Demystifying Ceramic Surfaces- Delores Fortuna
August 11 – 16, 2019
Time: Time: 5:00 Sunday through 1:00 Friday
Lodging at the Art Ventures Retreat Center: $170 (5 night stay)
Meal Fee: $140 (14 meals)
Workshop Fee: $350
Full Package: $660 (workshop fee + lodging + meals)
Class maximum: 22 students
Make your glazes work for you in creating a personal glaze statement. Hands-on testing in conjunction with lectures covering basic glaze chemistry will increase your understanding of what glaze chemicals do, emphasizing simple methods to modify and grow your personal glaze palette.
The focus will be cone 6 glazes suitable for both oxidation and reduction firings. Students will be encouraged to bring pots and test tiles made from the clay used in their work along with recipes and batches of cone 6 glazes for exploration and manipulation. Lectures will cover glaze chemistry and the use of glaze calculation software to better understand glaze types and behaviors.
Demonstrations, evening lectures, slides presentations will be combined with individual discussions of current work, drawings and concepts for future work with the goal of developing, identifying and refining your personal surface statement.
Demystifying Ceramic Surfaces- Delores Fortuna August 11 – 16, 2019
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Potter Guillermo Cuellar was born in Venezuela and currently lives in the St. Croix Valley of Minnesota. He became a studio potter in 1980 after studying Art, French, and Geology at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. From 1984 to 2006 he spent a month every summer working alongside potter Warren MacKenzie in Stillwater, MN. This experience with a friend and mentor informs his studio practice to this day.
Guillermo is fascinated by traditional stoneware pots of Asia and Europe. His work emerges from these historical roots, honoring function and everyday use. He is also inspired by the crafts of the indigenous people of Venezuela, with whom he has worked and traveled. In those cultures, handmade objects and tools are considered both extraordinary and ordinary, regarded with reverence for their beauty and their unpretentious role in daily life.
Cuellar is a full-time potter working from his home and studio in Shafer, MN. He has given workshops at Penland School of Crafts in Spruce Pine, NC (2016) Taller Huara Huara in Santiago, Chile (2017) Grand Marais Art Colony in MN (2018) and Adamah Clay Studios in Spring Green, WI (2018).
Since 2009, Cuellar has been a host studio on the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour. (www.minnesotapotters.com) He was featured on the TPT series Minnesota Original (2012) and participated in the documentary Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire, which explores mentorship in Minnesota. He has been the recipient of an ECAC/McKnight Individual Artist grant (2011) and two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grants (2006 & 2012).
Cuellar’s work has been exhibited across the United States and Venezuela and abroad in England and Chile.
“Exquisite beauty can be found in pots made for use. There is no contradiction in the marriage of function and beauty. Beauty makes a piece engaging to the user. The pots I like best provide a service with grace and charm. Our perception of utilitarian objects, through volume, texture, weight and balance, on the lips as one drinks, is intimate and direct. Pots are tactile as well as visual objects and communicate through touch. I love to make pots that invite handling and use, that suggest participation and enjoyment, not simply contemplation.
Most of my creative focus happens through my love of the way clay moves on the wheel. Making a series of similar pieces I look for ways to alter a basic thrown form to reveal the nature of hands and clay, adding punctuation and rhythm to generate an organic quality, interesting tensions or surprises. Often this happens directly on the freshly thrown piece by pinching, denting, incising, stretching, squaring or faceting. I also continue to alter pieces in the leather hard state, trimming, texturing, cutting facets, fluting and assembling elements of composite pieces like handles and spouts on teapots and baking dishes. I occasionally like to revisit forms I have made in the past or historical forms for a fresh look. Working in series allows me to repeat a form or alteration with subtle variations many times over, feeling my way, each piece building on the previous one. This evolutionary process sometimes produces surprising results.
My glaze kiln is an important element in my creative process. It is just unpredictable enough to keep my interest in every firing. I glaze primarily to enhance the form, so my decorations are minimal, simple trailed glazes and the interaction of glazes dipped over each other. I often use a crackle slip under several glazes to create a sense of age or timelessness.
At this stage in my life and career as a potter I am working toward a balance of studio, teaching and mentoring. I think good pots are associated with what I see as important priorities in living a good life and a balance to the rough edges of contemporary life. I hope my pots will encourage folks to slow down and cook and share their own delicious food and drink in good company.”