Throwdown 2017:
A Ceramic Symposium

Torched 2017:
A Glass Symposium

Friday through Sunday, May 5–7, 2017

Touchstone is pleased to announce its annual Throwdown ceramics symposium. If you are crazy for mud like we are, come join us in this gathering of makers for all things ceramics. We invite students, emerging artists, and seasoned professionals to participate in an event full of community building and idea sharing. The campus will be buzzing with rotating demonstrations, hands-on opportunity, special events, and idea sharing. To add to the excitement, this year's symposium is being held in conjunction with Torched, Touchstone's glass symposium, offering attendees a wide variety of demonstrations. 

Kyle Houser, Christy Culp, Bryce Hemington, Joy Knepp, Andrew Tischler and Chad Parker  will present. For some evening fun and to gain bragging rights, attendees may participate in a good, old-fashioned throwdown (wheel throwing) competition, followed by time socializing at the bonfire.

See below for event pricing. Click the register now button above to register online or call the office at 724-329-1370 to register today! 

Throwdown & Torched 2017 

Event Schedule:

Note: Demonstrations will be held in the Ceramics Studio, Susan Brimo-Cox Glass Studio and in the great room of Blaney Lodge. All meals will be served at Touchstone's Dining Hall.

Friday, May 5, 2017

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: Check-In at Blaney Lodge

5:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.: Dinner

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 pm: Participate or encourage the artists at the Throwdown Competition and Torched Studio Activity

Saturday, May 6, 2017

8:30 a.m.: Breakfast 

9:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.: 

Throwdown: Christy Culp

Torched: Joy Knepp

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.: Lunch 

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: 

Throwdown: Kyle Houser

Torched: Andrew Tischler

3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.:

Throwdown: Bryce Hemington

Torched: Chad Parker

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.: Dinner

7:45 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.: 

Throwdown Panel Discussion

Torched Panel Discussion

9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.: Bonfire at Fire Circle or Lodge Hearth (weather dependent)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.: Continental Breakfast & Checkout  

Throwdown & Torched 

Weekend Session Pricing

(per person rates)

All inclusive admission Fee:

$150 - includes all events, meals and lodging

$75 - Saturday only, includes syposium events on Saturday, 1 lunch and 1 dinner (lodging not included)

Save $20 on either option with a valid student ID.

 ** All inclusive lodging includes Friday and Saturday evening accommodations. Campers must bring own tent, bedding, towels, toiletries, etc. and will have access to the bathhouse. All cabin/dorm lodging is based on a shared option and does not include bedding, towels, toiletries, etc. Attendees may request to share a room/cabin with a specified attendee. Requests should be given in advance with the understanding that not all requests are guaranteed to be fulfilled.

Meet the Presenters:

Christy Culp 

Image result for christy culp ceramics             Image result for christy culp ceramics

You made a great pot, now what? Surface design for the hesitant glazer.

Christy will be demonstrating her design process and several of the decoration techniques she uses in her work. Christy's use of repetitive imagery will be discussed, as well as, how images  are found and incorporated into her work. Slip application and sgraffito techniques, Majolica and over glazing application will be demonstrated. She will be sharing her favorite tools, brushes and commercial glazes tips.

Christy Culp is a potter and art educator from western Pa. who makes functional pottery for use in daily life. She works in low fire red ware incorporating cherry and garden imagery into her surfaces.  Christy has been a Touchstone instructor and has been teaching high school ceramics and art in the Deer Lakes School district for 20 years. Christy also curates ceramic exhibitions for the Saxonburg Area Aritsts Co-op and the Butler Art Center. Her work has exhibited locally and nationally and is part of many private kitchen collections.

Joy Knepp 


Glass Mandala and Inside-out Bead

Joy’s demonstration will begin with a focus on “zen and the art of melting glass” by creating a mandala-style  bead using a radial design with concentric rows of colors and patterns. This will be followed by an inside-out bead with patterns of colors trapped in layers of clear glass. Enjoy the relaxing, yet exhilarating experience of melting glass and join me again at Touchstone for my weekend class September 15-17, 2017.

