Ceramics & Hot Clay

Idyllwild Arts has a long history of offering outstanding ceramics programs, with such renowned faculty as Fred Olsen, Shiro Otani, Susan Peterson, Maria Martinez, Lucy Lewis, Patti Warashina, Lana Wilson, and Jeff Oestreich.

Hot Clay Courses

Hot Clay Overview

June 11 – July 8

Coordinator: Richard Burkett
Studio Manager: David Delgado

  • Hands-On Workshops
  • Open Studios
  • Demonstrations and lectures presented by all faculty
  • Critiques and feedback
  • Exhibit of faculty work – Artist receptions each Monday
  • Small class size for maximum interaction with instructors and fellow participants
  • Participant exhibit and culmination reception each Friday

New this summer: FOUR WEEKS of Hot Clay workshops to choose from, or attend them all!

Deciphering Glazes

Peter Pinnell and Richard Burkett

June 11–17
Six-day session (begins Sunday at 9 a.m.)

Are you chained to the jar and completely dependent on commercial glazes? In this course you will mix glazes, slips and terra sigillatas, learn how to formulate, manipulate and trouble-shoot these to create beautiful, expressive surfaces. The class will create tests to be fired in an electric kiln to cone 04 and cone 6 oxidation. Through lecture, discussion and hands-on mixing, you will learn about the qualities of the raw materials and how to best use them. In-depth discussion of the fired results will help to demystify the nature of glazes, opening the door to better understanding of these processes and how to manipulate them for artistic purposes.

Skill Level: Intermediate amateur to semi-professional artist

Tuition: $735

Lab fee: $65, includes clays, glazes, shared supplies, firing costs, copy of HyperGlaze software ($100 value); you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials.

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Pete Pinnell has been making pots since he was a student in the 1970s and has taught at the University of Nebraska since 1995, where he is a professor and former department chair. He is fascinated by everything about ceramics: the process, history and aesthetics. He has taught, lectured and demonstrated widely, including most recently at the NCECA conference in Kansas City.

Richard Burkett has more than 40 years of experience in ceramics, loves to make pottery and sculpture, and has studied ceramics around the world. He has made soda and salt-fired work during his entire career. Richard is the author of HyperGlaze glaze software and the coauthor of the 6th edition of Ceramics: A Potter’s Handbook. He is currently professor of Art-Ceramics at San Diego State University. www.richardburkett.com.

Thrown and Altered Forms with Majolica: Developing Form and Surface

Linda Arbuckle

June 11–17
Six-day session (begins Sunday 9 a.m.)

Learn to develop thrown forms in small series for exploration of surface organization, and make forms with a long and short axis. Demos will include darting, handles, and handbuilt spouts. You bring a small series of bisque ware to provide preliminary forms for surfacing while the class bisques greenware midweek. Discussions will include strategies for organizing surface, development of personal color palettes and motifs for expressive surface, and a variety of technical and professional practices topics. You will use a sketchbook, and work with a variety of visual resources. Emphasis will be on working in small series, development within series, and discussion of results. Class will use terracotta clay and majolica glaze.

Skill Level: Intermediate. Must have basic throwing and handbuilding skills

Tuition: $735

Lab fee: $75, includes clay, glazes, shared supplies, firing costs; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials.

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Linda Arbuckle, professor emerita, University of Florida School of Art and Art History, exhibits widely and teaches in the US and internationally. She has earned numerous awards and recognition for her research, teaching and mentoring. She holds an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art. Linda has served as director-at-large on the board of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and as juror for state arts grants in Louisiana and Florida. She has juried the NCECA Clay National, the Strictly Functional Pottery National, and many more. lindaarbuckle.com

The Figure: Comment in 3 Sizes

Wesley Anderegg

June 11–17
Six-day session (begins Sunday 9 a.m.)

It’s your chance to comment on the world. This workshop is about the figure, scale, and content. You will make a narrative figurative piece in three different scales: cup size, wall-piece and standing sculpture. Class will include many different handbuilding techniques along with discussions on content and how to personalize your work and tell your story. Everyone has a story to tell!

