Richard Burkett: Advanced Soda Firing Workshop – September 14–15 & 18

  • $350 Limited Enrollment

The goal of this workshop is to increase your soda-firing skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence by working alongside soda-firing expert Richard Burkett. Open to people who have previous soda-firing experience.

Cost: $350     Enrollment limited to 12

Saturday, September 14, 2019    10am–4:30pm

Sunday, September 15, 2019    7am–5pm (with a 3-hour break in the afternoon)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019    4–9pm

Call The Potters’ Studio to sign up. 510-528-3286

Participants will have the opportunity to communicate directly with Richard via email or phone prior to the workshop so that the workshop will specifically address their needs. There will be extensive discussion of firing techniques and possibilities, slips and glazes, trouble-shooting and more. The studio will be making up special slips and engobes (recommended by Richard) for workshop participants to use on greenware to be made prior to the workshop. We will also make up some special glazes for the firing. Each person will get approximately 1 cubic foot of space in the kiln. Participants should bring enough bisque-ware to fill the space.

  • Saturday: Discussions, load the kiln, start firing the kiln
  • Sunday: Firing and introduction of soda to the kiln, discussions, end firing
  • Wednesday: Unload the kiln, potluck and discussion

Richard Burkett has taught for 30 years and is an Emeritus Professor of Art at San Diego State University. Prior to coming to SDSU, he taught ceramics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work focuses on soda firing, glazes, and vessel forms, both functional and sculptural. He received the M.F.A. degree in both ceramics and photography from Indiana University in 1986. From 1973 to 1983 he ran the Wild Rose Pottery in Bainbridge, Indiana.

Richard Burkett has traveled extensively in Ecuador over the last 25 years with a colleague, researching and photographing Ecuadorian potters and documenting indigenous pottery cultures in the Amazon basin. He is the co-author of Mythical Figures & Mucawas: Ceramics from the Ecuadorian Amazon; Ceramics: A Potter’s Handbook; and Porcelain Masters: Major Works by Leading Artists. He created HyperGlaze, an educational glaze calculation software for artists. Burkett has lectured on ceramics in Korea, Ecuador, Sweden, Turkey, and Finland.

Burkett’s work hovers between pottery and sculpture. Some pieces move in a sculptural direction, yet still derive some of their form from vestiges of more utilitarian work. He finds this a fascinating interplay, with one body of work informing the other and making both stronger for their interaction. His influences include a diverse range of mostly vessel-oriented forms, from the often mysterious chemical glassware and porcelain he grew up with in his father’s chemical laboratory, to ancient South American pottery. His porcelain and stoneware pieces are also influenced by the long history of soda- or salt-fired pottery, and the complex surfaces that result from creating forms that will react to the movement of the sodium glaze throughout the kiln.