As posted earlier, I spent last weekend at a Kari Radasch workshop at Mudfire Studio in Atlanta. It was a great one- nice people (all women!) in the class and Kari was extremely generous with her clay knowledge and techniques. Much of the time was spent watching demos, with a little bit of time to work to get the techniques down. We made lots of molds from items that we had brought along, and a couple of somewhat finished pieces. I dried some of my molds too quickly and may have to remake, but the concepts learned are still there. Here's Kari on the first day showing us how to treat the rim of a shallow bowl once it's taken off the hump mold..
Kari had an interesting way of coil-building her mugs and other pieces. She would layer a couple of coils, stretch them upward and then "throw" them on the banding wheel using her serrated rib to shape and distribute the clay evenly. It left a nice subtle texture on the surface, and had the dual quality of the looseness of a handbuilt piece and the evenness of a thrown piece. These pieces were so sweet that I had to buy one (picture to come....).
Even with all the great techniques learned that will get good use in my studio as well as for my students in upcoming classes, I learned most from Kari's slide lecture. Warning! I may have a hard time articulating exactly was learned: Kari has simple, concrete ideas that she aims to express in her work, and she does so extremely effectively. I tend to overthink or underthink concepts and she does it just right. As a person, she seems very familiar even before you meet her because she expresses herself so well in her work. Does that make sense? I think I need to take some time to intentionally determine what I would like to convey in my work without it being shallow or contrived.