Friday, September 13, 2013

Carolyn Genders Workshop Synopsis

Carolyn Genders began by outlining her career in ceramics. She brought along her sketchbooks, one of which was a small pocket size she carries while traveling.

Here is a close up of the rich surfaces Carolyn builds up with layers of slip applied on bone dry work.

Most of Carolyn's work is pinched and she gave us a demonstration of her method of pinching. Carolyn uses large coils and scrapes the inside and outside of the pieces as she goes with various sizes of metal ribs.

Carolyn treated us to a slide show of artists who inspire her and then examples of surfaces which inspire her from patterns in nature to buildings. 

We had a wonderful lunch at the Landers University cafeteria; I'd eat there everyday if I lived close by, it was that good.

In the afternoon Carolyn demonstrated how she applies her vitreous slips or engobes to bone dry work. The engobes are the consistency of cream or half and half and are mixed with stains, oxides, and frits, sieved and brushed on the clay surface.

Carolyn applies the various colors of the engobes in many layers and patterns. After a once firing the rich surface full of color is revealed.

The pieces are then scraped, scratched, or Carolyn uses various sgraffito methods to carve through the surfaces to achieve just the patterns and surfaces she desires.

When Carolyn's pinched pieces are leather hard Carolyn sometimes adds feet or completely enclosed the form and makes a small opening in the piece.

The final shape of the pinched piece is scraped and scraped away with metal ribs to obtain the smooth and well defined shape Carolyn wants.

At the end Carolyn cuts off the rim and uses a surform to smooth and finesse the rim's shape.

Sometimes Carolyn cuts the rim on angles and uses slight dips to shape the rim. Sorry about the quality of this photo but you can see the idea of using different shapes to the rim.

I'm still synthesizing details from the workshop which was jam packed full of information. Up next information about GASP, Greenwood Area Studio Potters, and tours of several ceramic studios in the Greenwood area. This post is part of The Mud Colony what's happening in the studio. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Lovely ideas, definitely inspiring. Thanks for sharing photos of your workshop...glad to hear you had a good time!

  2. Watching Carolyn work and your descriptions were like poetry in motion.

  3. Beautiful work. I'll bet the all the people that were there were quite inspired.

  4. Wow. I am guessing you left that workshop with your fingers itching to get back into clay. Gorgeous work.

  5. Glad to know that you have enjoyed her demo. : )

  6. Looks like a fantastic workshop :)

  7. This is very interesting. I wish I could take lessons from her as I have an interest in making such pots.

  8. Nice workshop ! These surfaces are very rich, very inspiring.

  9. thanks for sharing. Interesting that the engobes? go on dry clay.. love the colours and patterns and I can see it enriching your work when you get back to clay

  10. What fun! Great photos, too, Linda.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment