Monday, November 8, 2010

Holly Jolly Show and Market
The Gallery Show is open to all current teachers, Independent Study members, and students, as well as anyone who served as a Studio Assistant in 2010. Current students should work with their teacher to choose a piece for the show. Teachers, Studio Assistants, and Independent Study members should bring 2-3 pieces on Monday, November 29, and selections will be made by Gale and Sarah, who are curating the show. With your permission, pieces not chosen for the show will be in the Market. Work in the show that sells is paid on a 65/35 split between the potter and the Center, respectively, with checks cut after the show closes in January. However, “Not For Sale” pieces can also be in the show.

- The Pottery Market is open to anyone who has taken a class or workshop at the BMCA Clay Studio in 2010. This is a fundraiser, so work that sells is paid on a 50/50 split between each potter and the Center, with checks cut early in January. Pieces can be brought to the Studio the week of Nov. 29 – Dec. 2. With your permission, work not sold on Friday, Dec. 3 may remain until Dec. 23 on a table set up in the upstairs hallway. More information about pricing, volunteering, etc., will be forthcoming.
Open Studio/Thanksgiving Holiday – There will be no Open Studio or classes Nov. 24, 25, and 26 (Thanksgiving holidays); to make up for that, on SATURDAY, NOV. 27 – there will be a BIG 4-hour Open Studio, from 11 am – 3 pm.

Tile Project
– If you have not picked up a tile from the studio to add to the Community Tile Project for the Gallery Show, now is the time.
Nov. 18 – last bisque firing.
Nov. 27 – last day to turn in tiles for glaze firing.

Next Session’s Classes: The classes for the current six weeks will end the week of Thanksgiving, except for Geoff’s class, which is ongoing. New classes will begin the week of Nov. 29, and continue until the 2nd week of January (with no classes meeting the week of December 27.). All current classes will be repeated, with the exception of the Maureen’s Decorative Tile Making on Thursdays from 12-2 pm. In its place, she will teach a 3-week class, on Dec. 2, 9, and 16, to allow anyone who wants to make holiday gifts and have them completed in time. A more detailed description is forthcoming.

Holiday Closing:
The Studio will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 24 – Jan. 2. All students are encouraged to thoroughly wrap their work in plastic at their last class or Open Studio before Dec. 24 to ensure it will not dry out.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BMCA Clay Studio Holly Jolly Gallery Show Participation Invitation

Gallery Show Opening Friday December 3rd, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

In conjunction with the annual Holly Jolly Clay Studio Gallery Show and Sale this year we are inviting various community members, contributing artists and friends to participate in a community art project to display at the entrance of the gallery during the duration of the show. The concept behind this year’s Holly Jolly Opening BMCA Gallery Show is a Community project "Creating a Clay Community" in an effort to showcase the community’s art diversity with a display of uniform (only by the size limitation) yet unique wall of tiles. Stop by or telephone the center for more information!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BMCA Clay Studio Offers New Line-Up and More for Fall Classes

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts Clay Studio announces its fall schedule with a few changes in the works. After a review over the summer, the Center’s Clay Studio is moving to a primarily curriculum based schedule. In addition, all classes will now be six weeks in length, rather than the previous option of students choosing 4- or 8-week sessions. This allows a more uniform structure and gives students a longer opportunity to learn technique. The Center is offering more class options than before, but the format will now have a dual emphasis on product and process. Unless otherwise noted, tuition for a 6-weeks session is $135 plus a $35 lab fee to cover clay, glazes and firing and Open Studio time. BMCA accepts check, cash, or credit/debit cards, For more information, visit the Center’s website at To register, call 828/669-0930, or come by the Center’s offices at 225 W. State Street.

Classes Offered cover a range of times and themes. In addition to three returning teachers, Judi Ashe, Geoff Bird and Gwen Ottinger, Maureen Joyce will join the teaching staff, while other teachers may be added in the near future. Information on the qualifications of instructors may be found on the website and at the Studio. Also new is Studio Operations Manager, Sarah Mayer, who will regularly be in the Studio, along with Joyce, to make Open Studio times available, to oversee kiln firings and other responsibilities. Classes and scheduled times are listed below.

Beginning Wheel Learning and Practicing the Basics. Two class times offered; Tuesdays, 10am – noon, taught by Maureen Joyce, and Tuesdays, 6-8 pm, taught by Gwen Ottinger. Classes begin October 19. Our teachers offer a class that will take you step-by-step through the stages of throwing a pot on the wheel, to altering or adding designs to it, to glazing and preparing it for firing. The focus will be on centering the clay, opening it to make a cylinder which can be turned into a cup, mug or bowl, finishing the shape, trimming the pot, and properly preparing it for both bisque and final firings. Class may be repeated a number of times until students are ready to move on.

