30-2025 – Casey Beck -Expanding the Sodium Palette

July 20 – August 2  2025

Developing Clay Bodies and Personalized Soda Surfaces

For the intermediate and advanced level

30-2025 – Casey Beck -Expanding the Sodium Palette

Introduction

Expanding the Sodium Palette will investigate the relationship between clay bodies and the process of soda firing. Over a two-week span, participants will learn how to develop clay bodies and understand the atmosphere of the soda kiln to capitalize on the possibilities that soda firing allows.

Techniques

Participants will learn how to use Glazy.org to tweak existing clay bodies and develop clay bodies from scratch to make the most of the possibilities of flashing and of the sodium vapours. A focus will be put on lowering the silica content to create high alumina clay bodies in order to expand the sodium palette. We will cover how to mix small test batches of clay to be used the same day and how those can be scaled up after testing. Participants will learn how to measure the shrinkage and absorption of their clay bodies.

Pieces will be thoughtfully placed within the kiln to create dynamic surfaces and then once fired. During the course, there will be two firings. As the firings progress, participants will learn how to conduct the soda kiln to develop rich surfaces through the processes of introducing soda ash as a sprayed mixture and burritos, the soaking of the kiln and the cooling of the kiln. During downtime, as clay dries and kiln cools making demonstrations will be offered based on interest of participants.

Method

Teaching will be done in both a class setting and as one on one time. General ideas such as clay body development, testing, loading, and firing will be shared and discussed as a group, while Casey Beck will spend time one on one with individuals to help tweak clay bodies with an aim to create the desired results by the participants.

Logistics

There are 10 full working days in the studio. On every classday, a delicious midday 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 artist

Casey Beck is currently a graduate student at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (U.S.), where he is finishing his Master of Fine Art Degree. Beck has shown his work internationally and has been a resident artist at The Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA and the Faenza Art Ceramic Center in Faenza, Italy. He is a 2023 Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist, has had his research published in Ceramics Monthly and has taught making and firing workshops internationally.
https://www.instagram.com/beckpots/

 

Artist

Casey Beck

Date

Sunday July 20 (arrival) – Saturday August 2 Departure 2025

Length of course

10 working days in the studio

Level

Some experience required

Technique

Surface techniques

Workshop fee (without lodging)

€ 2780

Deposit for booking

€ 800

Bookings for the 2025 Courses open on June 1st 2024

Workshop fee with lodging

The costs listed include both: the workshop fee and the lodging. 

Standard accommodation in shared double room, at 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana – Final course cost: Euro 3280
Standard accommodation in single room, at 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana – Final course cost: Euro 3780
Upgraded accommodation in shared double room with use of swimming pool, 8 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana : Final course cost Euro 3680
Upgraded accommodation in single room with use of swimming pool, 8 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana: Final course cost: Euro 4040
Private appartment on the grounds of La Meridiana with one bedroom, kitchen, bath and outdoor space. Final course cost: Euro 4180
Course without lodging Euro 2780

Payment and Refund Policy

A deposit is required at registration. After submitting the registration form, you may proceed with the payment on-line. If you choose to pay by bank transfer, the registration will be confirmed once the deposit has been accredited in our banking account. The balance must be paid at the beginning of the course.

 Cancellations
You may withdraw within 14 days of registration without incurring in any penalties and will have the deposit fully refunded.  No refund of deposits past 14 days of registration, pursuant to articles 53 and following of the Italian consumer legislation, in accordance with the EU consumer protection legislation. In the event of disputes, the competent court is Florence. If the workshop cannot be hold because of an insufficient number of students, the deposit will be fully reimbursed.
Force Majeure
Students must know that cancellations may occur due to events beyond our control (e.g. pandemic, civil disorder, medical or family issues of the instructor). In such case, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different workshop of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the workshop of choice.

Additional information

The workshop fee includes the following:
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day;
Studio open 11 hours per day;
All materials and firings;
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days;
Welcome breakfast, Welcome and Final dinner;
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings.