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paperclay workshop in spain report (long)

updated mon 26 jul 99


Marcia Selsor on sun 25 jul 99

Dear Clayarters,
Our paper clay workshop and tour of Spain was the best to date.
We had a great group with Fred and Nan Paget (San Francisco area). Jan
Hurd (Seattle), Sue Grebel(Brooklyn), Kate Morris and Jan Wittmier
(Montana) Beth Hamilton (Florida), Manolo Sales (Onda), Emi Serrano
(Valencia), Marie Soro (Murcia), Jose from Jumilla, and Suzanne Martin
from UK.
Best results of the paper clay were sawdust fire using copper sulphate
and iron sulphate solutions. Not wrapping the pieces seemed to produce
the best colors. Lots of flashing pinks, turquoises, greens, reds from
the copper, and tans, browns, yellows, reds, from the iron. Kate's Gypsy
House in half copper and half iron sulphate gave the impression of shade
on the house with the copper adding the Gypsy flare for color.
Raku pieces were also interesting. Manolo Sales' sculptural series of
arches silhouettes were beautiful. Fred's experiments with slips were
bright on architectural fragments. Sue Grebel's Gaudi impressions were
delightful. Emi was preparing pieces to combine with her weavings for a
show in the Fall in Valencia.
Thanks to the Art Institute in Alicante for the use of there superior
tripod glaze beater that we used for the paper pulp. We were able to
watch a firing of the three story wood kilns of Agost and later see the
resukts and unloading at the pottery of the Molla family.(see Pepe in
the Wheel thrown pottery book by Don Davis)
Our side trip adventures included a visit to the ceramic studio of
Arcadi Vlasco and consequential visits to his public sculptures in the
sea at Campello, in ALicante and San Juan. Our initial trip in Barcelona
included seeing the Ceramics Museum in Barcelona where Miro and Picasso
(few not traveling with the big show) are displayed with all that
majolica and luster ware in Spain history. We went to the towers of
Sagrada Familia and saw close up the mosaics on the towers, visited
Guell Park and began our consumer testing of variations of Sangria.
We visited a national ceramics exposition with work of Arcadi Vlasco and
Manolo Sales pieces while we visited the Ceramic Museum in Valencia (a
lot of Luster from Manises and Petrel as well as Majolica from Tereul,
Granada, Sevilla, etc)
The pottery Museum in Ubeda is one of the best for traditional pottery
from all over Spain -not emphasizing the majolica but the typical folk
pots from places like Quart, Mota del Cuervo, Agost, Monte Alban, etc.
It is housed in the basement of the city hall amid the stone arches.
There is a ceramic Roman bath tub as on of the high points. The potters
of Ubeda are still producing. Gorgola was very hospitable and showed us
his studio as did Tito who has moved from the traditional pottery site
to the plaza next to city hall.
Our trip to Cordoba allowed everyone to wander at will except for the
excursion out to the Medinat Palace archaeological site which has
progressed markedly each year. The carved walls and arches are going
back together after 1000 years. Granada was great After we went to the
Alhambra with the cool gardens and fabulous tiles we visited one of the
two tile factories. This is not recommended after visiting the Alhambra.
Everyone wanted to buy the tile bits to tile their studios like the
Alhambra. Their parking lot display is worth the visit. It is like a
mini Alhambra as far as the tiles go.
I enjoyed the people in the group and we all learned lots from each
other as usually happens with clay people working together.
Marcia in Montana
soon to go to Sierra Nevada and working on some paperclay sculptures to
deliver to Calif. en route.-that's why I have been so quiet and busy!!
105 degrees yesterday in Montana- this is not normal.
Marcia Selsor