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report on harvey sadow's sc workshop/thoughts on workshops (long)

updated fri 1 dec 00


Lori Leary on thu 30 nov 00

As many of you know, I have hosted quite a few workshops here in Pawleys
Island. As a potter and as a teacher, it has been so gratifying to
learn new techniques and ideas, and to be able see my students learn and
get excited about the all the wonderful things that are possible with
An unexpected pleasure, starting with mel, and continuing with Steve
Branfman, Paul Lewing, Dannon Rhudy, Doug Grey, Russel Fouts, our Vince,
Lili Krakowski, and most recently with Harvey Sadow, was getting to know
these folks by learning about how they came to make their work, their
particular view of the universe, and generally what makes them tick.

My point? It seems that there is more to a workshop than just tricks of
the trade. We learn by modeling, and in making our work, we must learn
how to take everything we know, observe, and sense and somehow turn them
in to that THING that makes our art our own. Pretty heady stuff, at
least to to me; a nurse with little formal art training, but who gets by
with a little help from her friends, lots of life experience, as well as
a strong desire to learn and improve.

I have always felt it important to report our workshops on Clayart,
waiting until I have mulled things over a bit, and have recognized the
essence of each one. I have found that each workshop I have hosted has
a both a technical AND philosophical theme.

I would like to tell about Harvey Sadow's workshop a couple of weeks

Harvey's pots seem to defy gravity, having rich, complex surfaces with
beautiful color and depth. He makes his work by using impressive
forming skills and having complete control over his materials, tools and
firing. Some of the techniques he demonstrated showed us how he makes
large spherical forms, sectional pots, and large flared platter forms.
Using time as a tool, he pushes his pots to their limits, puts them
away, returning later after they have firmed up a bit to push them even
more. This process is repeated as needed to obtain the pot he has
visualized from the beginning. He also showed us his techniques for
glazing, firing, sandblasting, reglazing, and refiring that enables him
to create exactly the surface he intends. Some of his results are happy
accidents due to the whims of the fire, but most often HE is in charge
of his pots.

During the workshop, the theme that seemed to crop up most was that
fabulous things can occur from taking calculated risks and learning from
our successes and failures. Taking our work to the "edge of jeopardy"
will usually result in our greatest successes. I think this is true in
all art. I realize now that the paintings, pots, sculpture,
literature, and dancers that have moved me the most were the ones that
seemed to teeter on that "edge of jeopardy".

Pretty heady stuff, eh? *I* think so.

Harvey was a delight, sharing with us his love for his family, poetry,
words, fun, and his positive outlook on life in general. He will be
coming back to work with us, so we can learn even more about his
glazing, firing and sandblasting techniques, and we will be very, very
glad to have him.

Lori Leary
Pawleys Island, SC