Teen Clay Class: Projects in Clay for Grades 6-12 Taught by Gwen Ottinger, Sundays, 2-4 pm. Class begins Sunday, October 24, 2010. Tuition is $135 plus a lab fee of $15. This class will teach young people to make specific items through wheel-throwing and other methods. Students will go through the process of bisque firings, glazing and final firings for pieces such as bowls and mugs that may be appropriate for holiday gifts. The class does not include Open Studio times.

Ongoing Wheel Class: A Less Structured Approach Taught by Geoff Bird, Thursdays, 4-6 pm. Classes are offered on an ongoing enrollment in 6-week increments. In this class students work with clay at their own pace. The class is open to beginner through intermediate with new techniques taught on a one-on-one basis, whether by wheel or hand. One student might be working on one long-term project, while another might be making a series or set of items in a similar vein. Occasionally students travel to an off- site location for a raku-firing session or other learning experiences.

Intermediate Wheel: Beyond the Basics Taught by Gwen Ottinger, Mondays, 6-8 pm, beginning October 18. Once students have mastered the basics in beginning wheel classes, they are ready to move on to lessons that include refining their skills and making more challenging ware such as plates, teapots, pitchers, serving pieces and sculptural work, along with learning more about glazes and firing.

Beginners Handbuilding: An Exploration into Handbuilt Functional Ware Taught by Judi Ashe, Wednesdays, 4-6 pm, beginning October 20. Many novices are unaware that working with clay can be just as rewarding using hand building techniques as throwing on the wheel. In this class, students will learn how to pinch a pot, coil a vessel, and make tiles and dinnerware from slabs. Input from the students will generate additional projects. Judi will execute at least one demo each class, and will also include some group-oriented activities. Even if the student has taken a Hand Building class before, Judi's unique ways of building with clay will be valuable information. As this class evolves, Judi intends to offer an Intermediate Hand Building Class as well.

Exploring the Sacred Object in Everyday Life Taught by Judi Ashe, Fridays, 10 am – noon, beginning October 22. This class will focus on hand built forms that allow the student to connect to what is sacred in their own life. Many different forms have emerged in these classes in the past, ranging from unique ceremonial pieces, burning bowls, urns for ashes, masks, tea ceremony vessels, etc. This is a very rich and deep class that many clay students can enjoy, and really brings the group together in a powerful way. This class is open to students of all levels. Using the wheel in addition to hand building to achieve the forms is also allowed. This is not a class focused on creating objects for sale, but is, instead, all about the exploration of clay as a medium for expressing the sacred. Join Judi on this journey into the rich world of the Sacred Object.

Decorative Tile Making Taught by Maureen Joyce, Thursdays, 12-2 pm, beginning October 21. Whether you are looking to make tiles to place in a specific room of your home, or as gifts for a special occasion, expressing your individuality through the tiles is an exciting and fun process. Students will use the slab roller to begin the tile, then follow the teacher’s guidance or use their own creativity toward embellishing each tile for the firing process. A quilt of student tiles is planned for the Clay Studio Show to open later this year.

Independent Study (Replaces Community Membership). Experienced potters who are in need of a space to work in and who do not require instruction may apply for an Independent Study – a self-guided experience. These students will use the studio during Open Studio times. The fee of $100 for six-weeks includes limited firing and glaze materials, but clay approved for use is for sale separately. This class is not for the purpose of production pottery, as BMCA is a teaching studio only.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thank You Thank You

ATribute to AJ

Thank You Thank You...really really...say it out loud...give it a haircut...score score score...slip slip slip...back in a flash...think about a series...good good..Barley lie down...have you tested?...let's look at your masterpiece...sloppy now pretty later...start with a good healthy piece...putting your art out in to the universe...enjoy the rain...another lesson in detachment...cheers...lets make some have spent enough time on this one...make some test tiles..hello hello...make it a good one...truly truly...Barley is such a flirt...I am sufficiently caffeinated..that's some exciting you want to add some texture to that?...may be some really sloppy slip...are y'all from around here?'s the monster today?...enjoy the sunshine...I am indeed...Spanish red iron oxide rocks...where are you going with it from here? do you feel about texture...pottery is not all about the wheel...glazing is a whole different mindset...turn it into a sculpture...done and DONE

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stop by the studio to see the work from this Pit Fire Seminar- the results of the smoke, fire, and organic matter have left quite an impression!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Saturday June 5th and Sunday June 6th
10 am - 2 pm
In front of the clay studio at the behind the Black Mountain Center for the Arts on State Street in Black Mountain

Thank you for supporting our Fundraising Effort

to Benefit the Black Mountain Center for the Arts and it's Clay Studio

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mosaics Clay Class to Be Offered

