Wood kiln firing

D. Kuhn

                                Y. Sekino-Bove

2017 CERAMICS WORKSHOPS


Click the register now button below to view session-specific pricing and/or to enroll in a workshop.


May 5–7

Fire on the Mountain

Instructors: Dan Tomcik and Dan Scully

All Levels

$375 Member | $405 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Sunday

During this hands-on workshop, we will work together to fire Touchstone’s two-chamber Noborigama kiln. You will sign up for shifts and work as a team to spoke, move wood, salt and soda the second chamber, and ultimately, crush some cones! One share constitutes kiln space equal to 12 inches by 12 inches by 60 inches. All pots must be bisque fired and ready to glaze starting Friday morning. Bring pieces made from cone 10 clay only!

Daniel Tomcik is a functional potter born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Daniel started working in clay at California University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his BFA with a concentration in ceramics under Richard Miecznikowski. While in college, Daniel worked at Standard Ceramic Supply Company as the lab tech intern from 2013-2015. He was a resident artist at Touchstone Center for Crafts in 2014 and also worked at Touchstone as a studio assistant in 2014 and 2015. Late 2015, Daniel moved to Baltimore, Maryland to study under Jim Dugan as the wood kiln assistant at Baltimore Clayworks, firing the Noborigama nearly every weekend. Summer 2016, Daniel was accepted to Watershed Ceramics as studio staff for the season. Upon returning to Pennsylvania, he moved to Touchstone to complete an intensive residency focusing on local clays; and atmospheric, reduction firing, and cooling. Daniel currently lives in Pittsburgh, working at Ton Pottery and teaching workshops.

Dan Scully is a wood fire potter originally from Connecticut. Dan earned his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2015. While in college, he began wood firing in the two-chamber Noborigama at Baltimore Clayworks. Dan's practice is grounded in the belief that pots can play an integral part in our lives as they each tell a story unique to their journey through the flames. Dan is currently a resident artist and wood kiln manager at Baltimore Clayworks.


June 5–9

Wheel to Table: Approaching Form and Surface with Porcelain

Instructor: Doug Peltzman

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

We will focus on the designing, making, and finishing of high fire, porcelain tableware in an electric kiln. You are encouraged to bring source material to reference for surface treatment as well as high fire, bisque ware as a way for everyone to begin thinking about glazing and compositional strategies from day one. We will explore the relationship between form and surface through practice, demonstration, and discussion. Doug will share his technique on incising and inlaying into leather hard clay, as well as his ideas about engineering pots specifically for runny translucent glazes. This class will provide the tools and techniques necessary to explore texture, line, and color as a way to blend your idea and concepts with tactile discovery.

A founding member of Objective Clay, Doug Peltzman is a full-time studio potter currently residing in Dover Plains, New York, a rural town on the eastern edge of the Hudson Valley. After several formative years studying painting, Doug earned his bachelor of fine arts in ceramics at State University of New York-New Paltz in 2005. In 2010, he received his master of fine arts degree in ceramics from Pennsylvania State University. He has juried and curated national exhibitions; and has taught workshops at many art centers and universities across the United States, including: Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Peters Valley School of Craft, GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Augusta Heritage Center, Clay Art Center, University of North Texas, State University of New York-New Paltz, Edinboro University, the Clay Studio, and the Art School at Old Church. His pottery has been featured in many publications and can be found in homes and kitchens across the country.


June 19–23

Exploring Functional Handbuilding: Discovering the New in the Old

Instructor: Sunshine Cobb

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Experiment with new and old forms and methods of handbuilding, expand your creative expression, and develop a process-over-product mentality. You will be encouraged to use a “progress-over-perfection” mantra as you learn and practice these new and old handbuilding techniques. With a focus on foundation and a basis in the tradition of historic ceramics with contemporary themes, Sunshine will provide demonstrations that include coil and pinch methods to hard- and soft-slab construction to generate potter components. She will also talk about inspiration and how abstract concepts make their way into her work, and how to foster similar insertion into your creative practice.

