06-2024 Luigi Pullini – Winter Stokers and Wild Clay – second edition!
February 4 – 20 2024
Research of wild clays for firing in the trainkiln
Some experience is desirable
Ninety percent of the earth’s crust is made of materials useful for the potter. This fascinating fact underlies Winter Stokers and Wild Clay, a workshop that revolves around the research, study and preparation of wild clays and glazes. The course is completed by making and firing in the train kiln.
Winter Stokers will start with a panoramic excursion to collect wild clays and rocks. Guided by the indications of Luigi Pullini, first we will learn to study the maps and then to observe the territory in order to identify places where we can find promising material. Once back at La Meridiana, we will start a complete journey into the process of making pottery. First comes the preparation of high temperature clay bodies with the materials collected during the field trip. Then, several steps and tests will reveal the physical qualities and aesthetic possibilities of the materials. During the second week there will be a further excursion around La Meridiana, to collect wood ashes and local low temperature clay that will be used for glazes.
In the studio
In the studio, we will have three to four full days for working either on the wheel or with handbuilding in order to make pieces to be once-fired in the train kiln. There will be demonstrations on the wheel, on altering, on raw glazing and on handbuilding, and by appliyng these methods each participant will create objects suitable for the wood firing.
Firing will occur in the “Orient Express”, La Meridiana’s trainkiln. It is conceived in the wake of the tradition of the Japanese “Anagama” kilns that enhance the effects of flames and ashes on the clay surface. As has been done for centuries, we will do a single firing of the raw clay and raw glazed pots and learn as much as possible about the various firing stages of the clay.
Various factors may influence the results and have to be taken into consideration. We will study the different kinds of wood and the importance of woading and supports. During loading, we will pay specific attention to the placing of the pots and preview an estimate of the flame path and ashes. The firing will last 40 hours with everyone participating. In a collective effort, the Winter Stokers will alternate shifts in small teams. Then, cooling will allow for some rest and when unloading there will be much observation and reflection. Sharing the results will be a moment of great joy for all.
Of the actual course days, one and half is dedicated to the research of wild clay, seven and half days to preparing clay bodies and working in the studio, three days to firing, and one to unloading and analysing the results for a total of 13 working days. Lodging, lunchtime meals, and twice daily coffee breaks are included.
Luigi Pullini graduated from the Art School of Grottaglie in “Ceramic Design” in 2016. He is specialized in the research and use of wild clay, the production of clay bodies from materials found in nature and in the buliding and firing of of gas and wood kilns. In 2019, he started teaching courses and since 2022, he collaborates with La Meridiana. @pulligiluiniceramica
Sunday February 4 (arrival) – Tuesday February 20 (departure) 2024
Some experience required
Throwing, Wood and/or soda firing
|Total of cost:
1- During the first day, collection of materials for the production of wild clay.
2- Study, development and preparation of high temperature clay bodies using the found materials.
3- Throwing demos, demos on alteration and handbuilding.
4- Individual making of objects with wild clay.
5- Use of engobes and glazes, woading and supports, kiln loading and positioning of objects.
6- 40hours firing of the trainkiln.
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.
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.
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.
The workshop fee includes the following:
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day;
Studio open 11 hours per day;
All materials and firings;
Lodging in shared double room; single room on request at additional fee of 620 euros;
Shared kitchen facilities and shared bathroom.
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.