Clay Workshops at Penland

Penland School of Crafts offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week clay classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include functional and decorative pottery, wheel throwing, handbuilding, clay sculpture, glazing, and salt-, soda-, and wood-firing. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Enrollment for summer 2017 workshops is currently open.





SUMMER session 1

May 28 - June 9, 2017

Kathy King, Queen Bee, sgraffito-carved porcelain, glaze, copper

luster, 22 x 18 x 2-1/2 inches



Paul Andrew Wandless, Numo Escaping Anean, low-fire clay,

underglaze, underglaze pencil, glaze, 21 x 10-1/2 x 14 inches



Kathy King & Paul Andrew Wandless
Print, Clay & Surface Buffet

This workshop will explore a virtual smörgåsbord of printmaking techniques for clay surfaces. Both clay studios will be used to accommodate a broad range of hands-on experimentation. We’ll cover screen printing, relief printing, monoprinting, lithography, photopolymer plates, china painting, decals, sprigging, and embossing—plus a few surprises. Firing options will include electric, raku, foil saggar, and barrel. The processes covered will be useful for both vessel and sculptural work. Intermediate: basic clay skills are required. Code 01CA


Kathy: director of education and instructor at Harvard ceramics program (MA); NCECA emerging artist, demonstrating artist, panelist, and juror. Paul: studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), ClaySpace (IL), Odyssey Center (NC); author of Image Transfer on Clay, 500 Prints on Clay, and Alternative Kilns and Firing Techniques (all Lark Books).



























SUMMER session 2

June 11 - 23, 2017

Josh Copus, Moon Jar, wood-fired wild clay, 32 x 24 x 24 inches



Ben Richardson, Foliage Vase: Headlands Series, wood-fired wild

clay, 7-1/2 x 7-1/4 x 7-1/4 inches





Josh Copus & Ben Richardson
Out of Place

This workshop will promote an understanding of place-based making that goes beyond technique. Materials have stories, and we’ll discover them by visiting their sources. We’ll dig wild clay, take other field trips, and incorporate local materials into slips and glazes. In the studio, we’ll focus on inspiration and experimentation as we make pots on and off the wheel and explore sculptural forms. We’ll ask more than how to make; we’ll ask why. Firings will be electric, gas, and wood. Students who like collaboration, storytelling, and adventures will enjoy this workshop. All levels; prior experience will be helpful. Code 02CA


Josh: studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN); Windgate fellowship; representation: Blue Spiral (NC), Signature (Atlanta). Ben: studio artist; teaching: University of Tasmania (Australia); work published in Woodfired Ceramics (Schiffer).





























Kevin Lips, Permanent Provisoire, wood-fired ceramic,

48 x 24 x 10 inches



Hervé Rousseau studio image


Kevin Lips & Hervé Rousseau
From the Ground to the Kiln

This experimental workshop will move between traditional techniques and contemporary abstraction. Students will learn to process wild clay by hand and foot, in the tradition of the potters of La Borne. We’ll then take these age-old gestures and apply their efficiency and insouciance to making large sculptural forms. Risk and the act of making will be paramount as students gain a new set of techniques for their studio practice. We’ll include presentations on the history of La Borne and other historic French clay centers. We’ll use wild clay; there will be various options for firing. All levels. Code 02CB


Kevin: studio artist; Jerome Foundation emerging artist grant; exhibitions: Turn Gallery (NYC), P.P.O.W. (NYC), Centre Ceramique Contemporain (France). Hervé: studio artist; collections: Musée National de la Céramique de Sèvres (Paris), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich).























SUMMER session 3

June 25 - JULY 7, 2017

A. Blair Clemo, Jar, ceramic, 9 x 8 x 8 inches


A. Blair Clemo
Layering Techniques, Crafting Content

This workshop is aimed at challenging and expanding both technical and conceptual approaches to making pottery. By layering basic building techniques such as wheelthrowing, handbuilding, and making and using cast-plaster press molds, demonstrations and activities will challenge participants to push their technical approach to the point of innovation. Along with an emphasis on technical exploration and skill building, this workshop will encourage a dialog about how the materials and techniques we choose can create meaning and content in our work. We’ll work with porcelain and/or stoneware. All levels. Code 03CA


Assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University; residencies: Jingdezhen International Studio (China), Zentrum fur Keramik (Germany), International Studio (Hungary), Da Wang Culture Highland (China).










