Clay Workshops at Penland

Penland School of Crafts offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week clay classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include functional and decorative pottery, wheel throwing, handbuilding, clay sculpture, glazing, and salt-, soda-, and wood-firing. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Enrollment for summer and fall 2017 and spring 2018 workshops is currently open.





SUMMER session 6

August 13 - 25, 2017

Courtney Martin, Star Platter, wood-fired stoneware,

16 x 16 x 2 inches



Melissa Weiss, Oval Chevron Tray, clay, iron, ash,

13 x 8 x 3/4 inches


Courtney Martin & Melissa Weiss
Viva Handbuilding!

Students will start by making custom bisque molds and using them to make dishes. Then we値l carve pots out of solid chunks of iron-rich stoneware clay in the kurinuki tradition, and we値l handbuild platters and trays. We値l add and subtract to enhance our forms: handles, feet, and cut outs. With a variety of resists, glazes, and oxides, we値l explore pattern and surface on the vessels. We値l fire to cone 10 in a reduction gas kiln and a salt kiln. All levels. Code 06CA


Courtney: studio artist; representation: Freehand (CA), Taos Clay (NM), Lark and Key (NC); exhibitions: Smithsonian Craft Show (DC), solo show at Ryubo Gallery (Japan). Melissa: studio potter; workshop assistant for Phil Rogers and Michael Kline; representation: Lillstreet Gallery (Chicago), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia).


Jason Bige Burnett, Sheriff Stars Dessert Plate, ceramic, slip

underglaze, glaze, decals, luster, 7-1/4 x 7-1/4 x 1-1/4 inches


Jason Bige Burnett
Ceramic Surface Extravaganza

This intensive workshop will focus on various graphic ceramic surfaces with an emphasis on screen-printed image transfers. Idea development and drawing (or doodling) exercises will help students create personal narratives through patterns, prints, and photos that will adorn ceramic surfaces. Pushing and pulling through layers of material will introduce a combination of techniques, including resists, decals, sgraffito and much more. We値l use cone 5 stoneware clay and fire in electric kilns. Students can make tiles and/or thrown or handbuilt pots. The techniques can also be applied to sculpture. Come prepared to experiment and play! All levels. Code 06CB


Studio artist; teaching: Watershed (ME), Santa Fe Clay (NM), Northern Clay Center (MN); Penland Core Fellowship, Arrowmont artist-in-residence; author of Graphic Clay: Ceramic Surfaces and Printed Image Transfers (Lark Books).






SUMMER session 7

August 27 - September 2, 2017

Ben Evans, Patchwork Vase, cone 6 stoneware, 10 x 6 x 6 inches



Jeff Zamek, Cup, 2300コ reduction-fired porcelain, 3 x 3-1/4 inches


Ben Evans & Jeff Zamek
Basic Glaze Formulation

Many potters are making functional pottery or sculpture but feel limited as to their glaze formulas or application techniques. This hands-on workshop will introduce several simple methods that will enable students to formulate their own glazes and adjust existing glazes for temperature range, color, and texture. Each student will make test tiles using their own glaze formulas. We値l discuss the causes of and corrections for common glaze defects. Students are welcome to bring questions and examples of clay and glaze defects they have experienced. All levels. Code 07CA


Ben: studio artist; teaching: IS183 Art School (MA), representation: 510 Gallery (NY), Stonover Gallery (MA). Jeff: studio artist, ceramic technical expert; author of What Every Potter Should Know, Safety in the Ceramics Studio, and The Potter痴 Studio Clay and Glaze Handbook.


















Bill Griffith, Pouring Pots, stoneware, glaze, 6 x 9 x 5 inches


Bill Griffith
Slab-Built Pottery: From Flat to Form

Working with soft slabs, handbuilding construction techniques, templates, and simple molds, students will create a variety of functional pottery forms including cups, tumblers, pouring pots, vases, platters, and one-of-a-kind presentation pots. We値l emphasize good form, surface texture, and pattern. Discover new ways to create handbuilt, mid-range stoneware pots using minimal tools and equipment. This workshop is especially suitable for educators and students new to handbuilding. We値l discuss glazes, but, because of limited time, we値l bisque fire only. All levels. Code 07CB


Studio artist and administrator at Arrowmont (TN); teaching: Peters Valley (NJ), CraftSummer (OH); residencies: Watershed (ME), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT); exhibitions: Strictly Functional (PA), Feats of Clay (CA); work published in Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Art & Perception.