Sunshine Cobb works as a potter and travels the country as a lecturing and demonstrating artist. She graduated with a BA in studio art from California State University at Sacramento in 2006, and in 2010, she received her MFA in ceramics from Utah State University. In 2013, Sunshine was named as an Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly and by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. She was a ceramic resident for a period of time after graduate school, including a two-year term residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana. In 2015, after running a successful crowdsourcing campaign to fund a studio set up, Sunshine launched Sidecar Studios, a studio for ceramics artists and other creative community activities. She is currently focusing on developing lines of functional ware and developing her studio business.


June 26–30 |Teen Week

Pump up the Volume: Exploring the Poetics of Large Vessels

Instructor: Trevor King

All Levels, Grades 9–12

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

The pottery tradition is steeped in metaphor. From its earliest conceptions and across all cultures, clay pots have acted as vehicles for the expressions of daily life, culture, and spiritual awareness. With an emphasis on the importance of fun and an exploration in the creative process, you will learn through instruction, demonstration, and personalized guidance to create significant works of art in the form of large vessels. We will begin this journey by making clay boat lanterns to float down Touchstone’s McIntire Run. Then, you will learn both wheel-throwing and handbuilding techniques for creating large vessels. In doing this, you will also learn about the properties of two types of clay (terra-cotta and stoneware) as well as various methods of firing. Together we will explore the poetic possibilities of the vessel for communicating ideas of identity, passage, and the body/soul dynamic.

Trevor King is a visual artist working in ceramics, sculpture, and video. Born in western Pennsylvania, Trevor witnessed the regional transformations associated with post industrialization. His artwork actualizes questions relating to identity, labor, art, and entropy. His poetic observations grow from his own biography, oral histories, and a desire for documentary. Trevor received a BFA from Slippery Rock University (2011), a MFA from the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan (2015), and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland (2010). He worked as a studio resident assistant at Touchstone Center for Crafts in 2012, and has been a resident artist at Ox Bow School of Art, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. In 2014, Trevor was awarded an International Institute Fellowship to work under British sculptor Antony Gormley. In 2015, his work was awarded an Outstanding Student Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center. Trevor is currently an instructor and studio technician at Adrian College and teaching at the Ann Arbor Potter’s Guild.


July 10–14

Inspiring Porcelain: Form, Surface, Function, Dysfunction

Instructor: Bryan Hopkins

All Levels*

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

We will have informative discussions and daily exercises geared toward finding inspiration in and out of the studio, through personal exploration of one’s own practice. Bring your curiosity and creativity to contribute to the conversations. You will gain the skills and confidence necessary to explore the many aspects of porcelain, including form, texture, line, and color.

* Any level student will gain knowledge about the use of porcelain, but a basic knowledge of working with clay is very useful.

Currently living in Buffalo, New York, Bryan Hopkins was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began West Chester University of Pennsylvania as a mathematics major, and found the ceramics studio in his junior year. He then earned an MFA in ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz. As a studio potter, Bryan has worked in porcelain since 1990 and his personal research in the field of ceramics centers on the utilitarian and sculptural vessel.

Bryan teaches at Niagara County Community College and has curated ceramics exhibitions nationally and locally. His work has been exhibited in national group and solo shows, including the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Clay National Biennial; and published in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Studio Potter, 500 Vases, and Best of 500 Ceramics. Bryan is a founding member of the on-line ceramics group, Objective Clay. He also received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Craft.


July 17–21

Setting the Table

Instructor: Mike Jabbur

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

We will explore how to create a complete place setting—including plates, bowls, and cups—using the potter’s wheel. Discussions and demonstrations will include technical, utilitarian, and aesthetic concerns for each form, as well as how to tie various forms together as a set or setting. Specifically, the workshop will cover when and how to create unity between forms, as well as when forms require their own unique solutions.

Mike Jabbur holds a MFA in ceramics from Ohio University, a BA in graphic design from Virginia Tech University, and is currently assistant professor of ceramics at the College of William and Mary. By means of functional vessel, his work discusses human interaction and shared experience, highlighting actions and events that simultaneously enrich lives and encourage all-too-rare moments of reflection and celebration. Mike has shown in the United States and China, and currently exhibits at galleries around the country.