Joy Knepp has worked as a glass artist for more than 12 years and after 27 years as an art educator, recently retired from the Shanksville-Stonycreek School District. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree and master’s credits in art and education from Pennsylvania State University, Frostburg State University of Maryland, California University of Pennsylvania, and University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has studied and taught techniques in glass at Touchstone Center for Crafts. She has also studied at Pittsburgh Glass Center and Goggleworks. Her work has been exhibited and sold in galleries in the region.

Kyle Houser 


The Decal

In the work of a growing number of studio ceramists the decal has become an effective device for enhancing the surfaces of works in clay. In this context, decals are routinely altered, layered or otherwise employed in un-conventional fashion. Like the fragments from which collages are composed, ceramic decals in the hands of studio ceramists have become the stuff of innovation and unique expression.

In this demo, Kyle will use multiple sources to create a more graphic image and make that graphic a “fire-able decal” or “laser transfer” image to be incorporated onto the surface of a ceramic form. He will demo the application of the decal and the building up of a composition on a ceramic surface. 

Kyle Houser’s ceramic work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and festivals throughout the United States. He is part of private and public collections across the U.S. and in Norway, Australia and Croatia. He has participated in residencies focusing on community-based ceramic studios as well as those focusing on his own personal work. Currently Mr. Houser splits his studio time between creating utilitarian pottery and object based sculptural works. Multiple firings and nontraditional surface treatments along with layered graphic imagery are a common thread in both series of works. 

Andrew Tischler 


Andrew will be demonstrating his "Fractal" pattern that utilizes fume along with other colors to form this intricate pattern that can be made into beautiful pendants or marbles. 

A lifelong maker, Andrew Tischler was introduced to flame working in 2008 at the age of 18. He participated in a yearlong apprenticeship with the Pittsburgh Glass Center in 2013 after receiving a BS in Graphic Design at California University of Pennsylvania. Now an instructor and artist in the city of Pittsburgh, he is known for his intricate pendants and marbles. 

Bryce Hemington

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Wax Inlay Faux Mishima

Join Bryce to learn how he utilizes colored slip inlay to create rich surfaces ready for the fire. For the past few years he has been using a technique that is a variation on a traditional Korean (then imported to Japan) technique that is called Mishima. He will go over both traditional Mishima and wax inlay variation that he uses.

Bryce Hemington is a ceramic artist with over 10 years experience working in the arts. He received a BFA from Edinboro University and a teaching certification from Carlow University. He was a resident artist at Touchstone center for the Crafts in 2014.Currently he is spitting his time as a teaching artist at Manchester Craftsman’s Guild and making work at his home studio in Bridgeville Pa. His work primarily focuses on wood fired utilitarian ceramics made on the potter’s wheel.

Chad Parker


monsterZ Marbles

Join Chad to learn the wizardry of creating monsterZ faces in marbles. This lively demonstration will showcase the implosion on solid rods that makes the magic happen. Attendees can learn about Chad's techniques and get a preview of what they might learn during his September 22-25 Touchstone workshop, Melting Faces. 

Chad Parker has been melting glass for over five years and making face marbles, which he calls “monsterZ,” for three years. At the beginning, Chad jumped around, trying to find a direction as there were so many to choose from in glass, but he really fell in love with the way he could make the colored glass move inside the clear. Chad made flower pendants, then he started writing names or initials. After making some smiley face pendants and marbles, he quickly realized the effect faces have on people and the “smileZ my monsterZ” could make. Since then, Chad is addicted and devoted to making them. He really enjoys teaching classes at the Pittsburgh Glass Center; and the Glass Blowing Center in Hilliards, Pennsylvania; and his home studio in Fawn Township, Pennsylvania. He has demonstrated the MonsterZ making at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh; the Secret Cup in Denver, Colorado; and the Wheaton Arts Marble Show in Millville, New Jersey. He is always looking forward to meeting new people that admire and respect glass and the positive message it can send.

Touchstone Center for Crafts
1049 Wharton Furnace Rd.
Farmington, PA 15437
T: 724.329.1370
T: 800.721.0177 
F: 724.329.1371
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