Fall 8-Week Concentration

September 24 - November 17, 2017

Kip O狸rongly, Methane Cow Plate, earthenware, slips,

underglaze, terra sigillata, 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 x 1-1/2 inches


Scott Minugh, Cloaked Women, porcelain, 10-14 inches tall


Megan Mitchell, Wall Pillow, press-molded porcelain, stencil print,

block print, lithographic transfer, 7-12 x 9 x 2 inches

Kip O狸rongly
Diving Deep: Functional Earthenware

This workshop will be a deep dive into the world of functional earthenware through demos, discussions, and structured practice. We値l cover construction techniques from coil and slab to bisque molds and templates plus a little wheel work. We値l take a look at surface treatments using underglaze, latex, sgraffito, and stencils (which you値l create using an electronic cutting tool). Guest instructor Scott Minugh will lead a week of low-fire study, and Megan Mitchell will share her screenprinting talents, giving you a flexible and varied body of techniques to draw on in your own studio. We値l also touch on single firing, packing and shipping, inventory management, photographing work, and studio set-up. This will be a fun, fast-paced, and exciting eight weeks. All levels. Studio fee: $120. Code F00CA

Kip: Studio artist; teaching: Carleton College (MN), Arrowmont (TN); McKnight fellowship; residencies: Northern Clay Center (MN), Watershed (ME), Archie Bray Foundation (MT). Scott: Studio artist, materials consultant for potters and educators; ceramic work represented by galleries in the Seattle area. Megan: Studio artist; teaching: Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Marlboro College (VT); residencies: Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT); exhibitions: Plinth Gallery (Denver), Plains Art Museum (ND).























Fall 1-Week Session 1

October 8 - 14, 2017

Marty Fielding, Tryptich, cone 3 red clay, 14 x 30 x 12 inches


Marty Fielding
Handbuilding: Source, Construction & Color

This workshop will explore slab building techniques for constructing functional pots. We値l look at visual and conceptual sources幼eramic and nonceramic預s starting points for making personal work. Forming techniques will include paper templates, drop molds, and a variety of approaches to handles, lids, and spouts. Surface considerations will emphasize building depth for electric firing and harnessing the aesthetic and expressive potential of color. We値l have daily demonstrations and group and one-on-one conversations with an emphasis on creative problem solving. Bisque fire only. All levels. Studio fee: $40. Code F01CB

Studio artist; teaching: State University of New York-New Paltz, University of Georgia Cortona Italy Program, Florida Atlantic University; exhibitions: Plinth Gallery (CO), Northern Clay Center (MN), Zanesville Prize Exhibition (OH), Charlie Cummings Gallery (NC); publications: Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated.






Fall 1-Week Session 3

November 5 - 11, 2017

Martha Grover, Pitchers, thrown and altered porcelain,

9 x 8 x 6 inches each

Martha Grover
Elegantly Altered

Discover the idiosyncrasies of working with porcelain on and off the wheel in this hands-on workshop. We値l cover throwing and altering techniques that exploit this elegant and sensuous material痴 best qualities. We値l work with a variety of bottomless wheel-thrown forms and slabs in the soft and leather-hard stages, as well as various altering techniques and additions of slabs, handles, and spouts to create an assortment of functional forms. We値l address crack repair and mending techniques as well as the use of a spray gun for glaze application. Basic wheelthrowing skills required. Studio fee: $40. Code F03CB

Studio artist; teaching: Haystack (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), Snow Farm (MA), Appalachian Craft Center (TN); residencies: Archie Bray Foundation (MT), Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT), Pottery Workshop Jingdezhen (China).






Spring 8-Week Concentration

March 11 - May 4, 2018

Israel Davis, Ol School BMX Dream Flight, earthenware,

screenprint transfer with underglazes, nichrome wire,

5-1/2 x 3 x 3-1/2 inches


Israel Davis
Objects & Images

This workshop will explore the potential of screen printing to produce images that can be applied to clay objects. We値l cover both direct printing and newsprint transfer methods with slips and underglazes, and we値l explore laser toner decals. We値l produce sculptural and utilitarian works through handbuilding, wheelthrowing, and moldmaking. Students will learn the steps for creating imagery, exposing screens, and printing, and we値l discuss the narrative possibilities in combining image and object. We値l work with earthenware and white stoneware and fire electric, soda, and wood kilns. All levels. Studio fee: $245. Code S00CA

Studio artist; creative director at Fundamental Formative Arts (MI); teaching: Ox-Bow (MI), Arrowmont (TN), University of Missouri, University of Alabama; residencies: European Ceramic Work Center (Netherlands), Ceramica Artistica Prospettiva (Italy).








Spring 1-Week Session 3

April 22 - 28, 2018

Lisa Pedolsky, Flask Vase, earthenware, multiple glazes,

14 x 71/2 x 4 inches

Lisa Pedolsky
Handbuilt: Conceive, Construct, Embellish

Using techniques similar to package design and dressmaking, we値l explore slab-constructed functional forms using earthenware clay. Beginning with concept drawings, we値l make patterns with paper and roofing felt and then create and assemble clay components. Surface treatment techniques will include layers, slips, sgraffito, stencils, and the use of familiar and unconventional tools. Students will discover how various techniques may be combined to achieve more complex forms and effects. The week will conclude with a bisque firing and glaze demonstrations. All levels. Studio fee: $40. Code S03CB

Studio artist; teaching: Shakerag Workshops (TN), Taos Clay (NM), San Juan College (NM), Plinth Gallery (CO); residencies: NCECA International Partners Program, Centro de Arte Curaumilla (Chile); representation: Plinth Gallery (CO), Diane West (CO), La Mesa of Santa Fe (NM); publications: Studio Potter, Pottery Making Illustrated, 500 Vases (Lark Books).