2021 Classes

Western Raku Firing Workshop

Location: Cotuit Center for the Arts
McGraw Ceramic Studio
Dates: Saturday, June 5, 10am – 4pm
Saturday, June 19, 9am – 4pm (rain date June 26)
$275/$234 members

In this workshop with Lois Hirshberg, participants will learn how to achieve dramatic results from this spectacular firing technique! Unlike most ceramic firing processes, Western Raku is very fast. Red hot pieces are carefully removed from the kiln and smothered with combustible materials. It is during this final smoking phase that the vibrant colors and the crackling of the glaze occurs.
Results vary from turquoise to intense red/bronze to beautiful white crackle. We will also be experimenting with Horsehair Raku.

Western Raku is elusive and mysterious. The unpredictability of the process is what makes it so exciting!

During the first class, Lois will demonstrate slab built vessels while participants make their own items to be raku fired. Two weeks later, you will glaze and fire your bisqued pieces outside in our two raku kilns. This workshop is open to all levels of expertise, and people with little previous clay experience are welcome.

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Saggar Firing Workshop

Location: Cotuit Center for the Arts
Date: Saturday, July 24 (rain date July 25)
Time: 9am – 4pm
$140/$119 members

A saggar is a container that holds the ceramic ware as it is being fired in the kiln. In this workshop, we will explore methods of preparing and firing ceramic pieces in saggars to produce beautiful surface effects resulting from the interaction of clay and fire. We will experiment in the workshop by loading the saggars with ceramic pieces surrounded by organic materials. Traditionally, saggars are made out of clay, but we will be using tin foil.

The purpose of the saggar is to provide an environment for fuming. Various materials such as seaweed, straw, sawdust, copper wire, salt, used coffee grinds and more are placed in the saggar with the ceramic piece. The resulting color range includes blacks, pinks, maroons, oranges, and other colors depending on the ingredients used in the saggar.

We will then fire the kiln for several hours (until the tin foil turns to dust). When the ceramic pieces are cool enough to touch, we will remove them from the kiln and see what colors have emerged.

Each workshop participant should bring 4 – 5 small bisque pieces.
$20 materials fee to be paid directly to the instructor.
Please bring a brown bag lunch.

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Kids Clay: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

kids clay animals class

Location: Truro Center Castle Hill for the Arts
Date: Monday – Wednesday, August 9 – 11
Time: 2pm – 4pm
3 sessions on campus
$225

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!!! This ceramics class is for kids 8 to 12 years old who want to have fun making animals with clay. We start with making a turtle and then moving on to whatever creatures you want to make. Lois will be teaching hand building techniques: pinching, coiling and slabs. Children’s creativity has no limits!!!

Lois has been working with clay since 1975. She hand build pieces from slabs of clay, creating simple forms that she uses as a canvas of self-expression for glazes and brushstrokes. She has been greatly influenced by the Japanese sense of design-simplicity and firing technique. Her specialty is Alternative Firing (Western Raku,Horse Hair Raku, Saggar, and Obvara).

She holds a B.A. in Sociology from New York University, an M.Ed in Mental Health Counseling from Northeastern University, and an M.A, in Art Therapy from Lesley University. Her art training includes Mudflat Pottery, Radcliff Pottery, Penland School of Crafts, and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She also studied in Japan with Parsons School of Design. She is a member of Cape Cod Potters and have shown her work at galleries nationally and internationally for more than 35 years.

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A Unique Firing Experience

Location: Truro Center Castle Hill for the Arts
Dates: Monday – Friday, September 20 – 24
Times: Monday – Tuesday: 9am – 12pm
No Class Wednesday
Thursday – Friday: 9am–3pm
4 sessions on campus
$490.00

A spectacular alternative firing technique! Unlike most ceramic firing processes, Western Raku is a very fast process. Red hot pieces are removed from the kiln and smothered with combustible materials to create flashes of color in the glazes. Results will vary from turquoise to intense red/bronze to beautiful white crackle. We will also be experimenting with horsehair Western Raku and Obvara Firing.

western-raku-ceramics-workshop

Western Raku never gets boring. It is elusive, mysterious, and totally at the mercy of nature’s fire. The unpredictability of the process is what makes it so exciting. Monday and Tuesday, Lois will also be demonstrating slab built vessels while you make items to be Western Raku Fired on Thursday and Friday. This Western Raku workshop is open to all levels of expertise; people with little previous clay experience are welcome.

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2 months ago

Hirshberg Pottery

More pictures from last week's Alternative Firing Workshop at Truro Center for the Arts. Happy Students. ...

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Contact me at potterybylois@comcast.net