In this Soda Firing workshop, we gather in a spectacular setting to explore form and surface, slips and glazes responsive to the enhancing effects of firing in a soda kiln. Particular emphasis will be on the development of each individual’s personal aesthetic by paying enjoyable attention to our responses to the luscious surroundings. And we will work with the exciting and easily utilized possibilities offered by altering the forms and surfaces of freshly thrown pots. Discussions will cover whatever is of interest, and will include aesthetics, firing a soda kiln, raw glazing, and single firing. This workshop includes field trips and evening outings to discover Tuscany’s treasures.
Gay Smith is a studio potter single firing porcelain ware in a soda kiln near Penland, NC. She held artist-in-residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana and at Penland School in Penland, NC. Her teaching credits include workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School, the Harvard Ceramics Studio, and the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland. Her work is represented internationally, was featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly magazine April 2007, and can be viewed in publications including Making Marks and Functional Pottery by Robin Hopper, and Working with Clay by Susan Peterson. In 2006-7, she received a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship award.
Students typically enjoy short excursions to some of the main attractions in beautiful Tuscany to compliment their daily work in the studio. The cities of Florence and Siena are both within an hour of La Meridiana and other intriguing Tuscan towns such as San Gimignano, Volterra and Greve in Chianti are a short drive away. The heart of the Chianti region lies just to our east, and Milan and Rome are both easily accessible by train or car.
Optional Courses (easily accessible):
- Horse riding.
- Cooking lessons.
The studio is on the ground floor of a restored 13th century farm house and offers space for all types of ceramic experimentation. Our kilns range from high-fire gas, raku, soda, and wood firing to lower-fired electric, pit, and smoke. Our staff is all practicing ceramic artists as well as fluent English speakers. Living accommodations are also provided within walking distance to the studio. Telephone and internet access are also available.
Costs relate to the length and type of services. They all include appropriate:
- Fresh gourmet lunches during the working days.
- Some transport.
- Materials and firings.
- General help during the stay.
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