Stoneware and the wheel: people throw, and always have, with a variety of intentions. Some focus on form and its surface, others focus on objects of function and yet others use thrown form as a support for graphic ideas. And then, often, these three interests may overlap.
The central focus of the course is stoneware throwing, however, a related focus is the ways thrown objects may be finished. Each morning and afternoon session will begin with a demonstration to the group. Participants may then work in relation to those demonstrations or pursue their particular interests – in both cases with the attention and support of the teacher. The sequence of throwing demonstrations will cover a wide range of forms – from flat to spherical, from fluidly curvaceous to austerely angular and from simple to complex – and a range of scale, from small to large. Teapots, jugs and the simplest of forms will all be shown.
Our aim is that, within the framework of the course, the distinct needs of each participant will be met. Specifically, different interests and differing levels of experience will benefit through individual and group teaching.
The course will use a finely grogged throwing clay of excellent working qualities, evolved in a programme of experiment at La Meridiana. This clay is ideally suitable both for beginners and more fluent throwers. The sequence of demonstrations on surface and mark making processes will cover a range of possibilities using clay, slip and glaze. In the end, the work will be finished in the gas reduction kilns at 1285C (2345F) (Cone 10). Most of the dry work will be bisqued and a selection of this will be glazed and fired. The practical work of the course will be complemented by two illustrated talks about the variety of visual and material qualities evident in contemporary and historical ceramics, and by one illustrated technical talk on stoneware glazes and firing.
The workshop is open for all levels. 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.
John Colbeck has taught full and part time at Ceramics degree courses in the UK throughout his working life and was for many years Head of Ceramics at Bath Academy of Art and, in addition, has taught many short courses and given lectures and seminars in the UK and abroad. He is author of “Pottery, the Technique of Throwing” (1969), “Pottery, Techniques of Decoration” (1983) (both of these still available as Classic reprints from Axner Supplies USA) and “Pottery Materials” (1988). He produces unglazed, polished thrown forms in stoneware and porcelain. johncolbeck.com
Franco Rampi was born in Domodossola in northern Italy. He started working as a potter in 1981. After an apprenticeship in England and a further cycle of studies in Italy he opened his own studio in Tuscany. He produces both functional objects in small series and one off pieces. He works mainly in stoneware, whilst continuing his research on clays, slips and forms. For ten years he has been teaching and collaborating with La Meridiana and is a most apreciated instructor for his humour, empathy and skill.www.francorampi.it