Clay Workshops at Penland

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






SuMMER session 1

may 25 - June 6, 2014


Ronan Kyle Peterson, Tree of L'Eyes Platter,

earthenware, 5 x 16 x 16 inches

Ronan Kyle Peterson
Scratching the Surface

We’ll focus on enlivening the surface of ceramic vessels and look at sources of inspiration and nuance. Using slips and terra sigillatas to create backgrounds, we’ll make surfaces teeming with texture and color through slip trailing, glaze trailing, resist patterning, and glaze layering. We’ll use low-fire clays and glazes, and fire in electric kilns. The techniques and processes explored can be applied to any firing temperature and atmosphere by potters and sculptors alike. Intermediate: students who can center and throw two pounds of clay and/or comfortably handbuild forms will benefit most from this surface-oriented class. Code 01CA


Studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Mudfire (GA), The Kiln Studio (AL), Penland; exhibitions: Piedmont Crafts (NC), Charlie Cummings Gallery (FL), Potter’s Market Invitational at Mint Museum (NC), Penland Gallery; former Penland core fellow.






Joseph Pintz, Pitchers, earthenware,

10 x 8 x 4-1/2 inches

Joseph Pintz
Putting Things Together: Handbuilt Vessels

This workshop will explore the subtleties of handbuilt earthenware vessels. In addition to additive and reductive handbuilding techniques, participants will learn to use and make their own bisque molds to create an assortment of utilitarian and sculptural forms. There will be a strong emphasis on surface, not as an afterthought, but as an essential design element. We’ll build up layers of terra sigillata, glazes, and washes to create rich, low-fire surfaces. All levels. Code 01CB

Assistant professor at University of Missouri; NCECA Emerging Artist Award, Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award; residencies: Archie Bray (MT), Roswell (NM); exhibitions: Red Star Studios (MO), Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia); work published in Ceramics Monthly and 500 Ceramic Sculptures (Lark).







SuMMER session 2

june 8 - 20, 2014

Jan McKeachie Johnston, Stacked Vase,

woodfired stoneware, 17 x 7 x 7 inches


Randy J. Johnston, Squared Shino Vase,

woodfired stoneware, 16 x 16 x 6 inches








Jan McKeachie Johnston & Randy J. Johnston
At the Edge of Clay

This fun and exciting workshop will cover traditional and nontraditional methods of throwing and altering forms along with handbuilding techniques, including the use of paper patterns. We’ll work with a variety of glazes and slips on high-fire stoneware and fire the wood and gas kilns. The class will also include ideas about form and surface texture as they relate to woodfiring, drawing on our background of more than 40 years of firing large Japanese-style kilns. All levels. Code 02CA

Jan: studio potter; teaching: Anderson Ranch (CO), Arrowmont (TN), Curaumilla Art Center (Chile); exhibitions: Lacoste Gallery (MA), TRAX Gallery (CA), Frank Lloyd Gallery (Los Angeles); collections: Chrysler Museum (VA), Minneapolis Institute of Art; work published in Clay Times and Ceramics Monthly. Randy: professor at University of Wisconsin-River Falls; fellowships: National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation (MN); collections: Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Nelson Atkins Museum (MO).



















Lindsay Pichaske, Ghost of Snow,

low-fire ceramic, monofilament,

putty epoxy, milk paint, resin,

19 x 13 x 17 inches

Lindscay Pichaske
Evocative Animals

We’ll explore the emotive, narrative, and psychological potential of animal forms in clay. Drawing inspiration from personal experience, archetypes, and observations in the natural and manufactured world, we’ll create small- to life-sized animal sculptures. Demonstrations will cover solid and slab construction as well as anatomical figure-sculpting techniques. Individual guidance will help students create unique creatures that are personally relevant. Surface and meaning will be addressed, and we’ll try a variety of post-firing finishes. We’ll use earthenware clay and electric firings. All levels, although some handbuilding experience will be helpful. Code 02CB

Studio artist; teaching: George Washington University (DC), Corcoran College of Art + Design (DC); NCECA Emerging Artist Award; exhibitions: Foster/White Gallery (Seattle), Duane Reed Gallery (St. Louis), Flashpoint Gallery (DC), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia), SOFA Chicago; residencies: Archie Bray (MT), Watershed (ME), Art 342 (CO).







