for $25 per half cubic foot. (We kept the volume included in the workshop low so that those who are intimidated by the process or who work at a slower pace / smaller volume can still feel comfortable participating.)
- The workshop does not include clay, but it does include the utilization of the Burnish glazes. You are welcome to purchase clay at Burnish, but you are not required to do so. We will discuss clay selections during the 1st day of the workshop and how different clays react in different ways.