Home / 2020 Courses / 33-2020 – Brian Kakas- Finding Form and Building Surface

33-2020 – Brian Kakas- Finding Form and Building Surface

33-2020 – Brian Kakas- Finding Form and Building Surface

August 2 – 13, 2020
 Slab building techniques with internal armature and image transfer
 Sculpture, surface techniques and soda firing. Intermediate level


In this sculpture workshop, architectural forms will be explored using slab building techniques with internal armature for both planar and volumetric objects, In addition, surface imagery techniques will be taught and applied.

Techniques taught

Firstly, students will create small-scale wall-mounted forms; however, they can apply the same techniques to future large scale sculptures, both figurative and abstract, and installations. Secondly, surfaces techniques will be explored through various printed image transfer methods. Variety will be obtained through the use of coloured slips, underglazes and terra sigillatas. Furthermore, by including pattern based or representational imagery, the participants’ voice will be incorporated as a vital thematic element. Finally, soda firing will act as an active participant in the finishing process. 

Teaching method

Students may bring their own source materials (jpegs) or they may explore contours and patterns derived from local landscapes and architecture. Students will learn how to transform gestural line into tangible structure.  All projects and designs will be discussed throughout the workshop. As a result, a dialogue on forms and surfaces in relation to implication and meaning will be ongoing. Similarly, workshop discussions will explore the decisions makers are challenged with when selecting clay bodies, slips, glazes and firing atmospheres. In conclusion, the workshop will provide students with practical tools and much inspiration for design, composition, form and material.  

Studio space and logistics

The workshop will be taught in the Nature Studio in the gardens of La Meridiana, to be reached climbing a set of steps. At the end of the workshop, most of the dry work will be bisqued and a selection of this will be glazed and fired.

The artist

Brian Kakas is an Associate Professor of Ceramics at Northern Michigan University. He received his MFA in ceramics from The University of Notre Dame in 2007. He has been in over 50 solo and group exhibitions and is part of international museum permanent collections in China, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Romania and the United States and has won art prices in prestigious international competitions. He says of his work:

Applying the methodologies of art, architecture, science and technology to ceramic design, I seek to create a “new nature” in the structural design of ceramic objects. Poetic forms with a mathematical foundation; these ceramic sculptures reference structural architectural design and mathematical theories including systems of growth, pattern and dimension. Combined with interests in cultural identity, history, and space, the sculptures embody the constantly evolving world we live in, shedding light on the relationships between tradition and the modern identities rapidly evolving around the world. www.briankakas.com



DATE: August 2 – 13, 2020

LEVEL: Sculpture, surface techniques and soda firing. Intermediate



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The workshop fee includes the following
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day
Studio open 12 hours per day
All materials and firings
Lodging in double room; single room on request at additional fee of 300 euros
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings

Welcome dinner and welcome breakfast
Final dinner

Cancellation policy

You may withdraw within 14 days of registration without incurring in any penalties and will the deposit fully refunded. No refund of deposits past 14 days of registration, pursuant to articles 53 and following of the EU consumer protection legislation.
If La Meridiana cannot hold the course due to unforeseen events beyond our control, the deposit will be fully refunded through the same system it was paid. (on-line or with banking wiring.)
La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a different course with similar characteristics and, in case of your acceptance, the deposit will be transferred to the new course.

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