Jean Lehman on fri 14 jan 00
"If you understand the concept, you can make your own rules." Soldner, 1/3/00
The five day Paul Soldner workshop at Nottingham last week was great fun.
This was my first exposure (should I use that word?) to Soldner except from
a distance at NCECA.
I found Paul's relaxed attitude toward clay, firing, and life very
refreshing. He threw forms, altered them, and put them together into a
large sculpture. We talked about finding clay, mixing clay, making glazes
and slips, and firing pots. We made our own kiln out of large adobe-like
blocks from clay gathered nearby, decomposed granite, vermiculite, and a
bit of cement. We fired it, and then used it to low-temp salt fire our
pots. We learned a lot from that firing!! We also did a large pit firing
and some raku firings.
A bonus with this workshop was getting to know Kathy Koop, from
Pennsylvania, who came with Paul. What a wonderful person and talented
artist she is! Her fabulous slides were accompanied by a tape of music from
Ransom's clay instruments.
Paul said that in order to come up with new and different ideas and methods
for making our art, we need to give up the same old ideas... just as a
teacher must erase the blackboard before putting up new information.
Congratulations, Nottingham! Another successful workshop!!! We had a
terrific group of people!! I feel very fortunate to be here this year and
to be able to participate in some of the workshops. Thank you.
spending the year at the Nottingham Center for the Arts in San Marcos,
Am still helping the Strictly Functional Pottery National
-- but taking the year off from chairing it.