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clayart's own vince- workshop in south carolina

updated sat 29 apr 00


Lori Leary on fri 28 apr 00

We have a few more spots left for Vince's workshop here in South
Carolina (lucky, lucky us to have Vince here again!). Anyway, see below
for a repeat of my previous post. (Note that the price changes after
May 5th!)

Under the sponsorship of Art Works and Georgetown County Parks and
Recreation Commission, Vince Pitelka will lead "Ancient Clay", a 5 day
workshop for beginning through advanced clayworkers at the Murrells
Inlet Community Center, May 15-19, 2000.
Cost: $190.00 ($210 after May 5)

Vince describes his workshop:
"This workshop is designed to give beginning and experienced
clay-workers a good introduction to ancient and tribal ceramic
techniques in a relaxed but productive atmosphere. The structuring of
the workshop and the projects also allows those already familiar with
ancient and tribal clay to further their knowledge and skills. We strive
to build a positive learning environment, where each participant feels a
sense of accomplishment from the very first hour, through the duration
of the
workshop and beyond. Over a brief five-day period participants will
experience a complete cycle of ceramic creation and completion. With
most ceramic processes involving normal bisque-firing, glazing, and
glaze-firing processes this would be difficult, but in this case only a
quick low-bisque and fast bonfiring are needed.

We will focus on simple vessels and sculptural forms using modeled,
pinch, and coil construction methods. Our primary emphasis will be on
the broad diversity of decorative effects used before glazes were
developed. The surfaces will be finished with clay slips and with
ancient and tribal burnishing and polishing techniques. Among the slips
available will be several colors of terra sigilatta, an ultra-refined
slip used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, which can give a satin gloss
without burnishing, or a hard glassy sheen with burnishing.

Most tribal pottery is finished in a single bonfire-firing, but in many
climates and with most claybodies this is risky, and firing losses tend
to be high. To reduce (not eliminate!) the possibility of loss in the
bonfire, wares will be pre-fired in a very low-temperature bisque
immediately before the bonfire, and will be transferred from bisque to
bonfire while still warm. The bonfire will be a classic
starved-reduction blackware manure firing, as practiced by Native
American potters of the Santa Clara and San Idelfonso Pueblos in New
Mexico, and by many other tribal cultures through history. In this
firing process the bonfire is smothered with crushed manure and sand,
and the wares all turn black, often with subtle shades of brown and tan.
The technique is especially suitable for any partially or completely
burnished forms, for black-on-black effects, and for
terra-sigilatta-decorated pieces. This firing process is not appropriate
for polychrome slip decoration, as all
the colors would come out black. If there is time and sufficient demand,
we can also do an oxidation bonfiring for redware and polychrome

About the area:
Rich in history and natural beauty, the Waccamaw Neck is bordered by the
Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean and offers such diversions
as golf, shopping, seafood restaurants, fishing, crabbing, shrimping,
and of course, wonderful beaches. Seventy miles to the south, you will
find the charm, history and architecture of Charleston. To the north,
Myrtle Beach offers the opportunity to experience another aspect of
coastal South Carolina, with resorts, attractions, shows and shopping.
Plenty of hotels, motels, and campgrounds are available in the area.

To register:
Art Works
P.O. Box 2884
Pawleys Island, SC 29585

You may also register with a Visa or MasterCard by calling

Check out Michael McDowell's wonderful website for information about
this and other workshops Vince will be teaching this spring and summer
(Thanks MM!)

For workshop and lodging information contact:
Lori Leary
(843)237-1913 (Home)
(843)651-1752 (Studio)