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

Hot Clay Overview

June 14 – July 11

Coordinator: Richard Burkett
Studio Manager: Adrienne Eliades

Each Week Features:

  • Hands-on Workshops
  • Open Studios
  • Faculty demonstrations and lectures
  • Critiques and feedback
  • Faculty Exhibits and Artist Receptions
  • Small classes, maximum interaction with faculty
  • Participant exhibits

Complex Forms/Simple Molds

Andrew Martin
June 14 – 20
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

In this workshop, we will design and make prototypes, and then take molds of them. You will design the molds to be as simple as possible, and you will learn how to “map” a mold so that you can make it in as few pieces as possible. Plan to make one complex form and one simple form. Because of the time constraints of this process, we will not be glazing or firing the finished castings. Andrew will demonstrate an intuitive yet practical exploration of how to work with molds beyond mere repetition.  We will experiment with altering cast pots while they are wet, sprigging, marbling, and one-of-a-kind variations of base forms.  The spine of the workshop will be a conversation about form, process, context and utility; the cast works will give it body. Each morning, we will discuss the ideas, technical challenges, and aesthetic possibilities encountered the previous day. By sharing in each other’s process, you will gain a broader insight to design, mold making, and slip casting. Come ready to take risks and make something unexpected.

Skill Level: Beginner to advanced.
Tuition: $755
Lab fee: $110,

 $110, includes clay and shared supplies such as plaster, casting slip, etc. You will be asked to bring additional materials – this information will be sent out closer to the start of programs.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Andrew Martin earned a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Alfred University. He is the author of The Essential Guide to Mold Making and Slip Casting and has written essays and articles for American Ceramics and Ceramics Monthly. He has taught over 100 workshops and exhibited internationally; he has had residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation, the Arts-Industry Program at the Kohler Company, and was awarded two grants from the NEA. Andrew lives and works in Maria Hoop, The Netherlands.

Happiness is a Warm Extruder

Hayne Bayless
June 14-20
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

In this workshop, we will explore extrusion and slab techniques as they relate to making functional stoneware. Our approach will be to let the process show in the finished piece, keeping in mind that if we keep out of the clay’s way, the material will reveal its true 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. Workshops topics include: cutting stencils from Tyvek; colored slip inlay and stretched slabs; decorating in liquid latex resist with deer-tail brushes; fashioning tools out of common materials and modifying existing tools to suit specific needs; and how to make custom extruder dies. This workshop will also interest throwers looking to expand their horizons beyond the wheel.

Skill Level: All levels, both handbuilders and wheel throwers; previous experience helpful.
Tuition: $755
Lab fee: $65, includes clay, firing, and shared supplies; you will be asked to bring additional materials.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Hayne Bayless is a potter in Ivoryton, CT. In school he managed to avoid any academic involvement with clay, and in 1992 he quit a perfectly good job at a newspaper to make pots. Hayne’s work has been shown at the American Craft Museum, and he has been a frequent exhibitor at the Smithsonian Craft Show and the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show. His pots have been published in Objects for Use by Paul Smith, Design Language by Tim McCreight, Studio Potter journal, and a number of Lark Books.

Springboard: From Wheel to Surface

Chandra DeBuse
June 14-20
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

This workshop will incorporate a playful approach to pottery making through risk-taking and experimentation in both form and surface design. Using the wheel as a tool to generate simple forms, you will use flexible stamps, darting, carving, paddling and adding handbuilt elements to create pots with personality. Through added texture, underglaze inlay, sgraffito, brushwork, and resists, you will create layered, dynamic surfaces for cone 6 electric. Despite the admonition, “Don’t play with your food!,” we will examine how functional pottery throughout history has been a vehicle for play, discovery and exploration. You can expect to take home new templates, stamps and molds that you have designed as well as your decorated and underglazed bisqueware. We will be using midrange porcelaneous stoneware for this class.

Skill Level: Skilled beginning to advanced (basic ceramic skills required)
Tuition: $755
Lab fee: $55 – This workshop’s $55 lab fee includes clay, firing, and shared supplies; you will be asked to bring additional materials.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Chandra DeBuse is a studio potter in Kansas City and a founding member of Kansas City Urban Potters. She received her MFA from the University of Florida in 2010 and was a resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Chandra has presented her work as an NCECA 2012 Emerging Artist, at Utilitarian Clay VII, and SOFA Chicago. She has been featured in numerous publications and has presented over 50 workshops nationwide. 


