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2/18/2013 12:11:00 PM
Art potter workshops offered by El Valle Artists' Association
Luna Patterson
Luna Patterson
If You Go ...
• What: Workshop: Pit Firing Ceramics

• Sponsor: El Valle Artists' Association, Cottonwood, AZ

• When: Feb. 23, 2013

• Where: American Heritage Academy, 2030 E Cherry Street, Cottonwood

• More Info: Wayne St. John, wstjohn@cableone.net, 300-8520 (workshops chair) or Nancy Carlzen, writernac@gmail.com, 451-2722

Have you ever admired a piece of art pottery and wondered how the potter created those fantastic color effects? Find out how this Saturday, Feb. 23, in the first of two workshops led by art potter Luna Patterson.

Patterson is a Danish-American ceramist who describes herself as a "mostly self taught and explorative artist, fascinated by the medium of clay." Her pieces are hand built and pit/sager fired, which process paints fascinating colors and imprints on the clay. She exhibits her work locally, most recently at the Manheim Gallery, where she took first place in their themed exhibition, "Four Feet and a Tail."

In the first class, held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Heritage Academy in Cottonwood, she will cover the basics of pit firing - what it is, how it works, what materials she uses to create its unique effects. Students will hand build a clay piece during this class, to fire during the second workshop.

Those who have worked with clay for a while and are comfortable with it may choose their own project. Students with less experience will learn how to make "thoughtful heart rattles," which are palm sized hollow clay hearts with little clay balls inside that harden during firing to create the sound.

After this class, Ms Patterson will take the pieces to her studio to dry and prepare them for the initial bisque fire in her electric kiln. She invites students interested in this "in-between" process to her studio for a hands-on lesson on how it is done.

The actual pit firing happens at the second workshop, set for March 6 at the artist's home studio. You will learn how to "pack and stack" for success, and which types of fuels and chemicals to use.

The pieces will not be ready for pick up until the day after the firing. This is an outdoor process; if the weather is bad, the class will meet on the following Saturday.

The fee for this set of workshops, sponsored by El Valle Artists Association, is $50 plus an additional $5 to cover firing and materials. The Academy is located at 2030 E Cherry Street. Call 300-8520 to register, or sign up online: elvalleartists.org.

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