July 24–28

The Layered Surface

Instructor: Justin Rothshank

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Learn about production and marketing techniques for the studio potter, including daily production, social media, and small business efficiency. You will also discover how to transfer your own imagery onto ceramic work using a variety of decal and stamping techniques. We will cover image preparation, printing and transferring decals onto greenware and glazed ware, layering of decals, using commercial decals, and firing temperatures for various types of decals.

Justin Rothshank has been working as a studio ceramic artist in Goshen, Indiana since 2009. In 2001, he cofounded the Union Project, a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His ceramic work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally, including articles in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Studio Potter, The Log Book, and Neue Keramik. He has been a presenter, panelist, visiting artist, and artist-in-residence at numerous universities, schools, conferences, and art centers throughout the United States and abroad. His functional and decorative ceramic ware is available for purchase in more than two dozen galleries and gift shops around the country.

Justin was presented with an Award of Excellence by the American Craft Council in February 2009. In 2007, he was recognized by Ceramics Monthly magazine as an Emerging Artist. He has also been awarded an Alcoa Foundation Leadership Grant for Arts Managers, a 2007 Work of Art Award from Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, the 2005 Decade of Servant Leadership from Goshen College, and was named Pittsburgh magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2005.


July 31–August 4

Decorated Surfaces in Porcelain

Instructor: Julie Wiggins

Intermediate–Advanced

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

We will create a combination of wheel thrown and handbuilt forms in porcelain. Using the wheel as a tool, we will make molds to be bisque fired and explore a variety of utilitarian forms, from cups to serving pieces. We will discuss finding your voice in your work and do drawing exercises to build your surface decoration; and explore slip inlay and carving for surface design. We will also go over studio practices, building an audience, and discuss the various ways to market and sell your work, including making for the marketplace and restaurants, and using social media.

Julie Wiggins is a full-time studio potter living and working in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from East Carolina University in 2001 with a BFA in ceramics. In 2005, she received an honorary degree from the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute in China, where she focused her studies on traditional Eastern techniques. Her work has been shown in galleries across the country, including AKAR Gallery, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Crimson Laurel Gallery, and Lark and Key. Julie’s work has been featured at the American Craft Council; is part of the permanent collection at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design; and shown at several national conferences and exhibitions, including the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. Julie has over a decade of experience as an educator and was a presenter at the Functional Ceramics Workshop in 2016.


August 7–11

Sketch, Stretch and Scratch: Handbuilding and Surface Techniques for Pottery

Instructor: Chandra DeBuse

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Create functional pottery through handbuilding and surface decorating techniques. Using demonstrations, guided exercises, and viewing historical pottery forms and contemporary illustration, we will spark ideas as we strive to create more personal pots and surfaces. We will examine methods of translating shapes on paper into three-dimensional clay and pottery forms by using soft midrange white clay with stamps, templates, and molds made from wood; craft foam; and bisqued clay. After forming, you will embellish surfaces with imagery and pattern through low-relief, texture, underglaze inlay, sgraffito, brushwork, and combined techniques on leather hard clay. This class will focus primarily on handbuilding, but some wheel throwing demonstrations will be integrated. Bring your sketchbook and be ready to experiment with some new techniques. We will focus on developing ideas and skills to springboard your personal practice. At the conclusion of the class, you can expect to take home templates and molds, several bisque fired pieces and 1 to 2 glaze fired cone 6 pieces.

* Open to all levels, although some experience with clay will be helpful.

Chandra DeBuse creates illustrated pottery at her studio in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her MFA from the University of Florida in 2010 and was a resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, and Pottery Making Illustrated. She was a demonstrating artist at the 2016 Utilitarian Clay Symposium and is a founding member of Kansas City Urban Potters.


August 14–18

Wheel Thrown Pottery

Instructor: Valda Cox

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Perfect your throwing skills with Valda Cox! Using both porcelain and stoneware clays, you will be encouraged to develop your own style, get involved in glaze mixing, and learn the process and ceremony of firing both the electric and glass kilns.