Holly de Saillan will teach a class in Making Mosaics at the BMCA Clay Studio on four consecutive Mondays, April 12 - May 3 from 2-4 pm. Cost is $125, which includes clay, glazes & firing. In the class students will make their own tiles using a variety of techniques, then put together a sampler mosaic. A supply list will be provided before the class begins. Class size is limited, so early registration is recommended. For more information and to register, call the Black Mountain Center for the Arts at 828/669-0930. The Center is located at 225 W. State Street, and the Clay Studio is adjacent to the Center.

de Saillan is an experienced potter and teacher who lives in the Asheville area and also teaches ceramics and mosaics at Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts and around western NC. Her inspirations come from nature, contemporary folk art and (currently) artists Niki de St. Phalle, Antoni Gaudi, Raymonde Isadore, Joan Miro and Marc Chagall among many others. Clay and mosaic have been her mode of artistic expression for thirty years.

In her classes she believes it is important that every student feel successful. For her the work of art is about the love of creating. Imitative work is not her intent – she teaches techniques and ideas, not how to make a copy of her work.

About her work in clay, Holly writes, “My work is an echo of the world that surrounds me. I experience life through my various senses and allow my hands to form representations of that life from clay. Through this process of raw creation, I hope to connect others to the complexity and mystery of life and bring to all a sense of wonder.

“My work is very organic in form; clay, unlike many other mediums is not far removed from the earth in which it was created. Having such a close connection with the natural environment allows my work to be extremely dynamic and spontaneous. There are few constants in my ever-evolving work; color, shape and texture all seem to oscillate and surprise, which, to me, is the most fascinating aspect of creation.

“My most recent line of work stems from a long-lived affinity for beetles. Being such a diverse order of the animal kingdom, I became entirely enthralled with the variety of their body shapes and colorings. From this pet fancy blossomed an entire stage of work that has truly redefined my perspective of art. These pieces are not only art, but also, more simply, extensions of my being alive, here, on this earth. “

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BMCA Clay Studio Staff will be heading up a FREE tool making seminar
Wednesday, March 24th,
sessions start at
1 pm AND 6 pm.
Please join us to learn about, and make
some fun and useful clay tools!
Feel free to bring any ideas you may have to share ...

Thank You for your continued support~ Your Clay Studio Staff

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New and Exciting opportunities at the Clay Studio.......

Check out the New many choices...

Tentative Dates and Upcoming Classes and Workshops at the Clay Studio – More information to follow soon:
Sat., March 20 & 27, 2-5 pm – Extruder and die-making workshop with Holly de Saillan
Mon., April 12 – May 3, 2-4 pm – Mosaics Class with Holly de Saillan
Sat.,April 24 & May 1, 2-5 pm – Glaze Workshop with Annie Singletary
Tues., May 4 – 25, or May 11-June 1, 6-8 pm – Garden Clay Art Class with Gwen Ottinger

Ongoing Hand Building Class Taught by Judi Ashe Wednesdays - 4-6 pm

Begins March 11th 4- or 8- week class

Open Studio times included

Fee: $90 for 4 weeks, or $180 for 8 weeks

Plus $35 lab fee covers clay, glazes & firing

Class size limited to 8 – Register today!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Clay Studio Events

Free Tool Making seminar Thursday March 2nd, 12 and 6 pm. The Clay Studio Staff is ready to share and make some great tools with you.

Friday, January 1, 2010

AJ's got lots of tricks to share

Happy New Year from your Clay Studio Staff!

Looking forward to a great year of growing in Clay with you! We will starting off with a free event exchanging "Tricks of the Trade" with the clay studio community; We will share cleaver ideas, shortcuts, reminders and new and exciting ways to work with clay. Come and be ready to learn & share with the clay community and Clay Studio staff Tuesday, January 12th between 6-8 pm and Thursday, January 21st noon until 2pm. (Registration is not necessary)

We are also planning a FREE tool making seminar
for February....more details to come.

NEW Glazes are in the testing process, soon to be available for your clay pleasure- please continue to be patient as testing is time consuming yet essential for an optimum outcome.

RAKU firings begining in March,,,this will be a once-a-month opportunity to test the Raku firing method with your bisque ware creation- we will provide the Raku Glazes and kiln for a fee, and while we are still ironing out the details thought you may want to keep the opportunity in mind!

NEW Seminars, Classes and Community Projects on the way - Keep in the "know" by checking out the Blog ,
or stopping by the studio ......

Happy New Year!!

"I would like my pots to be good not only now but in ten or a hundred or a thousand years and to be able to stand next to the good pottery of
Greece, China, or Peru and have as timeless, distinct and independent a character as they have. To reach this point, even if only with a few pots, would be worth a whole life of intense effort." Marguerite Friedlaender-Wildenhain in The Invisable Core: A Potter's Life and Thoughts