Skill Level: All levels

Tuition: $735

Lab fee: $65, includes clay, glazes, underglazes, shared supplies, firing costs; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Wesley Anderegg has taken the road less traveled. He has a BS in geography from Arizona State University. Upon graduation from ASU he set up a studio and went to work. He has shown all over the country for more than 30 years with over 20 solo exhibitions. His work is in the collections of the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian, Crocker Art Museum, Mint Museum, and many more. www.wesleyanderegg.com.

Cut and Paste

Deborah Schwartzkopf

June 18–June 24
Six-day session (begins Sunday 9 a.m.)

Set in motion your ability to build complex functional forms with simple parts. Playful, technique-based exercises will hone your skills on altering, attachments, and piecing shapes together. Explore the many ways clay can be altered and combined from wheel-thrown elements. Cut and dart until your simple thrown cylinders become non-round expressive shapes. Spark your ideas as you watch demos, participate in hands-on exercises, and talk about ideas, making it as an artist, and connecting your work to life. Discussions about surface will round out this workshop. Bring your questions and learn the tricks of the trade.

Skill Level: Basic wheel throwing and hand building skills helpful

Tuition: $735

Lab fee: $65, includes clay, glazes, shared supplies, firing costs; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Deborah Schwartzkopf lives and works in Seattle. She teaches and exhibits extensively. She has taught at Ohio University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the University of Washington, in Italy with the University of Georgia, and at her studio, Ceramistas Seattle. Deb has worked at the Archie Bray Foundation, Mudflat Studios, the Clay Studio, Pottery Northwest, Watershed, San Boa (Jingdezhen, China), and the Ceramics Workcenter (Berlin). Deb holds an MFA from Penn State, a BA from University of Alaska, and studied independently at San Diego State University. www.ratcitystudios.com.

DIY Ceramic 3D Printers: Build, Experiment, & Collaborate

Bryan Czibesz

June 18–June 24
Six-day session (begins Sunday 9 a.m.)

In this workshop, you will develop a practical understanding of the use and construction of an extrusion-based ceramics 3D printer that can be integrated into existing ceramic studio practices. Begin by either building your own DIY ceramic 3D printer from parts and an open-source knowledge base or building the knowledge necessary to build and use one after the workshop. Then, you will develop digital design strategies–from simple to complex–that allow you to return to working directly with clay, printing 3D printed parts in clay and then developing strategies for combining them with thrown, handbuilt, and cast additions.

Through building machines and developing hybrid methodologies that facilitate direct play between digital and hand processes, this workshop will provide you with tools to integrate digital technologies into your studio practice and ceramics curricula.

Skill Level: All levels of ceramics; intermediate understanding of digital software required, digital 3D modeling experience is not

Tuition: $735

Lab fee with printer: $575, includes clay and incidentals, parts required for one extrusion-based ceramic 3D printer. After workshop, printer will require power outlet and 3 gallon/100psi minimum air compressor

Lab fee without printer: $65, includes clay and incidentals, access to studio 3D printer; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 8 students.

Bryan Czibesz is an artist grounded in the tradition of object making who has equal interest in working with his hands, tinkering, and digital processes. He earned his MFA from San Diego State University and BA from Humboldt State University, and has conducted workshops in ceramics and 3D printing around the country. Bryan is currently assistant professor of Art in Ceramics at SUNY New Paltz. www.bryanczibesz.com.

Urban Porcelain

Kevin Snipes

June 18–June 24
Six-day session (begins Sunday 9 a.m.)

Consider the ceramic object as a vessel for storytelling. You will explore greenware ceramic surface decoration. Using porcelain, you will create meaningful three dimension canvases using primarily handbuilding techniques. Draw on these canvases using the traditional techniques of mishima, sgraffito, and underglaze decoration. Learn to use these techniques in non-traditional ways, exploring pop culture, contemporary life, narrative and art. Learn to use forming methods combined with surface techniques to produce intricate, layered surfaces. Class will include discussions on formal design, historical and contemporary references and meaning.

