In Casting the Natural World, we will gather inspiration and materials from the Tuscan countryside and La Meridiana’s gardens to build our sculptures. This course is designed for those interested in exploring paper clay handbuilding techniques and slip casting in their sculptural work.
We will start by taking a walk to soak up our surroundings and sketch, photograph, and collect materials. Bringing that inspiration from the natural world back to the studio, we will sculpt or use the found objects as a prototype that we will then learn to make into simple 2-part slip casting molds and make casts. We will learn how to prepare and use porcelain paper clay in various hand-building construction methods including, creating slip coatings over organic material and burning it out, slip trailing into plaster molds, and drying the paper clay out and handbuilding with it. This will give beginning and experienced students something to explore and a greater understanding of the potential of paperclay and slip casting.
Each session will start with a demonstration and thorough explanation of the new techniques being introduced. Then, there will be an individual follow-up, adapting the technique to the specific interests and knowledge of each participant.
Students will study in the beautiful environment of La Meridiana.The Nature Studio is located in the gardens of La Meridiana a flight of stairs from the main studios. Open on three sides, the studio is illuminated by morning sun and the golden light of sunset.
On every classday, a delicious meal will be served. At booking, you may select your preferred room type, choosing between standard lodging, single room and/or upgraded accommodation. Please note that depending on the availability, certain types at times may not be offered.
The last kiln opening will be in the morning of Saturday, plan your travels so to not leave La Meridiana before 9.30 am.
Brandi Lee Cooper is an interdisciplinary artist that works at the intersection of Art and Ecology. Her work is greatly informed by her background in Zoology and her commitment to bridging disciplines in order to serve as a witness to humanity’s impact on the earth and advocate for urgent change. She holds a BS in Zoology from Northern Arizona University and an MFA in Ceramics from Arizona State University. BLC is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on the Texas-Mexico border. She exhibits her work nationally and has been a resident artist in Rome, Italy at CRETA, the Tempe Center for the Arts, and the University of Kansas.