The Sculptural Vessel  with Leah Bowring

Eight Tuesdays: September 15 through November 3, 1—3pm

This eight-week intermediate-level hand-building class will focus on constructing sculptural vessels. Students will make at least four vessels, with each vessel utilizing one of several construction methods you’ll learn about in class. An overview of techniques includes closed forms, combined construction techniques (slabs and coiling, throwing and coiling), building with asymmetry, incorporating negative space, and finishing your surface as you build up to a final form. While making four or more pieces at once, the student will learn to build quickly and learn to see each piece as having the potential to inspire a future body of work. Special tools will be required to be purchased for this class.

Week One: Overview of the building techniques to be covered – make at least four bases
Week Two: Building with coils and slab coils with focus on quickly gaining height
Week Three: Creating asymmetrical shapes, building one side at a time with coils/slabs
Week Four: Introduction to negative space and making one shape split into two
Week Five: Learn to connect two sections of a piece with proper planning techniques
Week Six: Learn to close one form entirely using paddling and wedge coils
Week Seven: Learn how to finish the surface of work as you go – either in refined or textured manner
Week Eight: Discuss “dry sanding” for hard-to-reach areas when work is bone dry

Leah Bowring received her BA in ceramics and BFA in graphic design from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri in 2011. During her undergraduate study, she spent a year in Tokyo studying Japanese language, historical ceramics, traditional theater and architecture. She was a student of Koiichi Koyama, an accomplished Japanese potter. She conducted personal research studying traditional Japanese kilns and wares, traveling throughout Japan while she taught English in the time between her formal degrees. She recently received her MFA in ceramics in May 2015 and now lives in Oakland, California and makes her work in Berkeley. She currently is teaching ceramics at City College of San Francisco, Laney College in Oakland, CA, as well as in Berkeley at The Potters’ Studio. She is currently on the Board of Directors of The Potters’ Studio.