School of Art and Design
Vessel: Form and Pattern

Instructor: Kate Johnston
July 9 - 20, 2018
Workshop Fee: $850, Material Fee: $75

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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.

Workshop Description: This 2-week workshop is open to all skill levels. During this workshop we will explore form and surface through thrown vessels and pattern making. The class will discuss how to approach a pot for decoration using engobes and atmospheric firing. Students will develop their own surface patterns and learn techniques to execute their specific ideas.

Introductory wheel throwing techniques will include basic forming and constructing with thrown parts. I will demonstrate a coil-and-throw process to achieve volume and height, dry throwing for low and wide pieces, and traditional Thai large jar construction. As a small female, I have found that making larger work is about choosing the right technique. In this workshop we will focus on ways of moving clay that further each students' ability and vision.

We will be working with stoneware clay and single-firing small work in high temperature atmospheric kilns. The first week we will make pots and learn a variety of applications for slip using only black and white. The techniques I expect to cover include: slip trailing, brushing, wax-resist, paper-resist, scriffito, and my process of deep carving with slip-inlay. Each student will chose a subject of interest and then develop motifs and patterns through drawing. The drawings will inform the student’s approach to the decoration of their work. The second week we will add a colored slip palette and focus on every student finding a voice in surface decoration.

Instructor Bio and Statement: Kate Johnston started her ceramic career at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in her hometown of Millville, NJ. Her love of vessels, art history, and ceramic chemistry led her to earn a BFA from Alfred University. In 2010, Kate opened a studio in Seagrove, NC where she has been making pots with local materials. Her work is covered with boldly carved organic patterns inspired by Art Deco design and fired in a large wood-burning kiln. Kate has taught workshops and exhibited throughout the US and was an American representative for the 2015 Kohila International Woodfire Symposium in Estonia.

Working with the traditional tools of a potter’s wheel and wood-burning kiln, I transform local clays into objects of beauty and desire. I work with traditional processes to bring obsolete ceramic objects into the modern home as useful pots. Reconceived historical forms gain new functions and commonplace vessels become accompanists to the rituals of food and storage.

My pots begin as raw local earth that is diligently processed into clay, slips, and glazes. The limitation of resources gives structure and freedom to my making, allowing me to explore the subtlety and character of each material as I compose a body of work. I begin the surfaces by carving an underlying armature of lines that stick to the bones of my pots, providing an arbor on which to cultivate the decoration. Through observational drawings, I hone a plant to its essential silhouettes and use the resulting pieces to cover my forms with a rhythmically ordered surface. The pots, damp and raw, are committed to a wood-burning kiln. The clay joins with the fire’s erratic atmosphere regaining a bit of its wildness, and fusing with the patterns.
Instagram – @kayetjohnston
Facebook – Kate Johnston, Seagrove NC

Supplemental Programming During Workshop:
Professional Practices Lecture Series:
Business of Art: Part 2: I Made All This Stuff- Now What?!
–Packing, Shipping, Photography, and Repair, with Caitlin Brown
–Every one from any workshop can attend this for free

Demonstration and Lecture Series provided by Alfred Summer Ceramic Workshop Instructors, Alfred Faculty, and Staff

MostArts Festival

Raku Extravaganza

Materials Fee:
Each workshop/studio has an upfront materials fee. For this Ceramic Workshop, includes 50 lbs. of clay (one box), glazes, and firings. Additional boxed clay is available for individual purchase in the Grinding Room. No personal tools are supplied.

Ceramic Workshop Tools: Suggested tool lists will be provided for specific workshops upon registration. Our studios do not provide buckets, banding wheels, bats, rolling pins, and other small tools. Tools are available for purchase in the Grinding Room, the Alfred University Bookstore, or Tinkertown – our local hardware store. Please inquire if you are unsure if you should bring a tool, or if the studio is equipped with it.

Contact Information:
Email Summer Ceramics
Phone: 607-871-2413
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