24-2023 – Steve Kelly – Cultivating Voice, Crafting Vocabulary

June 11 – 24  2023

Creative vision through wheel and surface techniques

Throwing. Some experience is desirable

24-2023 – Steve Kelly – Cultivating Voice, Crafting Vocabulary


This two-week course will help students develop their personal voice through improvement of their production abilities and expansion of their surface design vocabulary.  Cultivating Voice, Crafting Vocabulary walks students through the design process,   from visualization and sketching to the finished product. Furthermore, during this concentrated period of work, participants will enjoy the friendship and comradery of their international peers while drawing inspiration from the museums and hills of Tuscany.

Techniques taught

research and visualization

Finding inspiration and turning that inspiration into a cohesive body of work is a skill. Learning methods for developing ideas, planning a body of work, and seeing the vision through to completion will be the goal of this workshop. Students will explore a number of research methods. Time will be spent outside of the studio soaking up history and the beauty of natural surroundings. In the studio, students will synthesize their inspiration by sketching and conducting wheel and surface experiments.

wheel throwing and altering

In  Cultivating Voice, Crafting Vocabulary  Steve will share production techniques and methods for creating both simple and complicated forms. There will be wheel demonstrations of everything from cups and bowls to lidded forms, pitchers and tea-pots with an emphasis on creating a process that is consistent and repeatable and expresses each artist’s personal voice.

surface decoration and glazing

Steve will share a variety of surface techniques that he has developed for his own work. He will demonstrate his water etching technique as well as some very specific ways he draws, stamps and manipulates his surfaces. Students will also learn some of the unique methods he uses to apply underglaze, slip and glaze. Finished pieces will be fired in either a soda or gas kiln.

“I try to engage the pot at all its various stages, taking advantage of the changing qualities of the clay. From wet on the wheel to bone dry, there are so many opportunities for texture and mark-making.”

Teaching method

Having taught art and ceramics for 30 years Steve brings a wealth of technique and teaching skills. After classroom demonstrations he works individually with potters to observe and help refine technique. He is a hands-on instructor, which means he is right there with the student, guiding them as they acquire new skills. The most important aspect in Steve’s classroom is community full of humor and  fun. Students will learn from each other as well as from the instructor. Conversations, questions and laughter are a huge part of the journey. In conclusion, this course will encourage students to share ideas and inspiration while cultivating Voice, crafting Vocabulary, sharing meals, and exploring Tuscany.


On every classday, a delicious meal will be served and lodging is included in the cost as well. The workshop is for the intermediate level.

About the Artist

Steve Kelly lives and teaches ceramics at in Wilmington, NC. His work can be seen at numerous galleries and was featured in Ceramics Monthly. For many years Kelly has owned and operated the production pottery Kelly Pottery. His functional forms range from humble utilitarian forms for shops and restaurants to more complex gallery work.  Infact, his sculptural work centers around these questions: what can objects can tell us about who we are, how we relate to one another, and how we relate to our planet.
Steve received his BFA at the University of Montana and his MFA from Maine College of Art. Perhaps his greatest education, however, came from his apprenticeship with master potter Trew Bennet in the hills of Virginia. Where, in keeping with the ethos of traditional Asian ceramics, he spent countless hours creating vessels that both honor the humble nature of clay and transcend it.kellypottery.com  stevenkellystudio.com        


Steve Kelly


June 11 – 24 2023

Length of course

10 working days in the studio


Surface techniques, Throwing


Some experience required

Total cost:

Euro 2900,00

Deposit for booking:

Euro 800,00


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 EU consumer protection legislation.
If La Meridiana cannot hold the course due to unforeseen events beyond our control, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different course of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the new course.


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 230 euros. per week;
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days;
Field trips;
Welcome breakfast, Welcome and Final dinner;
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings.


La Meridiana is equipped to comply with the current safety standards regarding Covid-19, including social distancing between people in and outside the studio. The daily maintenance of hygiene measures is guaranteed.  Please note that participants will be required to follow the security protocol and to comply with some simple precautions.