What I did at the Workshop

Since the Catherine White workshop was hands on, I figured I might as well share what I made.

Day one was mono-printing, drawing, and collage.  Day two was making that all happen on clay!

When I first started out as an artist, it was all about print-making and drawing for me, but then pottery took over as my favorite medium and the rest fell away.  For the past few years I have been missing print-making and drawing, and have been trying to bring it back into my life.  When we were choosing workshop presenters Catherine was at the top of my list because of her mono prints and clay work.

Below is one of the collages from the first day, and my plates from day two,  below that, are a couple of my “sketch plates” which I have been making for the past year or so. 

 

                                                                        

 

Catherine fires to cone 10 reduction with gas or wood.  The slips, and ash are from her studio.  I have no idea what they will look like in a cone 6/7 oxidation atmosphere… I’ll be firing them next week.

Below are my sketch plates… it is my way of working things out small, and quickly, and at the same time they are practical. (isn’t everything I do?)  Once they have served their purpose for my learning experience, I am able to sell them at my studio sales very easily.  They measure 6″ round,  and people seem to love the size for snack plates.  The first plate, (in a black oil glaze) is part of my dinnerware.  We have been using it for the past five months in my kitchen.  The second one, is a new blue with wax resist.  I am trying to get this painterly, mono print like feel that I have been missing.  I think the workshop might push me even further in this direction.  We shall see what influences it will have on my work!  Fun, fun, fun!

 

 

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7 thoughts on “What I did at the Workshop

  1. Hey Lucy, I met Catherine and her husband Warren several years ago at another potter’s home here in NC. Catherine had some of her sketchbooks with her and I was so blown away by them! Soon after that she set up her blog and I’ve loved seeing what she does there.

    I would love to take a workshop with her. Whether it be in clay or drawing/journalling. That is such a cool pic of her in the previous post putting slip on with that broom!

    Thanks for sharing all this from your workshop experience. Please continue to show us what you do with this information, even if it’s just for fun.

  2. Hey Lucy, what a tremendous experience this workshop must have been! I am envious. I have admired Catherine’s blog for a while and hold her up as an example of a truly fearless artist. I also love the idea you have of using ‘actual work’ as a way of making sketches. That takes all the pressure off, doesn’t it? Sometimes I worry I am sketching too much, and need to bear down on the lessons I have learned, but working from intuition and imagination is so fun I find I can’t easily give it up. But sometimes lately I feel as if my imagination is running up against the hard edges of my habits. Sometimes I feel as if I am settling for less than I really want. I would be interested to hear other projects you do a a form of ‘sketching’. Things you do just for fun. I am scrounging for ideas, I guess. If you were teaching a workshop on loosening the strings of the creative voice what would you teach?

  3. Thanks Ron, Yeah, her sketchbook journals are so amazing! If you ever get the chance to take a workshop with her, do it, it is so different from any other clay workshop I have ever taken… because it is not just about clay.

  4. Hi Carter, A fearless artist… that is a good way to decribe Catherine. She just puts everything out there, her sketchbooks, writing, photos, for the world to see. So many of us are afraid to put the sketches out there… everything has to be so perfect before it is presentrd to the world. Her work is so about process, and daily life… so real, genuine.
    This post for me was hard for me… to put it out to the world, because they are just sketches. I usually don’t post thoughts in process, that are actual finished pots. I will post my unfinished pots drying, or waiting for the firing because they are safe… everyone knows they have more to go. But these thoughts, these sketches, oh that is scary for me! But privately I sketch so often, in my sketchbooks and my actual plates, cups and even teapots. My family, and students get see them, before many go to the shard pile. Or sometimes if they are really interesting they just stick around for years until I am ready to further the idea. I just made a series of teapots that I posted back in December that were made from a sketch pot five or more years ago. The way I will sketch a teapot or something as detailed as that is to quickly throw the body, then quicly handbuild the spout, lid and handle (literally as quick as making pinch pots) I’ll put it all together, fire it, glaze and let it sit there for as long as it takes for it to settle with me.
    Other ways I have my students loosen up, or let go is to do what equates to a gesture drawing in figure drawing. I set a timer and have my more advanced students throw three bowls in 10 minutes, or cups, whatever as long as it is a known form done in a “let go” kinda method. I do this for myself when I’m feeling the production potter in me take hold too much.
    For a little mind twister for loosening… I always do what one of my Alfred teachers John Gill would say to me… “do the opposite of what you think you should do”.
    Thanks for your comment!

  5. Thanks Lucy! These are all great ideas. I sometimes haul the quick-timed-pots exercise out with my students too. One of the biggest hurdles I have seen is in the dawdlers who spend way too much time working a single piece of clay. They work it to death. And the slower they go the more they are held up by what their heads are thinking. And this only gets in the way. Most of us are just not smart enough at that stage. But by working quickly you don’t give your head a chance to step in and ruin things. Just make it some way and don’t think about the results too much. Examine what happened after you are finished with it. Your hands are doing the thinking and your intuition is guiding you. And training your hands and intuition are essential to developing your long term skills. They, if anything, are the foundation.

    And I love the quote from John Gill: “do the opposite of what you think you should do”! That is so perfect. I just sent that in an email to one of my students who is also at the stage of challenging their creative habits. I guess both of these ideas are suggesting that we somehow step outside ourselves in some way, or that we don’t rely on what our head is telling us. It seems like there is something really important going on here. I think I will need to consider it a bit more….

    Thanks for the great response!

  6. Looks like a good workshop. We don’t get many down here on the coast, but when I do get the opportunity to go to one (or even a presentation) that it kind of recharges my batteries seeing something fresh.

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