Breckenridge Arts District hosts ceramicists Ronald Shaw, Jeni Licata
Participants must register 24 hours in advance by calling (970) 453-3364. Pricing and more information are available at http://www.breckcreate.org.
• 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14 — Sculptural Pottery: The Sporenet Bowl Demo, with Ronald Shaw
• 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 16 — Sculptural Clay Elephants for Kids
• 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, May 21 to June 11 — Intermediate Wheel Throwing (four classes)
• 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 23 — Ceramic Coiled Bowls for Kids
• 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 30 — Ceramic Bird House for Kids
• 1-4 p.m. Mondays, June 1 to June 22 — Beginning Wheel Throwing (four classes)
• 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays, June 2 to June 23 — Advanced Wheel Throwing (four classes)
• 6-9 p.m. Friday, June 5 — Carving Organic Forms: Ceramics Demo, with Ronald Shaw
• 10-11:30 a.m. Saturdays, June 6 to June 20 — Hands in Clay for Kids (three classes)
• 10 a.m. to noon Friday, June 12 — Clay Fish for Kids
• 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 13 — Throwing on the Wheel, Give it a Try
• 10 a.m. to noon Friday, June 19 — Ceramic Bird Houses for Kids
• 6-9 p.m. Friday, June 19 — Sectional Pots on the Wheel: Throwing Large, Round and Tall Demo
Ceramic artists Ronald Shaw and Jeni Licata, of West Palm Beach, Florida, are in residence at the Robert Whyte House in the Breckenridge Arts District through Sunday, June 21. The duo will be teaching a number of workshops, from beginning wheel throwing to sculptural pottery to hands in clay for kids, as well as holding open studio hours Thursday through Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m., where you can stop in and learn more about their work.
Here, we sat down with Shaw and talked about his work and how he came to be a ceramic artist.
SUMMIT DAILY NEWS: What first made you want to become an artist? What was your first foray into the world of art?
RONALD SHAW: I was a graphic designer in college and liked playing on the computer and started making some fliers for local restaurants and bars. I was halfway though my degree in that and took a clay class and took off from there. I started with hand building, making teapots and stuff, and moved on to the wheel and going larger and larger. As I learned more and more, I got more and more attracted to it. It sort of found me, and I’ve been working with clay since then.
SDN: Why do you think clay is a good medium to express yourself artistically?
RS: The three-dimensional format is a big one. Two-dimensional stuff that hangs on the walls is limiting, so working with a three-dimensional medium is better. Clay is great because there’s so much possibility in terms of surface and form, types of firing and types of clay. There’s so much variety in materials and firing types available that you can spend a whole lifetime in this field and not experience it all or learn it all. There’s all this information to discover and work with, that’s one of the big ones. I like to experiment and play around a lot with different firing involving wood, soda, gas. There’s a lot of experimentation that happens there, and I enjoy that.
SDN: What are you hoping to accomplish with your work while you’re here?
RS: I look at this as an opportunity to get completely out of my comfort zone. At home, I do high-temperature, soda-fired functional and sculptural work. Here, I’m going to be doing lower temperature fired inlays and luster and more colorful stuff.
What’s nice about this is that I didn’t have that option here. I don’t have that big soda kiln or reduction kiln here, so I have to adapt to the facility. I’ll be working on making hand-built forms, with a similar carving style. I carve a pattern into the work, so it will be a similar carving style but different forms. The forms will be built differently, more geometrical, tetrahedral, polyhedral, rather than organic, rounded forms. I’m going to be experimenting with inlay, inlaying cobalt and various colored oxides and stains into the carving that I do and firing it in an electric kiln, which is the opposite of what I’m doing at home. I want to get out of my comfort zone and try to gain as much as I can out of it and use the facilities to their greatest potential.
SDN: Tell us about the workshops you will be conducting.
RS: I’ll be teaching classes and workshops that can be a four-week, three-hour class or a one-day, three-hour workshop, which is a minimum commitment. You can come in and watch and learn and talk and engage in an interactive class where I’ll be working individually with students with specific things, working on the wheel, wheel throwing. I’ll be doing a little bit to everything.
The four-week classes, I think that in four weeks with a student, I can really help develop their nonexisting skills or refine existing skills, add to and supplement their existing knowledge. The four-week classes are where a student can gain the most and help them develop and progress as an artist, what they are making and why they are making it and how they can communicate that effectively. … We can spend some time together and I can help them develop as an artist.
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