Instagram: @chandradebuse

Facebook: Chandra DeBuse Ceramics

Slab Building: Construction & Color

Marty Fielding
June 21-27
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

This workshop will explore slab building techniques for constructing functional pots. Visual and conceptual sources ceramic and non-ceramic will provide starting points for designing and making personal work. There will be daily demonstrations, group and one-on-one conversations, and an emphasis on creative problem solving. Forming demonstrations will include using paper templates, drop molds and a variety of approaches to handles, lids, and spouts. Specific forms may include cups, boxes, serving dishes, pouring vessels, and composed groupings. The focus for surface considerations will be building depth for electric firing through layering. We will consult color theory for guidance in harnessing the aesthetic and expressive potential of color.

Skill Level: Skilled beginning to advanced (basic ceramic skills required)
Tuition: $755
Lab fee:$55 – This workshop’s $55 lab fee includes clay, firing, and shared supplies; you will be asked to bring additional materials.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Marty Fielding became captivated by clay as an anthropology major at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He continued his study of ceramics at Penland School of Crafts and received an MFA from the University of Florida. Marty’s work has been included in invitational and juried exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally. His work and writing are published in numerous books and periodicals. He teaches at Florida State University, and has also taught at SUNY New Paltz, Middlebury College and numerous workshops including Penland. 


Instagram: @fieldingform

Facebook: Marty Fielding


Low Fire is Cooler!

Ben Carter
June 21-27
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

This workshop focuses on integrating surface design with altered wheel-thrown pottery. You will learn a variety of surface design methods including slip decorating, sgraffito, and other mark making techniques. During the workshop, we will discuss aesthetic issues (i.e. proportions, color theory, etc.), making strong functional pots at low fire temperatures, and creative problem-solving in the studio. Additional discussions of marketing, social media and the changing landscape of contemporary craft will leave you recharged, rejuvenated and ready to grow in your own studio practice.

Skill Level: All levels. Beginners to experienced potters.

Tuition: $755
Lab fee: $65 – This workshop’s $65 lab fee includes clay, firing, and shared supplies; you will be asked to bring additional materials.
Enrollment limited to 10 students

Ben Carter is based in Farmingdale, NJ, where he maintains a studio, teaches workshops and exhibits internationally. He received his MFA in ceramics from the University of Florida in 2010. In 2016, he was named Ceramic Artist of the Year by Ceramics Monthly and released his first full-length book, Mastering the Potter’s Wheel, published by Voyageur Press. In addition to his studio work, Ben is the creator/host of the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast, where he interviews artists about their craft, creativity, and lifestyle. 


Instagram: @carterpottery

Facebook: Carter Pottery

Twitter: @CarterPottery


The Figure as Metaphor

Stan Welsh
June 21-27
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

The focus of this workshop will be to create and celebrate the human figure through the lens of one’s personal journey.  Learn to make figures that are clothed, wrapped, holding objects and carrying burdens with an emphasis on expressive and textured surface treatment. Through daily demonstrations, you will learn a range of hand-building techniques and the skills necessary to create small figurative sculptures approximately 15”- 20” tall.  You will also learn about hanging systems for wall mounted work including French cleat, shelf design and various glues, attachment systems and strategies for combining mixed media with clay. Daily power point presentations will examine different approaches to representing the figure and draw from a variety of cultures and historical perspectives.This class will help you find simple and direct solutions to technical problems with a focus on individual direction and personal symbolism. You will model your figures from solid clay and press molds. A variety of techniques will be demonstrated including slab construction, extruder construction, pinched forms, coil construction and press molds.

Skill Level: All levels, though handbuilding experience is recommended
Tuition: $755
Lab fee:
$65 – This workshop’s $65 lab fee includes clay, firing, and shared supplies; you will be asked to bring additional materials.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Stan Welsh is currently a professor emeritus at San Jose State University, CA. He received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in 1974 and his MFA from Alfred University in 1979. Stan has been the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award and the California Arts Council Award. His work is in the permanent collections of the Oakland Museum, San Jose Museum, Arizona State University Ceramic Research Museum, and the Fred Marer Collection. 


