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Marcia Selsor

What Is The Best Workshop Experience,incident Or Moment You Ever Had?

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Years ago, Bill Daly came up to Canada to do a workshop. The usual workshop involved sitting around watching somebody throw.

In Bill's workshop, we were all up making these huge architectural slab pieces, like his work.

I remember thinking that his drawings were works of art in themselves, and I really liked his sculptures.

I had graduated a few years before and was a working artist.

I made a really great sculpture . Big. We got the leather hard piece into the truck and muscled it up a flight of stairs to our studio.When we got it home, I realized that it would not fit in the electric .Too big.

The great thing about the workshop was that Bill came over to me and discretely said; "Man, you can really move clay."

He didn't mean moving it up the stairs.

TJR.

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Dale Roush-production throwing in the early 70's-He is an Alfred grad about 1970-I learned a lot from this two day.

Tom Coleman-later 70,s-learned some great throwing and glazeing tips

Otto and Vitvika Heno-small workshop in the 80's up here with about 15 people-learned a lot and still use those glazes.He told fantastic stories

Roben Hopper-late 80's still use his tiger rim tecnique for gaining rim control when its wonky-he came down to Humboldt for our guild back then.

I would be hard pressed to choose between them.

There have been a few others but thats another story.

Mark

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One teacher I had made us draw the teapot we wanted to make before we started throwing. I'm just a hobby potter(er?)so this was new to me...I knew people did it , I never had. Great experience and now I carry a book with me when I go to the studio. Aha moment!

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I started trying work in clay three years ago. I taught myself to carve wood, make stained glass lamps, weave chair bottoms, and do anything with wood. How hard could pottery be!!!!!  WHAT A GROSS ASSUMPTION THAT WAS!!!

Long story short, I made three hundred doggie bowls - no two the same. Finally on a trip to a town close by, we happened upon a local potter who had a huge studio and show room.  We went in and found out that he gave lessons to beginners, intermediates and advanced potters. I signed up for beginners and have never regretted it. I was taught how to move clay all around and up and down and what makes a pot proportionally correct. Thank you Studio S pottery and Mr. Lewis Snyder for your help. I no longer make doggie bowls, but if I wanted to I could make them the right way and everyone just alike!!!!

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I would have to say my most memorable moment at a demonstration was this past October at Texas Clay Festival during Lisa Orr's demonstration.  After she demonstrated how she made her lovely salt cellars piece by piece...she graciously gifted the demo piece to me rather than smooching it as she was about to do...I carefully took it home and it made it all in one piece.  However as I was loading it into the kiln for the bisque firing I managed to drop the tiny spoon.  So I wound up making another one for it.  I glazed it in ways that are reminiscent of Lisa's glazing but using a different color palette.  I am so happy with this piece. I will treasure it always. 

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Good topic, Marcia!  Memorable moments can be bad, too  Picking up my beautiful best-ever-to-that-point hand-built large dish at the bone-dry stage to show to visitors by...yup, the edge. whoops.

 

Now a question for Mark C.:  What is Robin Hopper's tiger rim technique??? Please share it with us. Some of us still get wonky rims!

Ginny C.

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Me too, I check his book and there was no mention of that in it as far as I could tell.

Good workshop experiences, Bill Van Gilder, Steven Hill, Leah Lietson, at Arrowmont ,.  Cynthia Bringle  told me something that had a major impact on my work, design wise. For bad experiences, PM me. I've had some I sure would not repeat.

A visit to Otto Heino's studio a few years back impressed on me that tools do not the potter make, he had none. When I asked him where his tools were, since I could only see a sponge and a needle tool, he held up his fingers, grinned, and wiggled them at me.  Memorable visit and I will regret forever not buying that little blue egg shaped vase that was so perfect it seemed alive in my hands.

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(Now a question for Mark C.:  What is Robin Hopper's tiger rim technique??? Please share it with us. Some of us still get wonky rims!

Ginny C.)

This is something he picked up from a Japanese potter-Its using two fingers bent from one hand bit like a horseshoe while forcing the clay on lip down a bit as you steady with the other hand.

The one subject I seem to avoid taking about is throwing technique-for me its not taught with words so much as seeing and feeling.I'm sure his videos cover this somewhere.

Mark

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Oh! I do that all the time...I wonder what the connection is with a tiger? Maybe just the steady, poised, unwavering position.  Staring the clay down, sort of like a tiger before it pounces.

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