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boyden workshop review

updated sat 15 nov 97


Michelle H. Lowe on fri 14 nov 97

Hi all,
Thought some might be interested in hearing about our wonderful workshop
weekend here with the irrepressible Frank Boyden.

I have to say, I had no idea.

When I hired Frank his name was dimly familiar to me. I talked to potters
about Frank and sought out pictures and information about him, but not a
whole lot is out there I'm afraid.

Frank makes beautiful pots. He throws large pieces (with around 30# of
clay for more than a couple pieces), and makes them rather thick, so he can
vigorously draw in them with thoughtful, beautiful strokes. His images are
of life, his birds, and fish, a rhino head with a bird perched on it's
snout, a rooster head, squid on one large pot (that's what some of us had
for lunch ;)

Frank is an amazing human, I had no idea how much his pottery is just a
tiny portion of his life, and what he does. The man designs bronze
sculptures, makes the original in clay or takes molds off of natural
objects (like ocean boulders, sheesh), he has designed a park with a 13'
bronze spire that serves as part of a Viet Nam memorial for the area, that
he was asked to do. He has designed a building for an art center and took
three years lobbying to get the estuary near his home preserved as a
wetlands (first one). Wow.

The workshop was great, he threw two 24" platters with about 30# each, very
thick with rough edges. He also threw a couple small porcelain plates, a
large pot and a couple smaller ones. The decorating fest was the most
exciting part of the workshop, watching him prepare his tools, (sharpened a
short pencil, an etching needle and a piece of 1/4" brass solder that he
had ground to a dull point). The tools used depended on the size of the
line he wanted. The drawings are simple and he goes back and pushes out
parts of the clay from the backside to get lots of depth and movement on
the surface for the marks from the path of the woodflame.

Frank seemed to me to be full of joy for life, infectiously so, and the
workshop was imbued with a great positive energy that was beautiful to behold.
I would highly recommend any sort of workshop with him as he appears to me
to be a consummate artist with lots of great energy and wisdom to offer.

Michelle Lowe, potter in the Phoenix desert \|/ | -O- | | /|\ | | |
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