clay workshop theo helmstadter

The workshop begins with demonstration of a few wheel-throwing techniques that are on my mind at the moment: throwing large, throwing sections of pieces for later assembly, throwing sets of pieces off the hump, perfecting the vase, using thrown clay for slab construction – these would be typical. I usually bring a big assortment of finished work to look at & critique & be inspired by – exploration of these forms is encouraged. I try to bring both good & bad pots, by both beginning & accomplished artists. Discussion sometimes broadens to include issues of studio practice, developing a disciplined creative process, finding inspiration for your clay work in other media.

The demonstration workshop is flexible, expandable, or containable into a one to three or four-hour format. The overall goals of it are less to impart specific making methods – as a self-taught potter, I take it for granted that most people figure out the methods they want to use on their own – and more to encourage confidence, freedom, precision, in the pursuit of beautiful forms in clay. You should leave with more questions about this – what makes something beautiful – than you arrived with.

The hands-on version of the workshop shares these goals, and shortens the demonstration & discussion phases to include work time. Specific projects are not assigned but – I'll be able to tell if during the workshop you make another one of the same thing you usually make. Try something new. Ask for a demo of something challenging, then make a few, getting guidance from me or from others in the group.

Let me know if you'd like information about workshops - thanks!