Saturday, February 21, 2009

How I spend my Saturdays.

Every Saturday I spend the day at the College of Marin ceramic studio.

I’ve been playing around with clay at the college level since 1978 and during that time I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different studios and have studied under a few iconic teachers such as Viola Frey and Art Nelson.

The College of Marin studio is one of the nicest studios that I have had the pleasure to work in.
Here you will find an incredibly supportive community of artists that work together in a friendly and ego free atmosphere.

Many of the students in this Saturday class are professional artists that work in various sculptural disciplines but there are also a fair share of beginner students as well.
The most pleasant aspect of this group of like minded artisans is that we support and help each other in any way that we can, especially the newer students who are just beginning to get a feel for the clay studio.
This type of mentoring greatly helps out our instructor who has arduous task of teaching 30 students whose skills range drastically from the very beginner to the very experienced.

Here are a few shots of the studio :

The main wing of the work studio
From Ceramic Studio


This is the glaze wing where the electric kilns are located and the loading cards.
From Ceramic Studio


At the foreground of this photo is a couple of pieces that I am about to glaze.
From Ceramic Studio


A tile . It is about 12” wide and 19 inches long.
I’ve just started applying the wax resist to the hair of the Geisha ‘s.
This piece was Raku’ed today.
From Ceramic Studio


These pots were made by one of the more experienced students.
From Ceramic Studio


One of the electric kilns loaded with a few pieces
From Ceramic Studio


An intermediate student working at the wheel. She threw some nice work today.
From Ceramic Studio


Our fearless leader, Logan Wood.
She has a wonderful style of teaching. The perfect temperament for handling such a wide range of students.
From Ceramic Studio


Today myself and another student did a raku firing.
The more experienced students who are familiar with the loading and fireing proceedures can supervise themselves .

I didn’t take any photos of us in the action of doing the raku fireing due to the pace that one has to keep when the pieces are taken out of the kiln and placed into the reduction buckets but I did click off a few photos of the out door covered kiln room.

Here’s our big gas kiln. I’ve never fired this kiln on my own or even with the tech.
From Ceramic Studio


Here’s one of our raku kilns.
We didn’t use this one today. We used the smaller portable one.
From Ceramic Studio


Here’s the raku reduction buckets.
After you pull your white hot piece out of the kiln you put it in a bucket of dried leaves and paper . The peice immediately creates a fire in the bucket . To smother the flame you put a lid on the bucket and the smoke within the bucket creates some cool looking raku effects.

From Ceramic Studio


The pieces that I raku’ed today are sitting outside .
They still smell like smoke so they are airing out.

I like the way the vase came out but I’m not that overly thrilled with the tile.

I’ll post them tomorrow and you’ll see what I mean.

Stay Creative !
Michelle

4 comments:

Megan said...

Your post brings back happy memories. Ceramics classes got me through my high school years, but when I tried taking a class in college, I just couldn't adjust to the kick wheels and dropped out. It's fun to see a studio and remember what fun it was.

Anonymous said...

Waiting for the raku results...

Chris

stcrmora said...

Hi Michelle, I just came across your page LOVE IT! .... seems like the things here( pictures and your posts) would make a fabulous garden book.. even the name would be more interesting than anything I've seen... just a thought!

stcrmora said...

Hi Michelle, I just came across your page LOVE IT! .... seems like the things here( pictures and your posts) would make a fabulous garden book.. even the name would be more interesting than anything I've seen... just a thought!