‘Workshops and Teaching’ Category

Teaching a Majolica workshop at Creative Arts Community 2012

September 4th, 2012

This was my first year teaching at Creative Arts Community at the Menucha Retreat Center in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon. The most frequently asked question? What is Majolica and how do you say it? Mai-o-li-ca is so named because ships with hand painted pottery wares were launched out of the Spanish port of Majorca in the 10th century. I am taken by the romance and beauty of this story.

I wanted to convey the history of majolica pottery, so Monday morning began with slides. Then the students began to explore the various ways to produce color using glaze in our outdoor studio called the Barn.

Using pre-fired earthenware tiles, students experimented with color on both white and black majolica.

Some students explored a single color like reds and pinks.

Others tried a little of every kind of color.

At the end of the day, it was time to put all of the tiles into the computer controlled kiln so that we would have a language of color from which to create early the next day.

Mid Week

Tuesday morning we had a slide show about contemporary majolica so students could see how contemporary artists successfully used historical themes in modern context.  About noon we unloaded the kiln and the colors were smashing.

Thursday and Friday

Thursday was devoted to work. I had finished all of the slides and demos and the students created many pieces that filled two kilns on Thursday after dinner. We hoped we would be able to unload for the big walk about presentation on Friday evening. That’s when the entire camp goes from studio to studio to see the work created during the past 5 days. People who have been coming to camp for many years take this seriously, and spend several hours setting up their class presentations.

We unloaded the kilns minutes before the guests arrived at the barn. The student’s work inspired me. the work was admired and enjoyed. We all started packing up tired happy and ready to go to our studios and try out some new ideas. I really enjoyed teaching this class and everyone in it.  Thanks!

Inspiration and Time Constraints: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 4

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, Workshop Day 4

Day 4 was that part in a workshop when you can feel like you have so many ideas you dont know where  to begin. I felt like there were so many things I wanted to try and only 2 days left! People were engaged with their work and wonderful stories stated emerging.

Here I am with 3 finished pieces. More work by other students below.




At the end of day 4 I decided to go home at 4 and get some rest. I had only one more day and so many ideas.

Composition and Visual Themes: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 3

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, Workshop, Day 3

Andrea began with a demonstration about making choices using different compositional formatting devices.  Some of the ones discussed were; organize on the grid, create a window, icon, radiating, random, narrative, or cruciform. We were also asked to include our memory, icon or visual obsession.

Making Choices

Some of the artists we looked at to see these different kinds of formats were; Robert Motherwell, Michael Cutlip, Holly Roberts, Ivey Storer, & Hanna Hoch.

Her visual obsession is her family. One of the elements she wants to incorporate into the finished piece.

sorting materials into piles.

This student incorporated some knitted wire into to her collage.

My visual obsession is the poodle.

Gel medium transfer using images copied from a xerox or laser printer. A device to allow us to include photos or memorabilia.

apply gel medium four coats to the image

remove the paper backing by soaking in water and gently rubbing the paper away

Image transfer was an interesting way to work. I was not sure if it would have been just as easy to cut out the image and glue it onto the page?

End of Day 3

I finished 2 small paintings that day and felt really satisfied that the pieces were coming together.


How Do We Approach Play?: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 1

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, workshop July 11-15 2012 at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland Oregon.

Last week I was fortunate enough to participate in a workshop with artist Andrea Borsuk and nine other talented women, at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. I will be sharing my impressions of the workshop covering the highlight of each day.

Ready for the journey

July 11 Day 1

The workshop was held in the new drawing and photography building on the OCAC campus. The morning was richly filled with introductions about shared fears, excitement, past artistic repressions and workshop expectations. Andrea set the stage for the week by offering the possibility of going beyond the evaluations and expectations judgments of others as well as our own fears and perceived inadequacies.

Andrea explained that the theme of this workshop is play, How do we approach play? “Visual Obsession” relates to what we are attracted to and what has meaning to us.

Andrea introducing new process

We began with slides about processes or systems that give us access to play.  Some of the artists we looked at were: Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin,Cy Twombly, Mark Tobey, Melissa Meyer, Lisa Buchanan Marc Katano to name a few.

Here are some of the process pieces we created.

This student worked with curved lines and explored different media.

This student was working with circles as her process

I created a stencil and used mixed media to create this little texture

I was amazed at how much we accomplished this first day. I left tired and excited for day 2.