Valda Cox has been a professional potter for over 30 years, and a founding member of Penn Avenue Pottery. A native of Riga, Latvia, Valda fell in love with pottery while taking an adult education course in Syracuse, New York. She has been a full-time potter for over 35 years, and works mainly in porcelain. Valda is known for the depth and brilliance of colors in her glazes, especially the rare and unpredictable copper-red glaze. Valda’s distinguished service and dedicated following of students is legendary, and in 2004, she was named Touchstone Center for Crafts’ Artist of the Year for her accomplishments in education and the ceramic arts.

 

August 21–25

Form and Surface in the Woods of Touchstone

Instructor: Eric Rempe

All Levels

$545 Member | $575 Non-Member

Class Time: Monday–Friday

Discover new ways to create functional pottery on the wheel by allowing Touchstone’s 150-acre, woodland forest to influence form and surface in your work. Inspiration may come from something microscopic to something that incorporates the larger landscape. The wheel wants to make round pots; our search may cause you to challenge that notion.

* Previous experience with the wheel is helpful but not required.

Eric Rempe first touched clay as a high-school student in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he was challenged by his art teacher for two years. The potter's wheel allowed him to work with his hands in an incredibly direct way, and he liked the idea that his handmade pot could become a part of someone else's life. Subsequently, he earned a BFA in ceramics from Pennsylvania State University, where he studied under Chuck Aydlett, David Dontigny, and Chris Staley. He continued his studies under Richard Burkett and Joanne Hayakawa at San Diego State University, culminating in a masters of fine arts degree. All of his instructors worked with clay in vastly different ways. They asked questions about what he wanted to make, why he wanted to make it, how he wanted to make it, and how he wanted people to interact with his work. The diversity of the questioning profoundly shaped Eric’s thinking and influences him to this day.

Eric’s work has been exhibited in Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and in galleries and museums across the United States. He has been working in clay for almost 30 years and continues to find it deeply rewarding.


August 26–28

Using Paperclay for Handbuilding Functional Vessels and Sculptural Objects

Instructor: Danna Rzecznik

Beginner–Intermediate

$375 Member | $405 Non-Member

Class Time: Saturday–Monday

Explore the creative possibilities with paperclay, a versatile material that allows you to make expressive art works and functional vessels. Have fun experimenting with new techniques in handbuilding and surface decoration, as well as new methods that are unique to working with paperclay. Your work will be fired and glazed at the end of the class.

Danna Eve Rzecznik, who resides and works in Pittsburgh, earned her MFA in art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2016, a BFA in ceramics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and K–12 Art Education Certification from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. Danna presented on stage with Steven Hill and Fong Choo at the Mid-Atlantic Clay Festival in 2015. She also was an artist-in-residence at the International Ceramics Studio in Keskemet, Hungary in 2015. Danna won the Juror’s Award in 2012 at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival and was their top 2011 Emerging Artist Scholarship winner. Her work has been exhibited and sold at Baltimore Clayworks; Celadon Clay Art Gallery in Watermill, New York; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater; GalleriE CHIZ in Pittsburgh; Sweetwater Center for the Arts in Sewickley, Pennsylvania; and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Art in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Her work is currently for sale at the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh and Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmingdale, Pennsylvania.

Danna has taught K–5 art in public schools in South Carolina as well as art and ceramics classes, workshops, and outreach at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art, Father Ryan Art Center, Society for Contemporary Craft, Touchstone Center for Crafts, Gannon University, and Carlow University.


September 1–3

Wood, Clay, Fire

Instructor: Dan Kuhn

All Levels

$325 Member | $355 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Sunday

Join us for the firing of Touchstone’s two-chamber, Naborigama style kiln. We will glaze, load, and fire the kiln in three days. Students will break up in teams and will work with the instructor throughout the entire process of firing the kiln. Additionally, we will be making works in the studio during the firing. Students should bring 15 to 30 mid-sized pieces made from cone 10 clay only.