SuMMER session 3

june 22 - july 4, 2014


Meredith Host, Dot Dot Floral Vases,

porcelain with decals,

9-3/4 x 5 x 5 inches


Meredith Host
Lots O’ Layers

This workshop will explore surface-decorating processes at all stages of making, using simple forms and building layers of visual information. Pre-bisque, we’ll experiment with surface design using underglaze, slip, paper stenciling, slip trailing, incising, and screen printing with Thermofax and EZ Screens. After glaze firing we’ll continue surface development with vinyl stencils and low-temperature glaze, iron-oxide transfer decals, china-paint decals, etc. You’ll expand your visual vocabulary and create dynamic, complex surfaces. We’ll work with cone 6 porcelain in oxidation, but these methods are applicable to all types of clays and temperatures. All levels, although some throwing experience will be helpful. Code 03CA

Studio artist; teaching: Red Star Studios (MO); residencies: Watershed (ME), Arrowmont (TN), Desdner Porzellan Manufactory (Germany); solo exhibitions: Hallmark (MO), Naked City Gallery (KS), AKAR (IA), Flotsam + Jetsam (Philadelphia), Dyer Arts Center (NY).





Heather Mae Erickson, IORG, porcelain

Heather Mae Erickson
Plaster Models & Mold Making

This workshop will be divided evenly between creating clay and plaster prototype forms and engineering molds. We’ll cover beginning to advanced moldmaking with an emphasis on working from your own forms rather than found objects. Students will learn systems for creating models and molds and also how to fabricate tools. We’ll cover a variety of processes for working with plaster and explore its many stages of workability. We’ll plan ideas using special drawing devices and stencils so you can develop your designs from beginning to end. If time permits, we’ll cast and bisque fire. All levels. Code 03CB

Studio artist; teaching: Alfred University (NY), University of Colorado-Boulder; residencies: Archie Bray (MT), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia), Aalto University (Finland); exhibitions: Lill Street Gallery (Chicago), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia), Denver Art Museum, American Museum of Ceramic Art (Los Angeles); work published in Ceramics Monthly and 500 Vases (Lark).






SuMMER session 4

july 6 - 18, 2014

Nick Schwartz, 3 Gallon Jug,

wood and salt fired stoneware,

17-1/2 x 8 inches



Nick Schwartz
Painting with Fire

Learn to paint with fire as we explore the art of wood firing in Penland’s cross draft, hybrid anagama/noborigama kiln. We’ll make work to be fired “green” in the wood kiln. We’ll use tumble stacking and wadding to guide the flame’s path through the work in order to create variables that will enrich the surfaces of our finished pieces. This intensive, hands-on workshop will combine philosophy and practical knowledge of the craft and art of firing with wood. We’ll use stoneware and porcelain in different parts of the kiln. All levels. Code 04CA

Studio potter; director of ceramics at Mendocino Art Center (CA); exhibitions: Trax Gallery (CA), Mendocino Art Center (CA), Eckerd College (FL), Handley Cellars (CA), The Artery (CA). Nick has built and fired kilns in many countries around the world. He has baked bread in a clandestine bakery, worked in a circus, and fought forest fires as a volunteer fire fighter. He enjoys surfing, beer, and chocolate chip cookies.




The downstairs clay studio will be used during fourth session for Finding Voice with sculptor Hiroyuki Hamada.





SuMMER session 5

July 20 - August 5, 2014


Susan Filley, Petite Teapots with Cuplets, porcelain,

6 x 5 x 3 inches (teapot)


Leah Leitson, Pitcher, porcelain,

thrown and altered, 11 x 5 x 4 inches

Susan Filley & Leah Leitson
Porcelain without Borders

Working with porcelain opens new doors: the clay is white, the glazes are bright, and the smooth feel of porcelain is fun to explore. We’ll focus on creating new pottery forms and techniques for altering forms. Individual projects will allow for developing forms, ideas, and new glazes. A special group project will look at how pottery inspires the celebration of dining together. The workshop will include decoration, basic glaze formulation, and firings in both gas reduction and salt kilns. Intermediate: basic throwing skills required. Code 05CA

Susan: studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Penland; exhibitions: Fletcher Challenge Awards (New Zealand), Strictly Functional Pottery National (PA); NCECA fellow, first studio potter to serve as president of NCECA; work published in 500 Teapots (Lark), High-Fire Glazes (Lark); collections: Shiwan Museum (China), La Grange Museum (GA).


Leah: professor at Warren Wilson College (NC); workshop teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Penland; exhibitions: North Carolina Pottery Center, Green Hill Center (NC), Signature Gallery (Atlanta); residencies: Archie Bray (MT), Banff Center for the Arts (Alberta); work published in Ceramics Monthly and Masters of Porcelain (Lark).

