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Touchstone CENTER FOR CRAFTS

Pioneering Craft Education for 50+ Years

 

Photo by Alex Byers

2023 Ceramics Workshops

NOW OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT
ADDITIONAL WORKSHOPS AND INFORMATION WILL BE ADDED AT A LATER DATE

Please check back: Additional workshops, Date Nights, Youth Programming, Events and Exhibitions to be announced.

Applications for Scholarships, Internships, Residencies, and Teen Week will be available in January.
 

Workshops are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Many fill quickly and have wait lists months in advance – don’t wait to register! Registrations for onsite workshops should be made no later than 15 days ahead of the workshop start date so that we can count you when making workshop determinations, ordering materials, etc. Touchstone’s onsite workshop determinations are made 14 days in advance of their scheduled start dates, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time.

 

A processing fee of $25 will be added to 1-5 day onsite workshops.

All workshop participants must be 18 years or older except where indicated.

 

To view a full listing of the Terms and Conditions as part of your enrollment, download the 2023 Participant Guide.

Please review our updated Health & Safety Guidelines* and Cancellation Policy* prior to registering for any workshop.

*Subject to change, check back for up-to-date information. Registered participants will be notified of any changes.

MAY 19-21 | 3-DAY (FRI-SUN) 
AUG 26-28 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON) 
SEP 23-25 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON) 
Community Wood Firings  
Instructors: Meghan Burke & Daniel Tomcik 

$320 Member | $350 Non-Member 
$200 Stand-In Fee (required if not working your kiln shifts) 
Includes Materials and Studio Fees

Register for May Register for August Register for September

The Touchstone Center for Crafts wood kiln is a two-chamber noborigama, originally built by Kevin Crowe in 1991, and rebuilt in 2022. The first chamber is wood only and the second chamber is wood/soda. Each chamber is roughly 35 cubic feet. Each participant is encouraged to bring 7 cubic feet per share. A variety of slips and glazes will be prepared, with the formulas available to participants upon request. Firing will begin after loading and continue for approximately 48 hours. We will work around the clock in shifts of 1-2 people. If you would like a share but are unable to work your shifts, an additional $200 ‘Stand-In Fee’ is required in order to have someone cover your shifts. All firings are led by Dan Tomcik, our facilities and grounds manager, who is an accomplished ceramist and well versed in firing this kiln.


*For questions on how much work to bring, please contact Dan Tomcik directly (412) 773-2682 or noborigama1@gmail.com.

5 DAY WORKSHOPS: JUN 12-16 THROUGH AUG 14-18

JUN 12-16 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Composite Forms & Electric Surface
Instructor: Sam Momeyer

Intermediate-Advanced Level
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$100-$150 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

In this workshop, participants will combine wheel throwing and handbuilding techniques to make complex thrown and altered forms. We will explore how to create dynamic surfaces in an electric kiln by layering underglaze and oxide washes through multiple firings. We will create texture using found materials or stamps to catch pools of color, wedge mason stains the into clay to get a bright base layer, and use paper stencils to create dimensional feet. We will focus on the possibilities inherit in these processes and how to pay attention to the little details that can make all the difference in a finished pot.

JUN 19-23 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Critters in Clay
Instructor: Lynne Hobaica

All Levels
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$90-$140 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

In this workshop, students will explore building narrative pots using various handbuilding techniques including slab building, coiling, and pinching. We will begin the narrative by attaching sculptural elements that extend off the surface of a base form. The narrative continues by painting and carving on the surface, building up colorful imagery and/or pattern through layers of underglaze and slip. Participants will be offered strategies and resources to develop ideas and build confidence in their ability to draw on clay along with being encouraged to approach making with playfulness and curiosity.  

JUN 26-30| 5-DAY (MON-FRI) | EDUCATORS' RETREAT
Connections in Clay and Movement
Instructor: Julie Wiggins

Intermediate-Advanced Level
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$100-$150 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

In this workshop, we will explore using porcelain on and off the wheel. A variety of serving pieces and surface decoration will be explored. We will connect our mind and body through making objects that represent sharing food and moving our bodies to create more inner self awareness, understanding, and harmony in our studio practice.

JUL 10-14 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Form and Surface: Finding a Voice in Clay
Instructor: Mike Stumbras

All Levels
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$105-$155 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

There are numerous technical challenges involved with using hand processes to create exceptional functional objects in clay. Mike will work alongside participants to help them find ways to continue developing their own work in order to find their voice in clay. Additionally, he will demonstrate techniques used in his ceramic process including wheel throwing, handbuilding, altering, slip trailing, image transfer, water etching, and glazing techniques.

JUL 16-21 | 6-DAY (SUN-FRI) | TEEN WEEK
Object, Identity, and Alternative Firing
Instructor: Sharif Bey

All Levels (Ages 14-17) 
$710 Tuition 
$100 Materials and Studio Fees

Teen Week applications will be available in January.

During this workshop, participants will use earthenware clay and alternative/Indigenous firing methods to create functional and sculptural objects that expand notions of object, ritual, and function. We will explore pinch, coil, press-mold, and thrown and alter forms to construct objects of cultural, historical, political, and personal meaning. Participants will additionally experiment with various alternative low-firing methods including open pit firing, low-temperature salt, and saggar firings. We will further develop our unique surfaces by layering non-ceramic materials such as nail and shoe polishes, paste wax, permanent makers, and acrylic and spray paint in addition to glazes, oxides, slips and terra-sigillata.

