21 – 2024 – Stuart Gair – Form with Fire

May 19 – June 1 2024

Making, altering and soda firing

For the intermediate level

21 – 2024 – Stuart Gair  – Form with Fire


Form with Fire will cover a wide range of ways to make pots and sculptural vessels both on and off the potter’s wheel. The final soda firing will open up creative options for the surface.

Techniques taught

Numerous basic forms will be created on the wheel or slab built and then altered in different ways by cutting, shaving, pushing, stretching or combining. The instructor favors these techniques in his own practice because they provide a foundation for new forms and ideas with seemingly endless possibilities. In the final vapor firing, the essential transformation brought about by heat and vapors can produce varied and exceptional graduations of colour, texture, pattering and flashing in the clays, slips and glazes. For more information about vapor glazing click here.

Teaching method

Throughout the workshop, students of all skill levels will have ample time to use these techniques and begin to create similar forms with their own voice. An additional focus of the workshop will cover both the formal elements of different shapes as well as how those features may (or may not) be affected by the path of the flame flowing through an atmospheric kiln.


In this course, some previous experience with clay may be an advantage.  A delicious mid day meal is included on all working days. Included in the programme there will be some excursions to nearby beautyspots. Also, the Sunday in between the two weeks will be a free day, perfect for an excurison or to relax enjoying the Tuscan countryside.

The Artist

Stuart Gair received a history degree from Ohio University and completed an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Gair has spent time making work and teaching at the Archie Bray Foundation (Helena, MT), Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) as well as Colorado Mountain College (Aspen, CO). Currently, Stuart lives and works as a full time studio artist in Athens, OH, an area rich in clay and ceramic history, where he is exploring alternative ways of firing the soda kiln. The geometric forms he creates are driven by form, function, utility, subtlety, and discovery. Gair hopes that each piece is used and enjoyed whether displayed on a table or in the hands of the user. http://stuartgair.com


Stuart Gair


Sunday May 19 (arrival) – Saturday June 1 (departure) 2024

Length of course

10 working days in the studio




Some experience required

Total cost:

€ 3400

Deposit for booking

€ 900

Artist Statement

The pots I make are rooted in my investigation of historical objects, architecture, function, form and fire. Particular attention is given to clean and uninterrupted lines and shapes that contribute to a vessel that may have a quiet yet strong presence when standing alone and also accentuate food or flowers when in use. A pairing of locally dug clays and soda firing techniques creates dark, dry, crater-like surfaces full of depth and subtlety which encourage further examination. Barriers are used within the kiln to shield areas of the surface where a bright pop of color is desired.

As a student of History, I’m drawn to forms that have endured through time. Creating a new form provides an opportunity to explore these interests through the subtleties of detail, volume, silhouette and geometry that ultimately gives insight into a larger historical context. A current examination of early Native American culture has brought a focus to my work where form closely follows function and adornment is stripped away and paired down to the true essence of the objects purpose.

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.
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 one year. 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;
Lodging in shared double room in apartments of simple standard at maximum 15 minutes walking distance.
Single room and/or upgraded accommodation on request, at additional fee. All apartment types have shared kitchen and shared bathroom facilities. Please note that at times, not all room types may be available.
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.


La Meridiana is equipped to comply with the current safety standards, including social distancing between people in and outside the studio. The building is sanitized and 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.

At booking, you may choose your preferred room type but depending on the availability, certain types at times may not be offered.

Choose the accommodation you prefer: