As many of you know, Ray spends most of his time guest speaking as a retreat facilitator these days, taking himself and his wheel out on the road, blending spirituality and creativity. One type of retreat that Ray does is a blessing cup retreat for kids preparing to make their First Communion and their parents. Each child participating at the retreat draws a design on a bisqued chalice or blessing cup. This video shows what happens to all those chalices after the kids at the blessing cup retreats draw on them.
Many thanks to Laura Smith for putting this video together! 🙂
For more info about Ray’s retreats visit www.potteryretreat.com
Ray’s retreat description and outline
I call it a retreat because it is a time to step back and retreat from what you thought about pottery and yourself. Allow yourself to be centered, open up to new thoughts and ways to look at things and grow into new possibilities of interacting with clay. This is the beginning of a series of ongoing workshops that are different in the following way. Most of the time we go to workshops to meet the potter and go home with a pot we made at the workshop. The problem I see in this model is we often spend too much time making the pot, trying to get it into the bisque on time, and then rushing to glaze it, and so we don’t give ourselves enough time to learn new skills. We rush to experience them but, do we give ourselves time to learn them? I propose workshops or retreats to create a space for learning about pots and ourselves and what is important about both. We will need to create a new language for this because one has not been created yet. We will have to create new ways of doing things because the one size fits all approach doesn’t work. I have limited the group to 10 so I will have time to help individuals with their hands-on experience. Connie Rose will be available to assist you one on one when needed. I designed this day to introduce you to these techniques (for some of you, I’ll be reintroducing you but, with more science and thought) and to give you a chance to see them performed correctly. This retreat is an introduction. The DVD’s available will help you to review each technique and remind you how to use each technique to create bigger, lighter and better pots with less effort and with greater consistency.
In addition Andrew Boswell is offering a glazing workshop on Sunday, July 22nd or Sunday, August 12th. Although these two workshops are independent, they compliment each other. My Saturday workshop concentrates on creating the form and the Sunday workshop with Andrew concentrates on designing the surface. The price for Andrew’s Glazing workshop is $85. Andrew’s workshop can be combined with mine (Saturday July 21st and Sunday July 22nd, or Saturday August 11th and Sunday August 12th) into a weekend workshop at a discounted price of $165 for the two days, a savings of $15. To register please email me at [email protected] .
Retreat for Potters ~ Outline
10:00 – 10:30
Greet with coffee, Hand out booklets, introductory remarks, short movie, learning a new language, letting your fingers dance. Break into groups of two.
10:30 – 11:15
During this 45 minute session I will guide you through the science of centering, opening, bringing up clay from the bottom of the pot and hand position. You will have the opportunity to practice and problem solve with a partner. These mental and physical gymnastics will then be integrated with a practical hands on experience. In this way each one of you will have an opportunity to use new information to enable you to center and
open a pot (and possibly yourself) with more speed and less work.
We will continue using the groups of two (or more if you wish) in order to work through the science of recentering. (Recentering isn’t a word, yet, we’ll change that after this weekend.) These mental and physical gymnastics will then be integrated with the practical hands on experience. Each one of you will have the chance to use new information to recenter on the wheel. This will help you center, idea generate forms on the wheel and get rid of that awful high side and low side. This also will help you throw faster in general but, specifically faster when collaring and necking.
12:45 – 1:30
Continuing in groups of 2 or more we will go over the science of bowls and lips. These mental and physical gymnastics will then be integrated with the practical hands on experience. Everyone will have a chance on a wheel to use new information to create bowls and lips that don’t flop over or collapse down.
1:30 – 2:15
Continuing in groups of 2 of more we will go over the science of collaring and necking (making bottle necks). These mental and physical gymnastics will then be integrated with the practical hands on experience. Each one of you will be given the opportunity to use this new information to collar flared lips with out folding them or getting a high side and a low side. We will go over old ways of collaring as well as using recentering solely and in coordination with older techniques. Not being able to collar or create tall necks for bottles, spouts or stems is very limiting and no one need limit themselves in this way.
2:30 – 4:00
This is where the parts get put together. In the hour and a half remaining we will dialogue about design principles. How tall is too tall for a foot or a neck and why? What is the relationship between the body and the foot, or neck and lip? What are we trying to say or express through each of these separate elements to give voice to the completed pot? There will be some trimming demonstrated during this time. Most of the discussion will be
integrating the techniques we have been learning on the wheel to accomplish our goal of giving voice to our pots and ourselves.
Here’s a fairly rough video preview, but you’ll get an idea…