JUL 24-28 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Pots and Other Objects
Instructor: Melissa Weiss

All Levels
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$100 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

Imagine the home of your creative dreams and make odd, interesting objects to go inside it! In this workshop, we will explore the various handbuilding methods of pinching, coiling, slab and mold, carving, and combine multiple methods to build pots and other functional objects for the home. You will not be limited to traditional objects and methods.

JUL 31-AUG 4 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) | NATURE WEEK
Thrown & Altered Pouring Vessels
Instructor: Taylor Sijan

Intermediate Level
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$100-$150 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

In this workshop, Taylor will demonstrate how she combines a variety of thrown, altered, and slab-built components to create pouring vessels. Participants should arrive comfortable with the basics of throwing cylinders, bowls, and trimming. They will learn how to make bisque molds, dart and manipulate wheel-thrown pieces, construct slab-built spouts using paper templates, pull and pinch handles, and how to combine a variety of different parts into a functional pouring vessel. 

AUG 7-11 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
The Portrait in Clay
Instructor: Jamie Bates Slone

All Levels
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$120-$170 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

During this workshop, participants will learn to look at the human figure objectively by breaking it down into its parts. Participants will begin by sculpting the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, creating multiple tiles and small vignettes. This exercise will lead to creating a complete portrait out of clay. Each piece will be built solid and hollowed out for complete freedom while sculpting. The self-portraits will begin with general rules of proportion and will end with a complete detailed image of the sculptor. Sculpting topics to be discussed include anatomy, underlying bone structure, musculature, expression, ethnicity, weight, and age. Underglaze decorating techniques will be discussed if time permits.

AUG 14-18 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)
Hold Fast!
Instructor: Birdie Boone

All Levels
$665 Member | $695 Non-Member
$85-$135 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

Slab-built success comes from an understanding of how and when best to join pieces with one another. Hold Fast! will introduce slab-building techniques for pots, with special attention to seam strength and overall best slab construction practices. We’ll address soft slab connections, leather hard connections, and soft slab to leather hard connections (yes, it can be done!). The focus will be on investigations into construction of utilitarian forms, rather than finished products. Bisque only.

2-3 DAY WEEKEND WORKSHOPS: AUG 26-28 THROUGH SEP 30-OCT 1

AUG 26-28 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)
Turn Up the Volume: Altering Slabs and Hollow Forms
Instructor: Benjamin Lambert

All Levels
$470 Member | $500 Non-Member 
$40-$90 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

In this workshop, there will be a focus on using slabs to create hollow sculptural forms that will be altered in ways that may include stretching, darting, additive and subtractive methods, and modeling. These approaches can be applied to both thrown and hand-built forms. There will be specific focus on sculpting animal and figurative forms, and there will be discussions on narrative development. A bisque firing will be planned for August 27th, but because of the brevity of the workshop, attendants might need to transport some or all of their work home in the "green" state. Bringing packing materials (blankets, bubble-wrap, peanuts) is recommended.

SEP 2-3 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)
Exploring Raku Firing
Instructor: Dan Kuhn

All Levels
$360 Member | $390 Non-Member 
$45-$95 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

Participants will bring 15-20 bisqued pieces and we will spend two days exploring all of the different aspects of Raku. Gas and wood fired raku, horsehair/feathers, naked raku and other unusual techniques will be approached for a weekend of smoke and fire.

SEP 9-11 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)
Intro to Wheel Throwing
Instructor: Liana Agnew

All Levels
$470 Member | $500 Non-Member 
$40-$90 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

Learn the fundamental skills of throwing on the pottery wheel. Participants will focus on centering and learning the proper techniques to create successful, symmetrical pottery. Create multiple forms such as cylinders, bowls, mugs, and more. You will have the opportunity to trim your work, and play with creating unique designs on your pots, add handles, and more. No experience is required, and beginners are welcome.

SEP 23-25 | 3-DAY (SAT-MON)
Zoomorphic Clay
Instructor: Natalia Arbelaez

All Levels
$470 Member | $500 Non-Member 
$40-$90 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

Learn traditional methods of working with clay to create personalized, hand-built ceramics with Artist Natalia Arbelaez. Arbelaez will take inspiration from her work—as well Pre-Columbian influences – to engage participants in the craft's rich expression of history, identity, and culture. Pinch, coil, and model clay to sculpt your own perfectly imperfect expression of you! No previous experience necessary.

SEP 30-OCT 1 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN)
Art of the Sip
Instructor: Garick Tai-Lee

All Levels
$360 Member | $390 Non-Member 
$40-$90 Materials and Studio Fees

Register Now

Drinking coffee out of a handmade mug makes the coffee better, right?! Art of the Sip is a two-day intensive workshop, where we will make and discuss the finer points behind commonly thrown drinking vessels. Introductory wheel fundamentals will be discussed and taught as well as more advanced techniques like throwing off the hump and altering thrown objects.

Touchstone Center for Crafts prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or association preference. Touchstone Center for Crafts also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to its facilities and programming.

Mission Statement: Touchstone Center for Crafts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression.

Touchstone Center for Crafts condemns all acts of racism, discrimination, and senseless violence. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to dignity, respect, and equality without fear.  As an organization, we commit to listen and learn and to grow. We will continue to work to empower people to use art as a means of expression, a way to build community, and a powerful voice for change.

Touchstone Center for Crafts · 1049 Wharton Furnace Rd. · Farmington · PA 15437

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