Through a partnership with Westmoreland County Community College, students experienced a weeklong intensive class at Touchstone Center for Crafts from March 26-30 with instructor, Joe Sendek. One student, Jessica Rees, offered this review of her experience at Touchstone, “Took a week-long intensive class. Feels like I’ve been on vacation for a month. This is the most chill, yet in-depth teaching environment you’ll find. I will definitely be saving up my vacation time for another class.”
Currently living in the state of Washington, Joe Sendek has been offering workshops at Touchstone for over 20 years! He returned to teach “Clay 1 – Foundation Ceramics” through WCCC once again this season. This course introduces students to ideas and methods used in the contemporary field of ceramic object-making. Students use basic skills such as pinching, coil building, and slab construction to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Joe says, “it is not about the tools, it’s the final outcome” and encourages his students to think “beyond the pot and box” to creatively express ideas in clay.
Jessica Rees from Ruffsdale, PA has an undergraduate degree in biology from Clearwater Christian College in Florida. In the work she produced in the ‘Clay 1’ class, it is evident how her background in biology influences her artwork. The shapes in her sculptures are inspired by microscopic amoebae and radiolaria. Jessica states, “both art and biology are methods of exploring, explaining, and defining our world.”
Another student in the ‘Foundations’ class, Lisa Buettner is attending Seton Hill University for a masters degree in art therapy. Lisa graduated from California University of PA with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Lisa’s background has influenced her to incorporate symbols and geometric shapes in her work. Her inspiration comes from different cultures, including symbols of traditional Chinese characters and ancient hieroglyphics.
Peggy Bitner, from Mt Pleasant, PA, has a passion for helping people which led her to pursue a career in art therapy. She is currently attending Westmoreland County Community College and will be transferring to Seton Hill University in the fall of 2018 to complete her degree. Peggy was encouraged to take the ‘Clay 1 Foundations’ class at Touchstone by her advisor at WCCC. She is looking forward to applying her knowledge through fieldwork in art therapy and feels art offers an important way to communicate ideas.
Individuals interested in taking workshops at Touchstone for college credit through WCCC must first be WCCC students. In order to enroll, students should apply for admission and register with Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC). Applications are available online at wccc.edu or by calling the WCCC Admissions Office at 1-800-262-2103, ext. 4077. For information about other workshops and educational programming offered at Touchstone Center for Crafts, please call 724-329-1370 or visit touchstonecrafts.org.
Kitchen Steward/Light Prep Cook
Position Type: Part Time/Seasonal Employment Duration: June 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018
Position Overview: The Kitchen Steward at Touchstone Center for Crafts is responsible for representing the highest standard of excellence in kitchen cleanliness and organization. The primary purpose of the position is ensuring the kitchen & dining room areas are clean, well maintained, organized & stocked at all times. The Kitchen Steward will maintain a proper level of clean inventory with a high standard of cleanliness according to the sanitation code. The Kitchen Steward will also assist with preparation, setup and serving of meals as necessary. The Kitchen Steward reports directly to the Culinary Manager.
- Adhere to all sanitation guidelines;
- Monitor proper tank temperatures and chemicals
- Maintain a clean and organized work area;
- Clean and sanitize all food storage areas, walk in fridges, freezers, ovens, freestanding hot and cold boxes, dry storage cupboards, floors and dishes according to sanitation guidelines.
- Oversee studio assistant cleaning of the dining room.
- Clean filters and hoods.
- Clean and sanitize trash containers. Remove trash from food production and services areas.
- Store all cleaned articles in the correct areas.
- Remove stains from china and cutlery as required.
- Ensure all access and traffic areas are clear and clean.
- Polish chafing dishes, china, silver & glassware as needed.
- Report any breakdowns in equipment, accidents or breakages to the Culinary Manager.
- Assist the Culinary Manager with food preparation, meal setup & service as necessary
- Clean, with good hygiene habits
- Communicates effectively; able to speak, read, write and understand the primary language (English) used in the workplace
- Organized, accurate and reliable
- Prioritizes and works efficiently with limited supervision
- Positive and upbeat attitude and demeanor
- Recognizes and resolves problems quickly and efficiently
- Works in a team environment
Other Skills / Abilities:
- Bend and stretch frequently
- Handle a fast-paced environment
- Lift, balance and carry up to 50 lbs during your shift
- Perform all duties in a hot and humid environment
- Stand, walk and remain on feet and perform job duties for entire shift duration
- Work quickly and quietly
Note: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization. This job description describes the general nature of the job and should not be construed as an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties or skills required for the job. Job descriptions do not establish a contract for employment and are subject to change at the discretion of the employer.