Kensuke Yamada, Swim, stoneware, 37-1/2 x 18-1/2 x

12-1/2 inches


Kensuke Yamada
Building the Figure in Clay

In this workshop, we’ll used basic handbuilding methods, such as coil building and pinching, to create full-size figures, heads, or small wall pieces. Demonstrations will include a variety of techniques that are used in making figurative forms. Individual instruction will help each student make their own unique ceramic pieces. We’ll also cover the history of ceramic figurines, glazing techniques, and how to personalize your pieces. We’ll work with a stoneware sculpture clay with electric low-firing and raku firing. Intermediate level; some previous handbuilding experience is required; figure drawing experience will be helpful. Code 03CB


Visiting assistant professor at Centre College (KY); residencies: Archie Bray Foundation (MT), The Clay Studio (PA); exhibitions: Catherine Person Gallery (Seattle), Penland Gallery, Santa Fe Clay (NM).












SUMMER session 4

july 9 - 21, 2017

Martina Lantin, Small Storage Jar, earthenware, slip, glaze,

6 x 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches


Martina Lantin
Pick Form, Pattern & Repeat

With an emphasis on the marriage of form and surface, this workshop will present structured demonstrations while encouraging open experimentation. Using low-tech methods like monoprint, simple stencils, and stamps, we’ll explore the push-pull relationship between the shape of our pots and the patterns we put on them. Demonstrations will include wheelthrowing techniques, altering forms, and incorporating handbuilt components. We’ll fire both electric and atmospheric kilns using earthenware, however, the techniques taught will translate to any temperature. All levels; basic throwing skills will be helpful. Code 04CA


Faculty at Alberta College of Art and Design (Canada); exhibitions: Society for Contemporary Craft (PA), Wayne Center for the Arts (OH), Blue Spiral (NC); collections: The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Canada), University of Arkansas, Colorado University–Boulder.





Kelly Phelps and Kyle E. Phelps, The Welder, ceramics, mixed

media, 32 x 24 x 10 inches


Kelly Phelps & Kyle E. Phelps
The Narrative Figure

In this workshop students will create narrative, figurative ceramic work while learning the formal aspects of armature/relief board construction, composition, scale and proportion, figure sculpting, hollowing techniques, and surface treatment. To inspire this work, the workshop will include idea generation, musical inspiration, pictorial documentation, personal interviews, site visits, discussions, and storytelling. Bisque fire only. All levels. Code 04CB


Collaborating artists; Kelly is professor, chair of the art department, and head of sculpture at Xavier University (Cincinnati), Kyle is professor and head of ceramics at University of Dayton (OH); workshop teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Baltimore Clayworks; work featured in Sculpture, Ceramics Monthly, and American Craft.












SUMMER session 5

july 23 - August 8, 2017

Kevin Crowe, Thrown/Slab Bottle, wood- and salt-fired stoneware,

13 x 14 x 5 inches


Kevin Crowe
Woodfiring & Throwing

Participants in this workshop will bring twenty bisqued pots of various sizes (light cone 10 clay body recommended), which they will surface, wad, load, and fire in Penland’s three-chamber wood kiln; the third chamber will be salted. As the kiln cools, we’ll have a throwing workshop. Curiosity and a sense of humor required. All levels. Code 05CA


Studio artist; adjunct faculty at Hood College (MD); wood kilns built: Touchstone (PA), Baltimore Clay Works, Horseshoe Mountain Pottery (UT), Penland; recent exhibitions: Crimson Laurel Gallery (NC), Workhouse Arts Center (VA).






Kenneth Baskin, Artifact Series: Rail and Gear, soda-fired

stoneware, 21 x 25 x 7 inches




Kenneth Baskin
Clay Slab & Beyond

This workshop in ceramic sculpture will explore the possibilities of object relationships. We’ll examine how objects interact, the aesthetic implications of these interactions, and their ability to imply movement. We’ll use traditional handbuilding techniques with an emphasis on soft- and stiff-slab construction. We’ll cover darting, extruded form alteration, custom template production, fabricating bracing forms, and surface applications such as clay texturing. We’ll work with stoneware, slips, and glazes, including crater glazes, and fire in mid-range oxidation and soda kilns. All levels. Code 05CB


Associate professor and head of ceramics at McNeese State University (LA); collections: Yingge Ceramics Museum (Taiwan), Arkansas Arts Center, Hilliard University Art Museum (LA); work published in 500 Ceramic Sculptures (Lark Books) and Ceramics Monthly.




