Clay Workshops at Penland

Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.





fall eight-week concentrations

September 20 - November 13, 2015

Suze Lindsay, Cookie Jar,

salt-fired stoneware,

14 x 3 x 4”"


Kent McLaughlin,Stacked

Pitcher, stoneware,

15 x 4 x 4”

Suze Lindsay & Kent McLaughlin
A Potter’s Life

Making a living as a potter requires staying enthusiastic, understanding all aspects of making work, and creating pottery that draws a response from our audience. Working on the wheel and also applying handbuilding techniques, this workshop will explore everything that goes into creating pots for daily use. We will fire the salt, wood, and reduction kilns to cone 10 using stoneware and porcelain. A variety of glaze surfaces and decorative techniques will connect form and surface. Exercises and assignments will stimulate thoughts about personal aesthetics. The workshop will include demonstrations, slide shows, discussions, and conversations. All levels. Code F00CA

Suze: studio potter; teaching: Haystack (ME), Caraumilla Art Center (Chile); solo exhibitions: North Carolina Pottery Center, AKAR Design Gallery (IA).


Kent: studio potter; teaching: Anderson Ranch (CO), Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute (China); exhibitions: Santa Fe Clay, Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis).













fall one-week session 1

october 4 - 10, 2015

Akira Satake, Teapot, kohiki (white slip), liner glaze (shino),

9 x 5-1/2 x 4-1/2”


Akira Satake, Hikidashi Yunomi, clay, 3-1/2 x 3-1/4 x 3 x 1/4”


Akira Satake
Finding Beauty in Imperfection

Students in this workshop will learn to create rich surfaces inspired by the natural world. Demonstrations will include two distinctive techniques: 1) Brushing kohiki slip on clay slabs and stretching the slabs to crack and distort the surfaces. 2) Applying a coating of clay mixed with sand onto the surface of wheelthrown pots and then altering them. We’ll also discuss the Japanese aesthetic. Participants will gain insight into finding beauty in imperfection, the meaning of wabi-sabi, and the importance of ma—the space in-between. All levels. Code F01CB

Studio artist; teaching: Ecole Prometer (France), CIRKEL 2 (Belgium), Arrowmont (TN), Bezalel Art Academy (Israel), Wesleyan University (IL); exhibitions: SOFA New York, Cavin-Morris Gallery (NYC), AKAR Design Gallery (IA), Signature Gallery (GA); collections: Mint Museum (NC), The Phillips Collection (DC).
















fall one-week session 3

november 1 - 7, 2015

Eric Knoche, Heavy Cloud, woodfired

stoneware, slip, 27 x 19 x 8 inches





Eric Knoche
Handbuilding Laboratory

In this class we’ll blur the lines between pinching, coiling, slab work and modeling in order to open up more possibilities in the world of handbuilt ceramics. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the clay itself as we establish a paradigm of creative problem solving and develop a personal set of integrated methods that most expeditiously accomplish each student’s artistic goals. We’ll look at various ways to successfully construct large work, intricate work, and multiple-piece sculptures using simple tools and processes such as tarpaper templates and clay armatures. All levels. Code F03CB

Studio artist; presenter at first European Woodfire Conference (Germany), guest lecturer at Australian National University; Ceramics Monthly emerging artist; exhibitions: Blue Spiral 1 (NC), Baltimore Clay Works, AKAR Design Gallery (IA), Mint Museum (NC), Hjorths Fabrik (Denmark), Gallerei Klosterformat (Germany); collections: Mint Museum (NC), Mission Hospital (NC).



spring eight-week concentrations

march 13 - may 6, 2016

Gertrude Graham Smith, Impress Tankards,

porcelain, slips, glazes, each: 5-1/2” tall


Susan Feagin, Collage Tray/Catch All, mid-range stoneware,

screen-printed slips and underglazes, oxidation fired,

4 x 9 x 8”


Ronan Peterson, Hippy Pitcher, soda-fired

earthenware/ceramic, 9 x 8 x 6”


Gertrude Graham Smith
with Susan Feagin and Ronan Peterson
Making Pots: Atmospheric Firings High, Low, & In Between

This workshop offers an exciting chance to explore the effects of salt and soda firing on pots, slips, and glazes made for low-, mid-range-, and high-fire. We’ll make thrown and altered functional forms with an eye to increasing our technical and aesthetic skills. We’ll fire high-temperature salt and/or soda throughout the workshop. Guest teacher Susan Feagin will spend two weeks focusing on handbuilt stoneware, mid-range soda firing, and embellishing with screen-printed underglazes and colored glazes. With guest teacher Ronan Peterson, we’ll explore the lower end of the firing range for two weeks, including earthenware vessels, terra sigillatas, slips, and glazes. We'll also focus on gaining familiarity and ease with firing kilns. On offer will be supportive attention to the interests and work of each individual. All levels. Code S00CA


Gertude: studio artist; residencies: Archie Bray Foundation (MT), Penland; teaching: Haystack (ME), Harvard University (MA), Arrowmont (TN); North Carolina Arts Council fellowship; collections: Mint Museum (NC), Yingge Ceramics Museum (Taiwan). Susan: Penland studio coordinator; exhibitions: Spruce Pine Potter’s Market (NC), North Carolina Pottery Center, MudFire (GA), Green Hill Center (NC), Clay Makers (NC); former Penland core fellow. Ronan: studio artist; teaching: Pocosin Arts Center (NC), Mudfire (Atlanta), The Kiln Studio (AL), Penland; exhibitions: Claymakers (NC), Piedmont Crafts Gallery (NC), 18 Hands Gallery (Dallas), Mudfire (GA); former Penland core fellow.
















spring one-week session 3

april 24 - 30, 2016

Liz Zlot Summerfield, Floral Box with Brick,

earthenware, terra sigillata, underglaze,

glaze, wire, 7 x 4 x 3”


Liz Zlot Summerfield
Soft-Slab Construction: The Basics & Beyond

This workshop will demystify working with soft slabs and offer the essential components needed to create unique slab-built pots. Students will learn the basics of working with earthenware clay slabs and paper patterns, beginning with simple functional forms and expanding to include components such as lids, feet, and spouts. There will also be time allotted for surface treatment using terra sigillata and underglazes. We’ll have ongoing discussions of function, scale, and the importance of intent. The workshop will emphasize one-on-one interaction in a supportive environment where experimentation is encouraged and individual development is nurtured. All levels. Code S03CB

Studio artist; teaching: Idyllwild (CA), Arrowmont (TN), Odyssey Center (NC); exhibitions: AKAR Design Gallery (IA), Santa Fe Clay, Baltimore Clayworks; collections: Mint Museum (NC), Ceramics Monthly (OH); Ceramic Arts Daily instructional DVD.