Ventura County Potters' Guild
My Time With Maria" (presented at NCECA 2018)
Rebecca Catterall shared memories, photos and examples of her 2 week workshop in Idyllwild and her visit to the home of Maria Martinez in her San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico in 1976.
This talk honored the experimentation and timeless curiosity of how Maria, her husband and archeologist Dr. Edgar Hewett re-discovered the almost forgotten Pueblo Style and the traditional Black on Black pottery of their ancestors at the Frijoles Canyon excavation in 1908.
Rebecca documented with photos each step of the creation of Maria's Black on Black Pottery from formation of the pots to the cow-dung firings. Maria, thought to be 98 at the time and was assisted by family members for the workshop.
Catterall has worked with clay for over forty years and has participated in numerous workshops. However, the early ones were the most influential. Her interest in alternative firing techniques began with Maria Martinez and continues today with other workshops and studio practice. Examples were on display.
Kim Clark, South Africa
Kim shared her crazy, fun and amazing trip through South Africa!!
She had us venturing through delicious food venues, safaris, the Indian Ocean, a visit to a village school, all with a focus on the ceramic art throughout Cape Town.
Genie Thomsen Demonstration
Using Colored Clays to Build Layered Patterns
Our plan for the April program was for Sheldon Kaganoff and Will Simonds to come from San Francisco to talk about contemporary ceramics in California from the mid-50's forward. They called at 5pm from the airport to say their flight had been cancelled. True to her nature, Genie Thomsen, with only two hours’ notice, stepped forward and presented a demonstration on the use of colored clays to build layered patterns.
Genie used three colors of clay “out the bag” for her demonstration and described how to create your own colored clay using white clay and Mason stains. She then created five different patterns by layering different slabs of colored clay: checker board, “bacon,” love knots, stripes and, from the cast off pieces, a swirling abstract pattern. Then she showed us how she uses these blocks, with a self-made tool, to slice very thin wafers of pattern off the blocks – kind of like a clay mandolin from the kitchen. She created an image on a slab then further changed the images by rolling them into the clay from different directions. Lastly she took the slab and pressed it into a plate and bowl mold.
The reaction to Genie’s program was very positive. We had a visiting ceramic artist who indicated she had been looking for a new technique to add to her work, and she had just witnessed it. Another great program from talented artist and teacher.
Barbara Loebman and Bob McGuire, Demonstration of Various Styles and Ways to Attach Handles to Functional and Decorative ClayBarbara Loebman and Bob McGuire, both long-time teachers at The Center for Lifelong Learning (formerly called Adult Education) in Santa Barbara, demonstrated various styles and ways to attach handles to functional and decorative clay pieces.
Barbara is an experienced potter, operating a studio in Santa Barbara since 1972 with a specialty in porcelain. Bob has been making pottery since high school and teaching at Continuing Education since 2000. He has a studio and showroom in the mountains of Santa Barbara. Both ceramists have regularly shown their work at the Guild's Ojai Sale in Libbey Park.
Kevin Wallace, Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts
Kevin Wallace, Director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, offered a presentation on developing a career as a ceramic artist - including creating an artistic identity, working with galleries, photography, pricing and promotion. He demystified the art world by sharing his experience in managing galleries, working with museums and running an art center. Kevin also answered questions about our members' show at BWCA in May.
Some additional topics covered were how to price items, pricing items when the market changes, the importance of personal promotion of gallery shows, setting up your website, and the value of writing an Artist Statement.
Members Swap Meet
Members brought clay related items to sell and swap--tools, equipment, books. We also had old books from our library that members took home.
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