Saturday, February 18, 2012

Who are we?

Charles Freeland is a graduate of Austin College and the University of North Texas. He holds an MFA in ceramics with a minor in painting and drawing. Charles has taught at a number of different programs from Texas to Illinois. While in Illinois, Charles taught for Bradley University, Lakeland Community College and Eastern Illinois University in a variety of areas from ceramics to multicultural aesthetics. A member of the Illinois Artisans Program who shows work in the state run gallery system. For the past ten years he has been a part of Sally Jones Pottery in Montreat, from artist-in-residence to technical supervisor. Charles has moved to the Black Mountain area, a return to his ancestral roots and love of the mountains, where he is the BMCA Clay Studio Manager.

Elise Reed Elise is a graduate of Salisbury University in Maryland, and has studied weaving and metal smithing at Penland School of Crafts, as well as pottery with Geoff Bird here at the BMCA Clay Studio. She recently completed the teacher certification program in art education at UNC-Asheville. She teaches classes for youth and families.

Will Byers may be a bit out of focus in this picture, but his teaching is definitely sharp.  Will Byers began working with clay over twenty years ago, while studying ceramic arts at the University of Tennessee. He founded New Moon Pottery in 1995, upon completing a 30-month apprenticeship at Monsarrat Pottery, near Knoxville, Tennessee. Will moved to Western North Carolina in 2000, where he and his wife Trish re-established the pottery in Swannanoa, and then in Black Mountain, changing the name to Byers Pottery. They both specialize in functional, high-fired stoneware, with rich beautiful glazes. Will’s teaching style is such that students are inspired to work at their own pace with plenty of encouragement and positive feedback given, as well as individual attention, to help students work out their own relationship with clay, and the potter’s process.

Geoff Bird is the senior member of the Clay Studio potters by virtue of his teaching at the Center since 2000 and over 40 years working in the ceramic arts. His experience in making beautiful pottery has led him to representation throughout the southeast. Geoff studied at various schools and studios in North Carolina when pottery was experiencing a renaissance in the 1960’s. At the BMCA Clay Studio Geoff teaches ongoing basic clay on the wheel classes. Geoff is admired and emulated by his students and is patient and encouraging with folks learning to master the wheel. His work is currently sold at the Morning Sky Pottery on Cherry Street.

Our students may focus upon wheel throwing or hand building, or any combination they chose.

The newest class for beginners will help anyone who wants to start learning clay without feeling that anyone with more experience will be around.

Having a time just for children and parents to work together with a tutor will give them the opportunity to create a project which will be completed in just a few weeks.

Our open studios are a time of community sharing of our recent learnings, as well as a place to relax.  We frequently have a studio full of maybe 10 different projects going.  An experienced clay person is available to help with questions.

We have an extensive glaze lab for experimenting with combining different colors.

And wouldn't you like a look at some of our students too?

 Molly's favorite colors are blues.
Here Barbara enjoys working on a hand built sculpture.

Pat has a great interest in decorating her wares, and has experimented with different techniques.

Sarah has become a wheel throwing wizard and makes lots of dinnerware.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter Spring classes start soon

Feb-March Classes 
$170  –  6 weeks,
includes Open Studio and Lab Fee

Monday, 6-8 pm: Byers – begins February 27

Tuesday, 10-noon: Freeland – begins February 28

Wednesday, 4-6 pm: Reed – Private Lessons for Youth,
    or Child (with Parent) - $25 per hour, (2-hr. min.)
    No Open Studio

Thursday, 4-6 pm:   Bird – ongoing  

Saturday, 10-noon:  Freeland ~ begins February 25

(See schedule at right for Open Studio hours daily)

Register today! 828-669-0930
225 W. State Street in the old City Garage

Tuition: $135 + $35 Lab Fee for 25 lbs. clay, glazes and firing.

Children’s Lessons with Parent are for ages 8-18;
hourly rate of $25 applies (2 hr min.) no Open Studio

If you are already an experienced potter, you may inquire about the application process to be in our Independent Study program.