School of Art and Design
Alwyn O'Brien: The Vessel: Poetry and Space

June 26 – July 7, 2017
Workshop Fee: $850 Material Fee: $75

Registration is Open
All workshops will be filled on a first come basis until the participant maximum is met. Once the class limit is reached, a waiting list will be kept.

Meaning and Metaphor: The etymology of Metaphor stems from Greek to “transfer”, a “carrying over”. From Meta – “over, across” and pherein “to carry, bear”. In Atlas of Emotion: Journeys of Art, Architecture and Film, Guiliana Bruno expresses “The notion of a vessel incorporates a double image: that of the boat and that of the artery (as in blood vessel); it implies the container of a flux and a system of routing.”

In this class we will be looking at a variety of ways that the vessel carries and invokes meanings within specific frameworks of language and culture. Students will refine and build upon their existing technical practice (whether it is hand building, slip casting, or wheel throwing), while developing a deeper conceptual understanding of the historical and contemporary underpinnings of making meaning along the bounded surface of the vessel. Students will acquire practical, critical and technical tools to consider ceramics and pottery within contemporary culture and current art practices. Demonstrations, discussions, and presentations are regularly scheduled. Group discussions and critiques will be used to evaluate your progress, solve technical difficulties, and aid in digesting, clarifying and edifying their practice.

Alwyn O’Brien’s ceramic sculptures push the medium as a vehicle to explore the metaphorical and literal question “What is the Vessel?”. With an extensive knowledge of the history of the decorative arts and a passion for the baroque, O’Brien’s loosely constructed filigree of hand rolled coils dissect the definition of the vessel in a deliberate yet chaotic way. Pinching, rolling, and fingerprints show signs of the hand and connect the material to body. O’Brien’s studies in clay have taken her across Canada, beginning at Capilano College, in Vancouver, Sheridan College of Ontario, the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. She received her MFA in 2010 from the University of Washington in Seattle and her BFA from Emily Carr Institute. Her work is featured in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Surrey Art Gallery, Boise Museum of Art, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, and the Canadian Clay and Glass museum. She divides her time between Saltspring Island, and Vancouver, where she is currently an instructor at Langara College.

Contact Information:
Email Summer Ceramics
Phone: 607.871.2413
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