Debra Sloan: 5 Day Workshop @ Leach Pottery in St. Ives

Make your own roof Finial in the tradition of the West Country – Clay sculpture course to create a guardian to sit on a roof tile

29 May to 2 June 2017 (5 days), 10am- 4pm


Maximum on the course: 8

All welcome anyone with, or without ceramic skills


For this workshop – in honour of the Leach Horseman on display at the “That Continuous Thing” exhibition at the Tate, St Ives – we will work with the idea of roof finials or guardians, a tradition of the West Country.  Please bring ideas and images of what kind of guardian you would like on your roof. If students are unsure of what to do, there will be images for them to choose from. Each student will have an earthenware ridge tile to work from.  There will be a short slide show about roof finials.

  • Three days building
  • Two days to finish

Hand building [sculpture] is an open and exploratory experience, and I try to conduct a class that makes the process accessible, and is deeply satisfying. Handwork is very a different experience from throwing pots, it is about imaginative structure.  I enjoy problem solving and working individually with each student to find ways and means.  Beginners and experienced alike are welcomed.  Though technical skills are helpful, beginners can make expressive and cogent work.

At the end of the workshop the student should have one or two figure/ finials that will be fired in the Leach Pottery kilns.  Pick up of the pieces would be about two weeks after the workshop. Once these pieces are fired they can be cemented onto a ridge tile and placed on your own roof – to honour the ridge tile tradition of the West Country. This hands-on experience will open up understanding of the ceramic experience and hopefully encourage the participants to continue exploring this wonderful material. The Leach Pottery will provide some hand tools – please bring any tools you may have.The work would be freestanding and within 8-14 inches, H/W.  The students would pick up their work around 4-6 weeks after the workshop.

Students to Bring:

·         A packed lunch, Leach Pottery will provide tea & coffee provided

·         Any tools you may have, knives, sticks etc., a towel, pencil and paper, dry-cleaner plastic, large sponges, and short fingernails.

·         An image you would like to work with – if you have one in mind – finials can be anything you can imagine – abstracted or representational.  We will discuss the images and how to make them .

For the class the Leach Pottery will provide:·

·         A generic earthenware ridge tile for each student to work from

·         Generic hand tools, and I can bring some, and some dry cleaner plastic.

·         ·      A bisque firing, and a final firing in the gas kiln, so that student pieces can be weather proof and put on the roof.    Most students would make 1 -2 pieces.

·         There will be no glazing, but a black and white clay slips for the surface will be available, for a bit of detail


More info:

Find out more about Debra:



education opportunity: Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education

Northern Clay Center presents an advanced ceramics studio program in collaboration with ceramic artist and educator, Ursula Hargens. The New Institute for Ceramic Education provides up to 8 months of advanced, personalized instruction for artists who are serious about taking the next step in their ceramic education.

This pilot program is designed to respond to the changing needs of students and gives non-traditional students the same quality of information and critique found in a university program.  Designed for potters and sculptors alike, the Institute will support the development of studio work and provide high-level training in ceramic materials, history and theory, and professional practices.

Participants will earn a certificate of completion through a combination of instruction and individual mentoring. The program will extend beyond the classroom to include artist lectures, gallery tours, and studio visits with established artists to take advantage of the rich ceramic resources throughout the Twin Cities, including those from academic and non-traditional routes of study, artists of other media, and arts administrators.

Get updates about MN NICE classes, visiting artists, and events on the NCC blog. 

What can you hope to achieve from this program?

By the end of the 8-month program, students will earn a certificate and will possess the technical skills, artistic context, and personal insight to build a strong and cohesive body of work. They will learn how to present and promote their work, whether they are seeking gallery representation, applying to graduate school, or selling work to the public.

MN NICE combines the best aspects of a residency, university program, and apprenticeship. Certificate recipients will establish new connections with peers and established artists in the field, build professional credentials, and create a strong body of work based on individualized instruction. The program will culminate in a final exhibition at Northern Clay Center.