To Apply: If you are interested in applying for the Kitchen Steward position for the 2018 season, please submit a cover letter and resume to Meryl Elliott, Culinary Manager, at email@example.com.
Applications Due: May 15, 2018
An eclectic group of ARTISTS take part in a celebration of nature and community through the ceramic arts, along with public art, music, dance, a fashion show, photography, and a big party!
Organized by James Simon and Whitney Smith, the exhibition includes artwork by Touchstone ceramic artists.
Exhibition Dates: March 13-18, 2018
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 1:00-6:00 pm (Wednesday 10:00 am-5:00 pm)
Reception: Friday, March 16, 7:30 pm until 1:00 am
EXPECT: AMAZING live music and great drinks. Organized by James Simon, Whitney Smith, and John Fleenor – all podium furniture created by Master Iron Worker John Walters.
MUSIC: starting at 10:00 pm FEATURES THE INCREDIBLE “Bombici” Psychedelic Balkan Music, LIVE!
WHERE: 305 Gist St., 15219, is a well-known art street 9 minutes from downtown where John Fleenor & James Simon both live and work. John’s 2,500 sf garage space will host the clay exhibit and fashion show. Simon’s three-story warehouse/studio/home, directly across the street will host the after-party.
TOUCHSTONE ARTISTS: Mark Arnold, Fred Herbst, Doug Jeppesen, Daniel Tomcik, Dan Scully, Matthew Hyleck, Stacy Larson, Yoko Sekino-Bové, Brett Kern, Didem Mert, and Travis Winters
INFO: James Simon, 412-434-5629, simonsculpture.com
The 52nd Annual Conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts will take place March 14-17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
CrossCurrents: Clay and Culture, our theme for NCECA’s 2018 conference reflects Pittsburgh as a city of rivers, bridges, complex immigrant history, gritty perseverance, & reinvention.
This workshop will be about discovering and developing YOUR voice and telling YOUR stories through clay.
The artist’s voice is often constructed with the materials, structures, colors, surfaces, and techniques he or she chooses to use. Materials, functions, tools, and firing methods will be discussed and demonstrations to improve your technical skills will be shown. Since ceramic work often presents stories of its own, your creative challenge will be to establish a conversation with it and discover where that dialogue leads. We will use mid-range electric kilns to complete some projects. This workshop is suitable for All Levels.Register Now
Yoko Sekino-Bové was born in Osaka, Japan. She worked as a graphic designer before her passion for ceramic art took her on a new path. After receiving an MFA in ceramics from the University of Oklahoma, Yoko moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, and started working from her home studio. Her porcelain work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and most importantly, many private homes (mainly kitchens). Yoko participated in several residencies, such as the Arts/Industry residency at John Michael Kohler Art Center, the Archie Bray Foundation, and at Cerdeira Village in Portugal. Her work has also been shown in Canada, Portugal, Japan, Latvia, Turkey, Dominican Republic, and South Korea. Her works are featured in 500 Cups; 500 Platters and Chargers; 500 Teapots, volume 2; Humor in Craft, and Cast; as well as a variety of periodicals. Her technical articles are featured in the Pottery Making Illustrated magazine. Yoko also teaches ceramics at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania.
To see more of Yoko’s work visit yokosekinobove.com
Learn to make and use different tooling for texture and embellishment with hand, sledge, and power hammer.
In this workshop, we will discuss and explore different techniques with an emphasis on controlled material isolation and movement, and how all of these processes can inform design. You will then use what you have learned to execute personal forging projects of your own design. This workshop is suitable for All Levels.Register Now
Starting his studies of metalworking in 2006, Abe Pardee received his BFA in metals from the Appalachian Center for Craft in 2010. He subsequently worked for several professional blacksmiths and completed the two-year Apprenticeship Program at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2016, Abe opened Pardee Metal, LLC in Sparta, Tennessee, where he produces forged furniture, sculpture, home goods, and architectural ironwork. He has exhibited his work in museums and galleries around the country, is a 2010 Student Niche Award recipient, and has taught workshops at the Metal Museum and the Appalachian Center for Craft.