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