Daniel Kuhn is a western Pennsylvania native, who earned his BFA at California University of Pennsylvania and his MFA in ceramics and furniture design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has worked as a ceramics teacher and technician at Wortendyke Studio, Chautauqua’s VACI art program, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Society for Contemporary Crafts, and Community College of Allegheny County. Daniel is also the owner of Ton Pottery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


September 8–11

Dynamic Expressions

Instructor: Travis Winters

All Levels

$375 Member | $405 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Monday

Create dramatic faces that tell a story. We will pay special attention on accurately sculpting facial features while observing how different expressions can change the overall narrative of a piece. Through the creation of heads, we will gain knowledge on the muscle structure of the face, observing how they move and contort to convey emotions. We will learn basic handbuilding techniques such as slab, pinching, and coil building; and if time permits, we will experiment with marrying form and surface through low-fire surface techniques such as terra sigilatta, underglaze, glaze, and dry stains.

Travis Winters is a ceramicist and current resident artist at Baltimore Clayworks in Maryland. Working primarily with animals and figures, he creates a visceral experience for the viewer by meticulously crafting characters that evoke narrative and the sense of touch. A MFA graduate from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Travis exhibits work nationally, including: Baltimore Clayworks; the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia; the Kirkland Arts Center in Kirkland, Washington; and the Ceramics Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Travis was the Lormina Salter Fellowship Artist at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in New Castle, Maine and a short-term resident artist at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana.


September 15–18

Mapping and Surface Decoration

Instructor: Brooke Millecchia

Intermediate–Advanced*

$375 Member | $405 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Monday

Map out the surface of your pots based on their shape and accentuate it with textures and underglaze application. We will hand build plates, and then map and decorate them in the same way, step-by-step. While the plates are drying, Brooke will give a demonstration on how she decides to map a pot, including: where she will choose to add texture and other surface treatments and why. We will cover the following techniques: types of surface decoration, including color, stamps, textured foam wallpaper, incising, and simple painting. After the demonstration, we will finish the plates and when we have completed the clay surface manipulation, we will let them dry. Then, you will start another plate, but this time you will map and decorate it in your own way, with assistance from Brooke.

* Students should be able to make a pot without struggle so they can focus on the surface. This workshop could be for anyone who is ready to move beyond a basic dunking of glaze as their main decorative resource.

In 1995, Brooke Millecchia received her BFA in ceramics from West Virginia University and began her career as a studio potter. In 2002, she took an interest in teaching intermediate students so that they too could become independent professional potters. Today, she finds balance by growing as an independent ceramic artist and sharing her passion of clay with her students. Brooke lives in Fairport, New York with her husband and children. She is a dedicated full-time mother and potter. As of 2016, she is a member of Art Axis, a Potter’s Council member, and a member of Plinth Gallery in Denver, Colorado.


September 22–25

Porcelain: Form and Finesse

Instructor: Susan Filley

Intermediate

$375 Member | $405 Non-Member

Class Time: Friday–Monday

As we work through our ideas, and the pots that we make, we slowly find a sense of voice in our work. Susan has worked exclusively in porcelain for over 30 years and her work has a defining sense of gestural form and elegance. Beginning with her thrown functional pots, Susan will demonstrate her techniques. She will then move on to the more gestural forms, in which she starts with a basic thrown form and then dramatically alters them, cutting away parts, folding, and reattaching them to make her lively animated work. During the demonstration, Susan will also share information about her glazes. She fires in a gas kiln creating rich colors and microcrystalline surface detail. Her uniquely varied forms seem to demand a wide array of glaze approaches, from layered crystal mattes to the simple elegance of her opal clear. Susan will demonstrate some glazing and decorating processes.

Susan Filley, who received her MFA in ceramics from Louisiana State University, has worked for over 30 years as a studio potter. Recognized for her gestural grace in form and rich glaze surfaces, her work has been published in both books and magazines. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Fletcher Challenge Awards in New Zealand. Her works are in the Shiwan Museum in China and many private collections. Susan Filley was the President of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and is now recognized as a Fellow of the Council. Awarded a grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1999, Susan established an innovative studio gallery in Charleston, which was devoted to supporting ceramic art. In 2005, Susan moved and built a private studio in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Touchstone Center for Crafts
1049 Wharton Furnace Rd.
Farmington, PA 15437
T: 724.329.1370
T: 800.721.0177 
F: 724.329.1371
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