When Animals Go Tactile
For beginner and advanced potters alike, Bernadette will share her playful approach to clay by transforming simple pottery shapes into zoomorphic forms. Spontaneous alterations of pots thrown fresh off the wheel will allow for both functional and sculptural solutions. Emphasis will be on techniques such as cutting, folding, and pushing the clay. Drawing animals will play a large role, not only for the surface, but also in creating the actual form. Students will be encouraged to explore a special use pot and a place setting, using drawn imagery and narrative as a catalyst, while keeping in mind the relationship between line and volume. Bernadette will discuss the use of slips and terra sigillatas as a beginning layer to integrate the glaze decoration. Bisque Fire Only.
Bernadette Curran is a studio potter in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. She teaches clay and drawing in her community and conducts workshops, most recently at the Archie Bray Foundation and Haystack. She was awarded fellowships from Baltimore Clayworks, Chester Springs Studio, and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Bernadette earned a BFA from Pennsylvania State University and an MFA from the Ohio State University. Her work is exhibited widely in the US and is included in publications such as Contemporary Ceramics (Thames and Hudson), 500 Cups (Lark Books), Studio Potter, Ceramics Monthly, and Clay Times. Bernadette is represented by Ferrin Gallery, Massachusetts and The Clay Studio, Philadelphia.
I describe my pots as clay sketches; improvised and spontaneous, graced with serendipitous glaze drips and thumb marks, revealing animals whose oddities are so slight that one may question their intentions. Thrown fresh off the wheel, the clay is playfully modeled, utilizing the volume and plasticity of the form to give life and function to my pots. Sometimes the animal has been drawn to make and made to draw - the sum of which remains vaguely superimposed. Ideas flow when the brush, full of slip, is in my hand. I embrace images that are sweet and sentimental, which quietly teach us the virtue of patience and application. When making my pots, I try to emulate these qualities replete with compassion, humor, and risk. As food brings fullness and conversation among participants, I trust my work to do the same.