Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
Yes, I now have your attention and I must clarify that I am talking about CLAY – my drug of choice. For almost 40 years ( impossible!), I have been hopelessly addicted to clay and the process of forming functional vessels out of plastic mud and then firing to permanence. Humble pots, whether a small mug or a teapot or a colorful lamp, become integral parts of the rituals of daily life.
And that’s why a handmade pot makes an ideal gift. It might be turned on, fondled, or placed on the lips as your loved one drinks and thinks of you (and possibly of the maker) with a smile.
Saturday, June 4th, 2011
RAKU WORKSHOP – Why not fire when you are already hot?!?
A 3-Day Clay Party with Nancy Ross, instructor
WHO: Anyone with an interest in clay. No experience necessary. Some handbuilding would be helpful, but you can learn on the job. Limited to the first 15 people who register, but we will need a minimum of 6 people to hold the workshop.
WHEN: 2 consecutive weekends – July 30/31 – 10 AM – 3 PM – Demos on handbuilding and throwing for raku. 2 days to produce pots.
then either August 6 or 7 – 9 AM until done – glaze and fire pots. We will pick the day by the weather.
WHERE: MARY BALDWIN COLLEGE – Staunton, VA 24401
ceramics studio in the basement of Kable dorm.
COSTS: $200 for the entire workshop including clay, glazes, tools, and firing. Snacks and drinks provided.
$150 for MBC students, faculty, or staff.
$150 for PVCC students or high school students with proper i.d.
$50 – firing only! On either August 6 or 7. You bring your bisqued pots with you.
REGISTRATION: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to hold your space until the deposit is received.
Send $50 deposit to hold your space to:
PO Box 73
Free Union, VA 22940
No refunds on deposits after July 15.
Balance due on first day of workshop.
INFORMATION: Email: email@example.com or call Nancy at 434.973.6846
Friday, June 3rd, 2011
Friday, June 3rd, 2011
In case you are interested in the workshop, here’s a brief description of the process.
Raku pottery originated in Japan in the early 16th century, created by descendants of the Raku family for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. First seen in the U.S. in the early 1960’s. the raku process was embraced for its immediacy and simplicity.
Potters make and bisque fire pottery, glaze it, and fire it again in an outdoor kiln. As the kiln heats, the glazes come to a boil, then flatten as they become molten. At around 1800°, the kiln is opened and the glowing pots are removed and transferred to a container filled with combustible materials. In this transition, the pots are subjected to extreme thermal shock, which creates the characteristic crackle of the glazes.
When the hot pots ignite the flammable material, a lid is quickly put on the container, which shuts off the source of oxygen. This process “reduces” the pots in an oxygen-starved atmosphere that is rich in carbon. Any crackle or unglazed portions of the pot turn varying shades of gray or black, and the rich colors of the glazes are developed.
Raku is a fast-firing technique which brings clay, heat, and smoke together in serendipitous ways, making discovery as significant as invention. Spontaneous and unpredictable results require suspension of expectations! A good release!
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
“I appreciated the opportunity to complete a project from start to finish. I feel there is real value in seeing the project through to the firing. After the firing I was immediately inspired for my next project and was overwhelmed with ideas of what to do next. I learned that there is so much science behind mixing glazes, and often the mistakes aren’t revealed until the piece is fired.”
- Holly Curry Bono
“Nancy Ross expertly guided us through the raku process, addressing any
concerns and answering any questions we had, all the while allowing us the
freedom to explore our own creativity. The firing was hot and mesmerizing
with the appropriate level of danger. Opening the reduction cans to
discover what changes your glaze had undergone was like unwrapping a
present on Christmas morning. It was a fun and exciting weekend; I hope to
attend next year.”
Saturday, February 5th, 2011
Taking a few days to recharge with good friends, to share ideas ranging from books to read to new teaching ideas is what Clay Camp is all about. This January I joined Nan Rothwell and Becky Garrity at Betsy Krome’s studio in Toano, Virginia for a winter version of this annual ritual. Four experienced potters and teachers have much to talk about, as you might imagine, but also enjoy cooking for each other and the lucky husband at the host studio. Thanks to you all and I look forward to our next retreat.
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Monday, August 9th, 2010
Ten people joined Nancy for the inaugural summer Raku workshop held August 6 -8 at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. Everyone agreed that such a fine experience should be repeated. I think we will. You can see a video
at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7UbKvOM9L8 . Thanks to Patrick Gibson for posting.
Sunday, July 4th, 2010
August 6 – 8 Raku workshop at Mary Baldwin College
WHY NOT FIRE WHEN YOU ARE ALREADY HOT!
Open to anyone with an interest in clay. No experience necessary. You can learn on the job. Limited to first 15 people who register. Workshop is already half full.
Contact Nancy to register and for more information.
Friday, August 6 – 9 – 2 pm – making pots.
Saturday, August 7 – 10 – 2 pm - glazes mixed and pots glazed. Lots to learn.
Sunday, August 8 – 10am until all pots fired. We’ll be firing pots.
Costs: $200 with good discounts for MBC and PVCC students and MBC faculty and staff.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
I have 3 pieces in the art faculty exhibit at PVCC held on the first floor of the Dickinson Building. It will run through January20, 2010.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Oh, the weather outside is frightful…
I’m taking my usual winter break for the month of January. So far this month, that seems like a good decision. Teaching begins January 12 at Mary Baldwin College and the next week at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Both jobs keep me busy while I recharge my creative juices.