If You Hand-Build It, They Will Come
In this class we will explore extrusion and slab techniques in our quest to make anything-but-round functional stoneware. Our approach will be to let the process show in the work; if we stay out of clay’s way, the material will reveal its nature and our results will remain fresh and lively. We will work with unconventional forming methods and unusual approaches to surface decoration. Myths will be busted and secrets revealed. This workshop should also interest throwers who would like to expand their horizons beyond the wheel.
- combining extrusions and slabs
- making hand tools and brushes
- latex resist decoration
- cutting and printing with stencils made from Tyvek
- colored slip inlay and stretched slabs
- the basics of making custom extruder dies
Then and Now
As I think of my Shakerag class from 2008, I recognize that many of the same basic extruder and slab techniques will be taught in 2013; in my own work, I continue to use those techniques, while working to evolve new stencil patterns over the years. In 2013, though, we will do more in-depth work with slab decoration using a broad range of slip resist ideas, as well as more advanced extruded forms, including stacking boxes.
Supply List for Participants
*the usual complement of clay tools, including pin tool, scoring tool, fettling knife, etc.
*a 12-oz. plastic squeeze bottle, the kind used for ketchup and mustard
Note: the Shakerag store carries a wide variety of clay tools and will have available for sale all the tools necessary for Hayne’s workshop.
Prior experience in working with clay is helpful, but all levels are welcome.
Hayne Bayless is a studio potter in Ivoryton, Connecticut. Other than lessons from a potter in Tokyo when he was 19 and later a handful of classes and workshops, he managed to avoid formal instruction in ceramics. He abandoned wheel-throwing early on, preferring the freedom of hand-building afforded by slab-work and extrusions.
Hayne’s interest in clay started in high school, where he discovered an old potter’s wheel and kiln gathering dust in a corner of the art room. The art teacher pointed him to Bernard Leach's A Potter's Book, which became his guide. After a college career that spanned four schools and seven attempted majors over 12 years, Hayne emerged with a degree in journalism. He worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 10 years.
In the mid-80s Hayne’s interest in clay re-emerged, and making pots began to take up most of his time outside the newsroom. He quit the paper in 1992 and several days later put out work at a church-yard craft show, where he sold three small pieces.
Hayne has had the great fortune to be awarded the top prizes at two of the country's most important craft shows – the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C. and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show – and to have a picture of one of his pots on the cover of New Ceramics.
The techniques of hand-building, extruding, and slab construction let me take advantage of clay's power to capture gesture. I am intrigued by what happens when clay is rolled, stretched, pressed, incised, inlayed, extruded, bent, cut, and put back together.
The pots are not so much about balance and harmony but more about tension. I love what spawns in the friction between what I'd like the material to do and what it would rather do.
The unintended result, often misread as a mistake and so dismissed, is one of the most fertile sources of new ideas. The trick is not to fool with clay's inherent desire to be expressive. It will offer – or impose – its own ideas about new forms and ways to work.
I try to keep in mind what Constantin Brancusi wrote in 1927: “Each material has its own life ... we must not try to make materials speak our language, we must go with them to the point where others will understand their language.”