I've done 4 mini demos for Brian Nettles Pottery. These are Brian's regular classes. Brian introduced me as a loose thrower so one of the students asked what's the difference between loose and tight? I liked the one students answer- the loose ones are unsaleable. Ouch! Then the southern funny talk came out. My pots are catawampus." We took a short cut in the field and walked catawampus. I think it means some kind of irregular.
Brian has a fully blown studio here in Pass Christian, Mississippi. He's got gas kilns, anagama, bourry box wood kiln, 20 wheels, slab rollers, extruders you name it he's got in plural. But the very best find in the studio is a treadle wheel. I have made my very best casual pots on a treadle wheel. There is something about them that maybe only a seasoned maker will recognize. I think all beginning potters should learn on a kick wheel or treadle wheel. You kick fast to center and then the wheel naturally slows down. Just as it should. Wherever I go I see the students throwing pots at warp speed. Then they turn around and trim at Mach I speeds. It's no wonder they need to strap the pots down in a Griffin Grip.
I also trim when the clay is cheese soft. Todays cups still had a shine on them. Trimming soft lets you put more expression in the clay. Trimming hard is more like wood turning. Although people believe I am a loose thrower, I'm really not. I maintain I throw the vessel pretty tight then poke and prod and make marks. Almost all of my pots have appendages that add to the casual look of the work.
I'm getting a head start on some pots for the wood kiln. When the students arrive and I do demo pots I never give myself more than the Grade of C on those pots. I'm talking, explaining and under the eyes of a pack of keeners. I don't want to make more a fool of myself so I often make them thicker and don't give the volume that I like. Volume is when you push the clay almost to the point of collapse. Those ones are the ones I usually like the best. There is still room in the two day observational workshop. Y'all are welcome! Getting my funny southern talk in gear waiting on y'all.
Tony Clennell Two Day Observational Workshop
Composite Throwing and Extreme Handles
Come join one of the top makers in our field, international artist and author Tony Clennell, for two days of pottery making demonstrations.
With a focus on larger-than-life utilitarian pottery for occasional use, attention will be directed toward details on large casseroles, pitchers, bowls, baskets, and plates used for celebration and presentation. Sectional or composite construction, where many thrown and hand-built pieces are added together to form one vessel and complex handle forming methods, will be demonstrated. Tony will demonstrate his variety of surface decorations including mark making techniques, slip decoration, and glazing.
Students are encouraged to bring their favorite piece for a "No Holds Barred" critique from Tony. Tony will give a slide presentation of his life and work and time spent in the porcelain capital of Jingdezhen, China
Tony Clennell, MFA, RCA
Tony is a second-generation potter that has taught workshops in Canada, USA, Japan, China, Wales, Italy and Portugal. He has a Master of Fine Arts from Utah State University and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He is the author of "Stuck in the Mud" a book of irreverent tales of the wonderful clay community. He has been a practicing potter for 45 years.
Dates: February 25th - February 26th
Time: 10am to 4pm
Location: Nettles Pottery, 22291 Bells Ferry Rd, Pass Christian, MS 39571
Fee: $175 (lunch included both days)
Deposit: $100, mailed asap to hold your spot. The remainder will be due the first morning of workshop.
Mail deposit to: Brian Nettles, 22291 Bells Ferry Rd, Pass Christian, MS 39572
Any questions please feel free to contact: 228-452-3511 or Nettlesstudio@aol.com
*There will be an opening reception on Friday, February 24th 6pm-9pm that will feature the wood/salt fired work by Tony Clennell and recent workshop participants. You are invited to attend.
If that's the worst that is said about you, you're a lucky man.