Sharon Virtue did her thing at Clay Creations over the weekend. A three (and a little bit) hour workshop complete with inspirational slide show.
Sharon teaches at Ruby's Clay Studio in San Francisco and has been teaching 12 or more years doing clay for near 20, but this was her first workshop demonstrating her own process. I've written about Sharon here many times - I was a student of hers for a couple years and I'm a big fan, friend, and supporter of her work. The workshop was that of a pro. Sharon had a rapt audience; everyone would have stayed as long over the three hours as she wanted to go - they were soaking it up.
Couple points: Arm yourself with knowledge of color theory - you can see Sharon's work is so much about color relationships - and the other BIG point was MAKE TEST TILES. Everyone in the room moaned and groaned - the dreaded test tile. The test tile for Sharon is the backbone of her work. If you don't have a practice of making them; ya might wanna think about starting....
Keep a source book. I do this. Well, this blog is a source book. Sharon pointed out that she is so inspired by so many things that we could have spent 40 hours on the slide show. I get that. So, find a way to hang on to imagery, anything that inspires - hang it up in your studio, create a binder, sketchbook.
Tools: one of the most exciting things at workshops or in studios, for me at least, is the "tool box". I am fascinated by the artist's tool box. As with potters who do surface decoration - Sharon's arsenal of tools is vast and not limited to clay tools. She has a collection of decorative stamps, bought, made with clay, latex, paper. Sharon will take a commercial stamp and remove the wood back to have some flexibility for her hand built and thrown forms.
Sharon is doing a two day intensive "Painting with Clay" at Sonoma Community Center this weekend.
Picture: see- I'm dreaming of making test tiles!
Couple more things: firing low fire clay to cone 2 bisque and firing low fire glaze to 07! 07 gives the reds and oranges brilliance and any translucents that bubble at 05/06 will lay down beautifully at 07.
(R-L) me, Margaret Tassi (owner of Clay Creations Studio) and Sharon.
Also - head over to the super awesome MUDBUCKET blog- JesseLu attended as well and has a post up about the workshop!