SUNDAY 17 AUGUST at the Central Coast Potters Society is our annual Open Day. Once again this year we are taking part in the Australian Ceramics Association's Australian Ceramics Open Studios (ACOS) weekend. We'll be open 10am to 4pm Sunday 17 August.
Bring friends and family and enjoy a day full of demonstrations, playing with clay and opening of the pit kiln.
Join in the raffle to win one of 6 delicious cakes on handcrafted plates or tools and clay kindly donated by Keane Ceramics.
Unearth your local ceramics association and join in the fun!
Check out the details on our Events & Social Activities page.
Term 3 classes are filling fast. Term 3 commences Tuesday 22 July with 2 adult classes and 2 children classes.
Tuesday Evenings - 6:45pm - 9:15pm
Wednesday Mornings - 9:30am - 12:00midday
Contact Clodagh Blackburn, for enquiries, bookings and payments.
If your children are interested in an after school class, contact Libby Bourke. Expressions of interest are currently being taken for Thursday afternoons 3:30 - 5:00pm.
It's never too late to start playing with clay.
Jenny Orchard's workshop was a wonderful opportunity to take a step back, breathe deeply and shake off those shackles of rigidity.
We were given a good dose of playfulness which we put into practice when creating our own forms that Jenny pieced together to create five quirky characters at the end of the day. Check them out when you next visit the Workshop - images below.
Jenny began by demonstrating her relaxed coil construction, building a Simpson-like head whose character developed as the form grew. We enjoyed participating in creating this devilish noggin.
Later Jenny showed us a quick platter technique, as well as some simple flower forms - tips learned from a friend involved in cake decorating.
Relax, play and be adventurous with form.
At the CCPS workshop on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 March 2014, Claire Locker treated us to a wonderful workshop. The first day Claire demonstrated her techniques and on Sunday we had a go ourselves.
Claire uses Blackwattle Porcelain Paper Clay, Gold or PB103 Paper Clay. These clays are smooth to use compared with other paper clays. However, for the workshop we had success using Keane's No 7. For colour decoration she likes to have a percentage of good quality white slip made with Limoges porcelain (or you could use Southern Ice or Cool Ice) mixed with underglaze colours. The clay stops the colour from peeling off. The ratio is clay slip 1:3 underglaze colour. When applying the colour remember three thin coats are better than one thick coat.
FLOP MOULD PLATE
Claire showed us how to make a plate using a flop mould.
First roll a slab of clay on curtain material (with a backing). Alternatively you could use a piece of carved lino or even highly embossed wallpaper to press a design onto a slab of clay to become the bottom of the plate. Drawing is also an option.
Cut additional clay slab strips for the edges or rim of the plate.
Working flat, overlay these strips around for the edges. If using wet clay, water may be enough to join the pieces together, otherwise use slurry.
Add smaller strips of clay slabs to reinforce the base and edges.
Use your fingers through a cloth to round off edges.
Using a rolling pin, roll the joined, flat piece on cloth to further help in joining the edge strips to the base of the plate.
Lift the joined, flat piece on a cloth and invert it onto the flop mould, placing the design side onto the plaster mould.
Using a rolling pin, roll over the joined, flat piece on the mould, cut edges with a needle, always handling the slab with a cloth.
Feet can be added while the slab is on the mould. For example, Claire made balls of clay, a couple on top of each other, for each foot. By pressing a batt on top you can level the feet.
Leave the plate on the flop mould overnight.
SPONGE FOAM DISH MOULD
Claire showed us an easy technique to do at home.
What you need - a large piece of foam approximately 8cm thick and a smaller, very firm piece of foam for pressing the base of your dish.
Onto a slab we used Claire’s underglaze/clay mix colours to paint all over the slab. We then put this slab of clay aside to dry, until the wet sheen disappeared. We rolled another slab and left it unpainted, then cut pieces out of the two slabs and overlapped them. The pieces were attached with slurry.
We placed a cloth on top of our new, pieced slab and rolled it to connect the coloured design to the plain pieces. We then placed the slab, without the cloth, onto the larger thick foam. We placed an appropriate smaller sized hard foam piece into a plastic bag and pressed it very firmly onto the slab. The sides naturally folded up forming a dish shape. Hey presto another freeform dish!
From the leftover painted slab we cut out little squares for feet and attached them with slurry to the dish.
Painting a design on both sides of the slab is simple, just wait until the wet sheen dries before turning the slab over and painting the other side.
Term 2 classes in ceramics start Tuesday evening (13 May) next week at the Central Coast Potters Society (CCPS), East Gosford.
Pass the word around to anyone you know who is interested in getting their hands into clay. There's something for everyone - adults and children classes, beginners to advanced throwing and handbuilding, as well as sculpture.
See our CLASSES page for all the details and contact information.
We have two new tutors this term - Clodagh Blackburn and Natalie Velthuyzen, and Terry Baker is back with his sculpture class.
Classes make a great Mothers Day, birthday or retirement gift.
For those looking at making some thrown plates & platters for our upcoming Smörgåsbord exhibition, check out this link from Ceramic Arts Daily - ceramicartsdaily.org/daily/how-to-throw-a-plate-with-some-moves/
There are so many competitions, residencies and exhibitions to be part of in Australia and around the world. Many of them have looming deadlines. Here are just a few links to some opportunities.
Artisans in the Gardens
Chippendale New World Art Prize
Sculpture by the Sea - Aarhus
For an updated list of what's happening keep your eyes on The Australian Ceramics Association website.
Vicki Grima with Narelle Howard looking on.
On Saturday 03 August we had the pleasure of a fabulous workshop with Vicki Grima at the CCPS workshop - Pinch Pots and Beyond.
Vicki is a wonderful teacher. Not only were we taken step by step through her pinch pot making process, she generously gave tips on marketing our work for sale and passed on other insights from her vast experience with clay, the recent Clay Push at Gulgong, JAC and the Australian Ceramics Association.
Her beautiful work can be seen at http://vickigrima.wordpress.com/
Thanks Vicki, we look forward to your next exhibition, whenever you're ready to share your new work.
Lots of interesting and exciting things the Clay Art Center is doing, and has done since its establishment in 1957. Here's some of their history from their 'About Us' page. www.clayartcenter.org
HISTORY OF CLAY ART CENTER ... A Living Legacy
Tucked away at the end of a municipal parking lot in Port Chester, New York, in a building that has a modest exterior, is the Clay Art Center. It was founded in 1957 by Katherine Choy, whose dream was to open a center for the advancement of the ceramic arts and she was joined by her friend Henry Okamoto, a respected, classic potter from California.
Katherine Choy's tragic and sudden death in 1958 left Henry to dedicate the rest of his life to realizing her dream. A lone beacon on the east coast at the time, it became a haven for clay artists, many who have had significant careers and influenced contemporary ceramic practice.
After Henry's death in 1988, Elsbeth Woody and Claudia Miller took over the reins and infused their energy into several programs, initiating the Summer Workshop Festival and opening a gallery dedicated to exhibiting ceramics.
Since 1997 Director Reena Kashyap and Associate Director Ruth Berelson have strengthened the programs aimed at advancing the mission by growing the education, exhibitions, Artist Residency and outreach programs, which are all focused "to kindle a passion for the ceramic arts and to provide a sharing community for that passion to flourish."
2007 marks Clay Art Center's 50th anniversary, and its emergence as a non-profit organization. Today it is buzzing with activity and the love for clay and spirit of community is abundantly displayed. It seems that its founders' dreams have been amply fulfilled.
Welcome to the CCPS blog!
Central Coast Potters Society is a non-profit, community organisation of like-minded volunteers who love clay.