Skill Level: Open to all levels, but expect challenges

Tuition: $735

Lab fee: $65, includes porcelain, underglazes, shared supplies and firing costs; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Kevin Snipes received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, and after pursuing graduate studies at the University of Florida, he participated in numerous artist residency programs, including the Clay Studio in Philadelphia; Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, in New Castle, Maine; Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis; and A.I.R. in Vallauris, France. He received a Taunt Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana in 2008. In 2014, he was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Pots for Serving

Suze Lindsay & Kent McLaughlin

June 26- July 1
Six-day session

Investigate functional tabletop forms in this workshop, and see demos on using thrown and handbuilt elements to construct bowls, trays, and sets made for serving. Suze and Kent’s “Dueling Demos” will highlight their diverse approaches to making pottery for daily use and allow for maximum exposure to a wide range of skills and techniques. Learn how to enhance form with surface, concentrating on finishing the pots. Surface enhancement techniques include the use of slips for decoration, creating depth in glaze applications, layering glazes, and use of texture. Decorative techniques will focus on use of brushwork to stretch and expand personal imagery. Learn basic brushmaking techniques. Pots will be finished using salt/soda and gas reduction firings, both cone 10. Explore ideas about imagery and mark making on 3D forms through sketching, writing exercises and historical source materials.

Skill Level: Basic throwing skills

Tuition: $735 per week

Lab fee: $85, includes clay, glazes, shared supplies, firing costs, brushmaking materials; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 12 students per week

Suze Lindsay, studio potter in the North Carolina mountains, studied ceramics at Penland School of Crafts, and Louisiana State University where she earned her MFA. She and husband Kent founded Fork Mountain Pottery, in Bakersville, NC. Suze has taught at art centers and universities in the US, China, and Chile. Among her many awards are the Best of Show in the First Annual Strictly Functional Pottery National. She has had several solo exhibitions, and her work is in the permanent collections of museums around the country and in Taiwan.

Kent McLaughlin is a studio potter who began his training in 1973 at Brevard Community College, the University of Central Florida, and Penland School of Crafts. He apprenticed with a production potter before opening his own studio. Since 1996, he and wife Suze have owned and operated their private studio, Fork Mountain Pottery, in Bakersville NC. Kent has taught at Penland, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and has been a visiting instructor at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China, and at Curaumilla Art Center in Chile. www.forkmountainpottery.com

Pottery Boot Camp

David Delgado & Sam Lopez

July 3–July 8
Six-day session

Build or improve your technical skill for making functional pottery – cups, mugs, bowls, plates, jars, handles, spouts, lids, and more. This is about the structure, wet clay, and making lots of pots. Honing, building and strengthening your throwing and handbuilding skills. Cutting open pots. Creating muscle memory. Each day David and Sam will introduce new techniques for forming, trimming, decorating, and glazing. Learn about tool maintenance and practical studio concerns, discuss form and look at works of master potters to better understand the mechanics of what makes them structurally sound and invites you want to use them.

You will leave with bisqued pots. There will be one Cone 10 reduction firing with the possibility of a Cone 6 oxidation firing. Bring 3-4 small to medium sized pre-bisqued pieces for firings. Bisque ware provided for testing glazes and for beginning throwers. Bring your questions, source material, tools, or any other curiosities.

Skill Level: Beginners to experienced potters

Tuition: $735

Lab fee: $65, includes porcelain, slips, underglazes, glazes, firings, use of shared tools and supplies; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials. Basic studio tools provided; bring your favorite tools

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 12 students

David Delgado earned his BFA in Sculpture at California College of the Arts in Oakland/San Francisco. David is the glaze technician and a faculty member at The Potters’ Studio in Berkeley. He has shown in the San Francisco area and throughout Southern California. David lives in Berkeley, CA.

Sam Lopez is pursuing an MFA in ceramics at San Diego State University. As a potter, Sam works primarily in porcelain and focuses on throwing and altering forms that reflect his experiences with the natural world. He shares these experiences through his pottery and hopes to enhance daily ritual one kitchen cupboard at a time. Sam has worked with the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program since 2012.

Pottery Courses
= Native American Arts

San Ildefonso Pueblo Black Pottery

Diane Jenkins

June 19-24
One-week session

Learn the techniques used to produce traditional San Ildefonso Pueblo black pottery with painted matte designs, including mixing the clay, pinch and coil shaping, drying, sanding, hand stone-polishing, and finally the manure-smothered oxygen-reduction firing. Diane will demonstrate and explain each step as you create two to three small pieces of pottery.