Facebook: Stan Welsh

Nature’s Color

Michael Sherrill
June 28 – July 4
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

My work is inspired by my observations of the natural world, where color is always in motion, transitioning from one color to the next. In this workshop we will explore using porcelain and slips to create transitional color. You will learn post-firing surface techniques, using diamond abrasives to remove material and polish the surface. We will also use extruders – a great tool to make and manipulate forms – and a lot of hand building techniques. We will explore mark making, texture, carving, and embossing techniques. If your practice is at the potter’s wheel, you will discover many techniques applicable to your work as well. We’ll be working with porcelain at cones 6 and 7.

Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced
Tuition: $755
Lab fee:$75 – This workshop’s $75 lab fee includes clay, firing, and shared supplies; you will be asked to bring additional materials.

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Michael Sherrill has work in public collections including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Museum of American Craft, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Mint Museum, the Museum of Art and Design, Corning Museum of Glass, the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, and Takoma Glass Museum, among others. His past residencies include the International Ceramic Museum in Incheon, S. Korea; Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and the Museum of Glass. Among his many awards, Michael was honored by the James Renwick Alliance as the 2019 Master of the Medium, Clay. He lives and works in North Carolina. 


Instagram: @sherrillmudtools

Facebook: Michael Sherrill

Pottery Boot Camp

Darcy Delgado & Adrienne Eliades
July 5-11
Seven-day session (class ends Saturday afternoon)

Learn and develop your physical throwing skills on the potter’s wheel to make functional pottery as expressive art. Improve your form language through repetition and experimentation. Focus on practice as the foundation for building tacit [body] knowledge and gaining proficiency in making cups, bowls, plates, pitchers, teapots and more. New techniques will be introduced every day by Darcy and Adrienne for throwing, trimming, and decorating greenware. You will gain an understanding of the relationship of form to function. Become familiar with works of master potters to better comprehend the mechanics of what makes ceramic forms structurally sound and invites you to want to use them.

You will leave with bisqued pots. There will be one Cone 6 reduction firing with the possibility of a Cone 6 oxidation firing. You will bring 5-10 small to medium-sized prebisqued pieces made from cone 6 clay for firings. Bisqueware will be 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: $755
Lab fee: $65, includes cone 6 stoneware clay, slips, underglazes, firings, use of shared tools and supplies; you will be asked to bring additional materials.
Click here for the Hot Clay Welcome Letter
Click here for the Materials List

Enrollment limited to 12 students

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

Adrienne Eliades is a studio artist currently living in Vancouver, WA. She earned a BA from the University of North Carolina, and an MFA from the University of Florida. Named a 2018 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly, Adrienne has been an artist-in-residence at Ash Street Project in Portland, OR, Guldagergaard International Research Center in Denmark and The Bright Angle in Asheville, NC. In addition to maintaining a vibrant studio practice, Adrienne teaches at Portland Community College.

Cahuilla Style Pottery

Tony Soares
June 22-26

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: $745
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.
Click here for Materials List
Enrollment limited to 10 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

Dorothy Ami
June 29 – July 4
One-week session-includes Saturday a.m. firing

Learn the traditional Hopi method of creating polychrome pottery, including coil building with either Hopi gray or yellow ochre clay, sanding and burnishing with riverbed stones, designing and painting your pots with natural pigments, and firing with sheep dung. Process and prepare raw clay for pottery making and prepare beeweed plant for black paint, as well as other clay pigments for paints that fire to a range of colors from red and yellow, to pink and green.

Your instructor, Dorothy Ami, will provide the 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
Tuition: $745
Lab Fee: $75, includes clays, natural paint pigments, and firing materials; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials.
Click here for Materials List
Enrollment limited to 15 students

Dorothy Ami (Hopi-Tewa) is from the village of Polacca at First Mesa. She began practicing the art of Hopi-Tewa pottery in 1986 under her cousin and innovator of Hopi pottery, Mark Tahbo. She later went on to win several awards in competitions, including the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Annual Hopi Show, NAU Road Scholar Program, and other private organizations. Dorothy has been featured in many publications, including Talking with Clay in the 21st Century and Hopi Tiles. This will be her second summer at Idyllwild Arts.