“It is not without trepidation that I look toward the future, but I am eager to stretch my wings using the tools, resources, and courage I have discovered through MN NICE.
I feel honored and proud to have been a part of this program.” — MN NICE participant, 2015-16

Is MN NICE right for you?

Now in its second year, MN NICE is designed to respond to the changing needs of students and to give non-traditional students the same quality of information and critique found in a university program. Designed for potters and sculptors alike, MN NICE will support the development of studio work and provide high-level training in ceramic materials, history and theory, and professional practices. Participants will earn a certificate of completion through a combination of instruction and individual mentoring, led by ceramic artist and educator Ursula Hargens.

Hargens states, “Many individuals are eager to further their ceramic education and seek a professional credential, but family, employment, financial, and time constraints limit their ability to do so within a traditional academic structure. This certificate program is designed to fill this gap, providing a flexible, yet challenging environment that responds to the needs of non-traditional students, giving them quality information, academic rigor, critical dialogue, and critique as they develop their artistic practice and strengthen their work.”

Click here to access the application form.

Listen to a conversation between course leader, Ursula Hargens and a couple members of the first group of MN NICE students on Ben Carter’s Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast.

Find out more here:

call for artists: Bursary opportunities for Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts

Each year, the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts is proud to be able to offer a number of full and partial bursaries to practicing Canadian artists. Financial assistance is available through the MISSA Bursary Program, for artists working in any medium, and the Betty Burroughs Memorial Fund for ceramic artists. MISSA also awards a number of Emerging Artist Bursaries to emerging artists 19-29 years old. Bursaries are available on a one-time basis and are applicable to any course offered at MISSA.

Bursary Application Process

Please email the scanned completed application form, 4-5 images and a brief bio combined as one PDF document which is under 4MB in size (please use low res images in your file) , to the Executive Director : Applications due April 15, 2017. Only those applications which comply with the single PDF file format will be considered. Thank you.

MISSA BURSARY application 2017 [pdf]
MISSA BURSARY application 2017 [Word document]

Selection is undertaken by the Board of Directors and is based on artistic merit, financial need and commitment to art. Partial bursaries typically cover the workshop tuition. Full bursaries cover both tuition and accommodation & meals. Bursaries do not include required course supplies or travel expenses. Recipients are required to contribute a minimum of four hours volunteer time per week and to write a brief report outlining their MISSA experience.

The Vancouver Island Potters Guild offers a Betty Burroughs Memorial Bursary to members of their guild.  APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL THE END OF APRIL. Please contact the Guild directly for further details.

1001 Pots in Val-David, Quebec


July 8th : Opening at noon
August 14th, closing at 5 pm




Val-David – The place to be in summer for anyone passionate about the
ceramics arts, 1001 Pots invites all lovers of things ceramic to its
28th edition, from July 10 to August 16. Delightfully located in the
sylvan beauty of the Laurentian Mountains, in the charming heart of
Val-David village, the exhibition presents the heights of excellence in
Québec ceramics. Set out on the magnificent site of the event’s founder,
Kinya Ishikawa, the massed works of the contemporary ceramists are on
show in a multitude of styles and formats. Whether grouped by individual
craftsperson or presented according to themes in both indoor and
outdoor displays (garden, kitchen, table art, tea, sculpture, jewelry,
children’s work, decoration, collectible items…), everything has been
harmoniously arranged so visitors can discover the marvels created by
local artisans. And of course, they have an opportunity to take some of
them home!


Earth and people
1001 Pots offers multiple opportunities to enter into the special
world of ceramics and exchange with the creators. Every day, a different
artisan will present his or her work. Demonstrations and workshops
liven up the weekends; also a whimsical throwing competition will put
various talents to the task of providing sufficient bowls for the
organization Empty bowls. The work of artists in residence can be
appreciated as well. And why not register for an hour workshop or if
you like more, a week long course on the potter’s wheel (for adults) or
perhaps enter the children for a creative hand building workshop while
you take time to wander around this peaceful site?