Leah Leitson's profile page, Warren Wilson College










Thaddeus Erdahl, Billy Lee the Half King,

clay, underglaze, slip, glaze, encaustic,

18 x 17 x 10 inches

Thaddeus Erdahl
Nature Nurture

The human condition is developed by the balance and imbalance of nature and nurture; we’ll explore and discuss these territories as we develop concepts in this figurative sculpture workshop. The technical focus will be on hollow-form handbuilding using modified slabs, coils, and simple armatures to create a dynamic, life-sized human bust. Demonstrations will deal with character development as illustrated by facial features, hair, and clothing. We’ll also find ways to develop surfaces rich with layers and visual history. We’ll work with a low-temperature sculpture clay and fire our pieces twice. Students will take home a finished sculpture and several exquisite test tiles. All levels. Code 05CB

Studio artist; teaching: University of Northern Iowa; University of Florida alumni fellowship; residencies: Guldegergaard International Ceramic Research Center (Denmark), Arrowmont (TN); upcoming solo show at Greenwich House Pottery (NYC), representation: Obsidian Gallery (AZ), Signature Gallery (Atlanta).






SuMMER session 6

August 10 - 22, 2014


Kathy King, Untitled (Stacked Flower Vase),

mid-range porcelain, 27 x 10 x 10 inches

Kathy King
Looking over Your Shoulder

This workshop will feature an overview of ceramic art history, from Neolithic Chinese storage pots to contemporary work. We’ll focus on historical methods of making and the social contexts from which the work was created. As we consider the past, we’ll respond by making work that reflects contemporary points of view. We’ll give special attention to surface decoration and treatments, print-transfer techniques, and narrative. We’ll use low-, medium-, and high-fire clays in oxidation and reduction. All levels. Code 06CA

Studio artist; director of education at the Harvard University Office for the Arts ceramics program (MA); teaching: School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Rhode Island School of Design, Georgia State University; exhibitions: Mudfire (Atlanta), Spacelab (Cleveland), SOFA Chicago, The Clay Studio (Philadelphia), Crimson Laurel (NC), World Ceramic Exposition (Korea), Blue Spiral (NC); work published in Confrontational Ceramics by Judith Schwartz and Sex Pots by Paul Mathieu.





Elisa Di Feo, Dinner Plate, porcelain, 3 x 9 x 9 inches


Elisa Di Feo
Dinner Plans

This class will explore functional objects from the point of view of food! We’ll work from fired clay molds and create porcelain multiples. Our goal is to make functional pieces that present food in new and compelling ways. Discussions, food tastings, and visits from award-winning local chef Nate Allen will give insight into tableware from the viewpoint of a culinary professional, creating an engaging challenge for students. Using a simple palette that will showcase the colors of food, we’ll fire cone 6 in electric kilns. All levels. Code 06CB

Studio artist; teaching: Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), Lux Center for the Arts (NE); residency: Appalachian Center for Craft (TN), exhibitions: Crimson Laurel (NC), Rebus Works (NC), Lux Center for the Arts (NE), Santa Fe Clay (NM), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia).






SuMMER session 7

August 24 - 30, 2014


Brian R. Jones, Tumblers, earthenware, slip,

terra sigillata, glaze, 6 x 3 x 3 inches

Brian R. Jones
Structuring Layers

When I make pots, I think of the steps of the making process as layers. It’s a semantic trick to keep myself from separating the making from the glazing. Working with earthenware, we’ll explore different ways to investigate form (bisque molds, throwing parts on the wheel, using patterns, coil building) and ways to articulate the surface (slip, terra sigillata, underglazes, sgraffito), setting ourselves up to both plan and improvise form and surface. This class is meant to provide you with new ways to make pots, look at your work, and think about process. Collaboration will be an important part of our week. We’ll work with earthenware and bisque fire only. Basic throwing skills required. Code 07CA

Studio artist; exhibitions: Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), Clark College (WA), Crimson Laurel (NC), Philadelphia Museum Craft Show, Archie Bray (MT), Gallery EXPO (Houston), Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis), Washington State Convention Center, Turman-Lairson Gallery (MT), Pollock Gallery (TX); work published in Ceramics Monthly and Studio Potter.





Aisha Harrison, Leaner, clay,

62 x 23 x 19 inches


Aisha Harrison
Figure Sculpting Intensive

The human figure has been a captivating subject in visual art for thousands of years. From bold gestures to the subtle beauty of the body’s curves, this workshop will take your rendering skills to the next level. We’ll focus on close observation of a live model, classic sculpture techniques, and how anatomy affects the body’s shape. We’ll also explore some of the common themes and conceptual uses of the figure in art. We’ll use midrange clay, no firing. All levels. Code 07CB

Studio artist; teaching: Evergreen State College (WA), Baltimore Clayworks (MD), Community College of Baltimore County (MD), Lux Center for the Arts (NE); exhibitions: O’Kane Gallery (TX), Santa Fe Clay (NM), Salon Refu/Susan Christian Project Space (WA); residencies: Lormina Salter Fellow at Baltimore Clayworks (MD), Women’s Studio Workshop (NY).








