Fourth & Clay hosted their third workshop with Forrest Lesch Middleton. It was a packed house. standing room only. and no surprise. For anyone who has seen Forrest's work, arguably some of the most original, sophisticated, stylistic, articulate work out there - being able to watch and learn from him was a great opportunity.
People attend workshops for different reasons, each specific to whatever it is they are looking for to inform their work, for me, it was about the screen printing process. I'm not a thrower and everything Forrest does is on the wheel. But, since I took a screen printing class last fall, I've done nothing with it; I wanted to learn more about that part of his process.
I first saw Forrest's work last year at the ACGA Show at the CCACA show in Davis, then at the ACGA Clay and Glass show (a great show) in Palo Alto last June.
Forrest teaches all over the Bay Area including: Santa Rosa Jr. College, SF City College, Solano Co College, CCA in Oakland. He is also director of the ceramic program at Sonoma Community Center and recently created and manages an artist-in-residence program there, so he has a philosophy of sharing information and an openness in his process. Generosity in the clay community continues to impress and inspire me.
This workshop was 6 hours long - it's impossible for me to cover all of it.
One thing about Forrest's work; it's so unique and so endemic to him and the arc of his ceramic career - there are so many layers, years and hours that inform his work the thing to focus on is his knowledge and experience as a teacher. There is a dearth of information about clay, printing, design, firing, chemistry, information, slip recipes, even photoshop.
The gift of the workshop for me were the magic words: Ryonet.com
Ryonet - the place that you can get any screen printing supplies you could possibly need and GET THIS - they will expose your screens for you with your images on them! THAT made my week!
I highly recommend taking workshops or signing up for clay class with Forrest - find out where he's teaching - take advantage of it. I am doing little justice to the resonance and depth of his experience and here's the thing; he's also one of the nicest, coolest guys you'll ever meet!
There is a TWO -DAY Workshop he is teaching at Sonoma Community College next weekend.
Feb 19-20 hands on with the screen printing process for both thrown and hand built work.
Go HERE for more information