Earth and gardens
The 1001 Pots exhibition is well known for the beauty of is site.
During the visit, you can enjoy a true moment of grace by taking tea in
the Mousse garden, Zen garden or Secret garden. The intimate
relationship between the art of tea making and ceramics is also revealed
in the presentation of an exhibition and contest, held in partnership
with the teahouse Camellia Sinensis. You can also attend to the Tea
discovery workshop given by our partner. To round off this splendid
bouquet, you should also attend the demonstration of ikebana, the very
quintessence of Japanese floral art. Finally, but not the less, within
the unusual setting of the Silica garden, cultural manifestations are
also present in the form of musical concerts and poetry readings.

That tempts you? Come to visit us to discover all this and more still.


Job Posting: SODA Resident Workshop Co-ordinator

Call for applications and/or recommendations
SODA is currently seeking applications for an emerging ceramic artist to join SODA for a 12 month period as the new workshop administrator and facilitator commencing May 2013 .

With the success of SODA studios and The SODA International Ceramic Residency program in Western Australia, SODA is moving to larger premises. In June 2013 SODA will be relocating its studios, onsite accommodation apartments and workshop facility to new premises in North Fremantle – next door at the former Perth Galleries building. With the philosophy that generosity enhances education, SODA is launching a new weekly workshop program to nurture the ceramics arts in the Western Australian community.

Along with the successful rolling International Visiting Artist program, SODA is now able to host a new permanent position for a qualified emerging Ceramic Artist for a period of 12 months. SODA is currently seeking applications for an emerging ceramic artist to join SODA for a 12 month period as the new workshop administrator and facilitator commencing May 2013. The successful applicant should be aligned with our principles that the skills and ideas learnt at SODA become building blocks to be sourced and utilised into life beyond the clay studio. The successful applicant is encouraged and will be supported in the development of their own studio practice while at SODA.

Resident Workshop Co -coordinator Role
Teaching 8 week wet clay program – Two hour after school classes for children three times per week. Saturday 3 hour theme based Workshops for Adults running for 8 weeks Special one off events – private functions, corporate events etc Holiday clay programmes

Maintain materials and equipment for each class Organise the storage, drying, loading and firing of kilns for each program prepare and maintain the communal workshop space in an ordered and tidy condition before and after each workshop

Administrating Receive, record and file all payment and enrolments of students from each program
Administration and Co-ordination Support International Visiting artist workshop program

Qualifications required
SODA is seeking a studio artist who has graduated from a ceramic degree program in the last 2 – 10 years who has excellent teaching skills. The successful applicant must be cable of administrating and teaching a broad range of Children’s and Adult theme based clay courses on a weekly basis. Applicants should reflect a willingness to be generous with information, possess strong technical skills, convey exceptional interpersonal skills and importantly exude great enthusiasm for clay. Remaining organised and reliable is essential in this role.

Income and expenses
The successful studio artist will receive a percentage of the profits generated from the workshop program as their income. They will also be required to cover their own living expenses

Accommodation and studio rent
The successful applicant will be provided with their own private onsite living suite. They will share kitchen/dining and studio facilities with the International Visiting Artists and the Directors of SODA.
The successful applicant is required to pay $2500.00 per term for the duration of four 13 week terms to cover their accommodation, studio rent and equipment costs.

Application Specifications Please provide a detailed description of classes/ community events that you would be willing to offer. Show examples of previous teaching experience. Indicate your teaching philosophies and strategies.

Please provide a personal statement: Describe your ceramic practice accompanied by 10 recent images of works, and the direction of your studio practice while at SODA
Please provide a 1 page Resumé
Two letters of recommendation
Name, address (current and permanent), phone number, email address.
Please address digital applications only to
Applications close 1st November 2012
For more information go to and