Jason Bige Burnett, Game Night,

earthenware, slip, underglaze,

glaze, decals, luster, 9.5 x 9.5 x 1.25"


Justin Rothshank, Cups, earthenware, decals

luster, 4 x 4 x 4" each

Jason Bige Burnett & Justin Rothshank
Layer Cake: Delicious Ceramic Surfaces

Come indulge in a variety of techniques and treats for your ceramic surfaces. Our menu offers demonstrations for both on- and off-wheel pottery construction. In addition to learning screenprinted image-transfer techniques, stencil generation, and decal design and printing, we’ll use multicolored slips, underglazes, and a variety of commercial and shop-made glazes for electric and atmospheric firings. We’ll work with mid-range and high-fire, red and white clay bodies. We’ll fire a variety of kilns, experimenting with atmospheric and multifiring techniques. All levels. Code F00CA

Jason: teaching: Santa Fe Clay (CA), Baltimore Clayworks (MD); work published in American Craft, Ceramics Monthly; former Penland core fellow.


Justin: studio potter; American Craft Council award of excellence, work sold in more than two dozen galleries and shops nationwide.












FALL SEssion 2

OCTOBER 19 - 25, 2014


Kent McLaughlin, Bird Bottles,

shino and matte glaze on porcelain, 9 inches tall

Kent McLaughlin
A Week of Shino

We will enjoy one week of firing numerous shino glazes in reduction kilns. Bring your stoneware or porcelain bisqueware suitable for cone 10 temperatures, and we’ll explore a variety of shinos and some of the techniques that are possible with this intriguing glaze, including carbon trapping, wax-resist patterning, manipulated drying, carbon cooling, and glaze layering. Have a favorite shino glaze you would like to share? Bring it along. We’ll also make deer-tail brushes, and the workshop will include throwing demonstrations as time permits. All levels. Code F02CB

Studio potter; teaching: Haystack (ME), Anderson Ranch (CO), Campbell Folk School (NC), Shakerag (TN), Curaumilla Art Center (Chile), Jingdezhen Art Institute (China); gallery representation: MICA Gallery (NC), Lark and Key (NC), Schaller Gallery (MI), AKAR Design Gallery (IA).







MARCH 8 - MAY 1, 2015


Cynthia Bringle, Bottle with Lid,

clay, 9 x 5-1/2 x 4 inches


Cynthia Bringle
Clay: The Next Level

This workshop will explore mostly wheelthrown pottery—from technique to design—with an eye toward raising each student’s skills to the next level. We’ll work with stoneware and porcelain and fire gas, salt, and soda kilns. The workshop will include field trips to area studios and discussions of studio practice and marketing. During a two-week visit, Jerolyn Morrison will introduce the ancient pot-making and cooking techniques of the Minoan civilization (3000–1485 BCE). Students will make and use Minoan-style cooking pots to create ancient flavors. Intermediate to advanced level; throwing skills required. Code S00CA

Studio artist and workshop teacher; fellow of the American Craft Council, North Carolina Award, honorary doctorate from Memphis College of Art; collections: North Carolina Governor’s Residence, Mint Museum, and many kitchen cabinets.






SPRING session 2

april 5 - 11, 2015

Joy Seidler, Two Moon Journals, paste paper coptic binding,

9 x 12 inches, dust jacket journal with image sewn, 10 x 8 inches

Caverly Morgan & Joy Seidler
Mindfulness & Making

Our workshop will focus on discovering authentic personal entry points into the creative process. Together we’ll explore mindful participation with creativity and with life as we avoid the temptations of control and end-gain. We will use crafts—including pastepaper, journal making, clay work, and other forms—as a vehicle for the practice of presence and receptivity and for experiencing interconnectedness. We’ll also explore meditation, strategies for bringing mindful practices into your life, and the role of service in craft. And we’ll address questions such as, “What does it mean to be a vehicle for creative life force while being an object maker?” and “How can our creative processes assist us in being more awake in the world?” All levels. Code S02CB

Caverly: meditation teacher, Zen practitioner and founding director of One House of Peace.


Joy: studio artist, consultant, educator, trainer of teachers; 20 summers of pastepaper journal workshops in Massachusetts.





spring SEssion 3

april 19 - 25, 2015


Pam Brewer, Grin and Bear It,

ceramic glaze test tiles, concrete 10 x 16 x 13 inches>

Pam Brewer
Mosaic: An Exploration

Students will learn a direct-application mosaic process and explore unique ways of seeing mosaics. While addressing both the art and craft of this ancient art form, we’ll consider the rules and how to break them—both literally and figuratively. Exploration will include exercises with a variety of forms, substrates (architectural or sculptural), and application techniques. We’ll interpret scale and scope and incorporate a variety of materials including artist-made tiles and reclaimed and found parts. All levels. Code S03CB

Studio artist, interior designer; teaching: Appalachian State University (NC), Odyssey Center (NC), Campbell Folk School; community/public art: The Free Clinic (NC), Appalachian State University (NC), Christ Church Episcopal School (SC), Watauga High School (NC)..