SUMMER session 6

August 13 - 25, 2017

Courtney Martin, Star Platter, wood-fired stoneware,

16 x 16 x 2 inches



Melissa Weiss, Oval Chevron Tray, clay, iron, ash,

13 x 8 x 3/4 inches


Courtney Martin & Melissa Weiss
Viva Handbuilding!

Students will start by making custom bisque molds and using them to make dishes. Then we’ll carve pots out of solid chunks of iron-rich stoneware clay in the kurinuki tradition, and we’ll handbuild platters and trays. We’ll add and subtract to enhance our forms: handles, feet, and cut outs. With a variety of resists, glazes, and oxides, we’ll explore pattern and surface on the vessels. We’ll fire to cone 10 in a reduction gas kiln and a salt kiln. All levels. Code 06CA


Courtney: studio artist; representation: Freehand (CA), Taos Clay (NM), Lark and Key (NC); exhibitions: Smithsonian Craft Show (DC), solo show at Ryubo Gallery (Japan). Melissa: studio potter; workshop assistant for Phil Rogers and Michael Kline; representation: Lillstreet Gallery (Chicago), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia).


Jason Bige Burnett, Sheriff Stars Dessert Plate, ceramic, slip

underglaze, glaze, decals, luster, 7-1/4 x 7-1/4 x 1-1/4 inches


Jason Bige Burnett
Ceramic Surface Extravaganza

This intensive workshop will focus on various graphic ceramic surfaces with an emphasis on screen-printed image transfers. Idea development and drawing (or doodling) exercises will help students create personal narratives through patterns, prints, and photos that will adorn ceramic surfaces. Pushing and pulling through layers of material will introduce a combination of techniques, including resists, decals, sgraffito and much more. We’ll use cone 5 stoneware clay and fire in electric kilns. Students can make tiles and/or thrown or handbuilt pots. The techniques can also be applied to sculpture. Come prepared to experiment and play! All levels. Code 06CB


Studio artist; teaching: Watershed (ME), Santa Fe Clay (NM), Northern Clay Center (MN); Penland Core Fellowship, Arrowmont artist-in-residence; author of Graphic Clay: Ceramic Surfaces and Printed Image Transfers (Lark Books).






SUMMER session 7

August 27 - September 2, 2017

Ben Evans, Patchwork Vase, cone 6 stoneware, 10 x 6 x 6 inches



Jeff Zamek, Cup, 2300º reduction-fired porcelain, 3 x 3-1/4 inches


Ben Evans & Jeff Zamek
Basic Glaze Formulation

Many potters are making functional pottery or sculpture but feel limited as to their glaze formulas or application techniques. This hands-on workshop will introduce several simple methods that will enable students to formulate their own glazes and adjust existing glazes for temperature range, color, and texture. Each student will make test tiles using their own glaze formulas. We’ll discuss the causes of and corrections for common glaze defects. Students are welcome to bring questions and examples of clay and glaze defects they have experienced. All levels. Code 07CA


Ben: studio artist; teaching: IS183 Art School (MA), representation: 510 Gallery (NY), Stonover Gallery (MA). Jeff: studio artist, ceramic technical expert; author of What Every Potter Should Know, Safety in the Ceramics Studio, and The Potter’s Studio Clay and Glaze Handbook.


















Bill Griffith, Pouring Pots, stoneware, glaze, 6 x 9 x 5 inches


Bill Griffith
Slab-Built Pottery: From Flat to Form

Working with soft slabs, handbuilding construction techniques, templates, and simple molds, students will create a variety of functional pottery forms including cups, tumblers, pouring pots, vases, platters, and one-of-a-kind presentation pots. We’ll emphasize good form, surface texture, and pattern. Discover new ways to create handbuilt, mid-range stoneware pots using minimal tools and equipment. This workshop is especially suitable for educators and students new to handbuilding. We’ll discuss glazes, but, because of limited time, we’ll bisque fire only. All levels. Code 07CB


Studio artist and administrator at Arrowmont (TN); teaching: Peters Valley (NJ), CraftSummer (OH); residencies: Watershed (ME), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT); exhibitions: Strictly Functional (PA), Feats of Clay (CA); work published in Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Art & Perception.