You will take a field trip to collect “cow pies” for the firing – yes, there’s an art to selecting the best specimens for the firing! The workshop includes a slide show detailing the process and information on the life and culture of San Ildefonso Pueblo. Diane’s husband, John Jenkins (Tewa), will demonstrate flint-knapping as well as share information about life at the Pueblo.

Skill level: All levels

Tuition: $735

Lab Fee: $65, includes natural clay, pottery shaping tools, firing materials, field trip; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials.

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 12 students

Diane Jenkins (Tewa Pueblo of San Ildefonso) was born, raised and lives in San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM. She learned pottery making at an early age from her mother, the world-renowned “Blue Corn.” She learned the techniques of making pottery by observing and helping her parents every day, by collecting, processing clay, shaping, hand stone-polishing and firing the pots. Today, Diane and her brother Krieg Kalavaza, produce pottery in the fashion they learned from their parents. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Diane accompanied her mother to pottery making demonstrations and workshops around the country. In 1979, Blue Corn and Diane taught their first workshop at Idyllwild Arts, and Diane continued the tradition until 2003. Idyllwild Arts is delighted with her return!

Cahuilla Style Pottery: Collecting Clay and Making Pots

Tony Soares

June 22-25
Four-day session

Pottery has been made for more than 1,000 years in Southern California. Learn how to collect and mix clay, then create the beautiful ollas used by the Cahuilla people of Southern California to store food and water. On day one of this workshop, take a field trip to clay sites where you will learn how to carefully extract the clay from the deposits. In the afternoon, begin processing the clays for pottery making. For the next two days, you will make pinch pots and coil pots using the paddle and anvil technique, using both the collected clay and other clay samples Tony will provide. Learn to make the natural pigment paints used to decorate the pots, and finally, fire the pots. Tony will discuss a range of topics including how to make and use a simple urban brick and charcoal briquette kiln, paintbrush making, fire-starting by friction, and making palm frond rings (pottery stands).

Skill level: All levels

Tuition: $595

Lab Fee: $65 includes materials, field trip, use of all tools and shared materials such as screens and metates; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials.

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 12 students

Tony Soares learned the fundamentals of pottery from his grandmother at age 7, starting a more than 30-year journey to revive the fading art of olla making. Though not of Cahuilla descent, he has helped revive the art of Cahuilla pottery making through his experimentation with local clays and indigenous handbuilding techniques. His pottery is displayed in art galleries and museums including the Tahquitz Canyon Museum. Tony shares his knowledge to ensure that Native American pottery making is never lost. He has taught at many venues including the Agua Caliente Band of the Desert Cahuilla of Palm Springs and the Yuman tribes of the Colorado River, AZ.

Hopi-Tewa Pottery

Mark Tahbo

June 26-July 1
One-week session-includes Saturday a.m. firing

Learn the traditional Hopi method of creating polychrome pottery, including coil building, stone burnishing, painting with natural pigments, and firing. Process and prepare raw clay for pottery making and prepare beeweed plant for black paint. Experiment with the Hopi-Tewa gray clay, as well as the yellow ochre clay that Nampeyo often used. See demonstrations of slipping techniques using white kaolin and yellow ochre, and learn separate firing techniques for gray and yellow ochre pots.

Mark will provide natural clays and paints from the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. You will make up to three small pieces of pottery in this careful examination of the delicate process of Hopi pottery making and the cultural foundation from which the art is inspired.

Skill Level: All levels are welcome

Tuition: $735

Lab Fee: $55, includes clays, natural paint pigments, and firing materials; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials.

Materials List: Download here.

Enrollment limited to 15 students

Mark Tahbo (Hopi-Tewa) is known as one of the finest Hopi potters today. Born and raised on the Hopi Reservation, First Mesa, Mark learned the art from his great-grandmother Grace Chapella, Nampeyo’s neighbor and a principle pottery revival artist decades ago. His distinctive pots have been exhibited worldwide in museums and galleries. Among the many top awards he has earned at the Santa Fe Indian Market is the prestigious Helen Naha Memorial Award for Excellence in Hopi Pottery, which he earned for three consecutive years. Mark has been profiled in various publications including Native Peoples Magazine, and is included in many books and articles on Pueblo pottery.