Pottery Adventure in the Heart of the Gila – Beginners’ Course
This exclusive beginners’ pottery week is designed for 2-4 people with basic or no experience working with clay. The studio and lodging are located in Silver City, New Mexico. The package includes 8 nights lodging (Friday-Friday), 18 hours of pottery instruction, and 30 additional optional hours available of open studio time for students to work alone or together with minimal oversight. We will do one pit fire for decorative items, and provide everything necessary to complete several pieces of functional tableware, which will be fired in an electric kiln before the end of the week and can be carried home or shipped, whichever option suits you best.
In addition to the pottery classes and studio hours, the package includes lodging in an on-site bed and breakfast with housekeeping service three times during your stay, 3 catered meals, light breakfast foods each morning, and the personal assistance of long-time locals to help you determine which high desert adventures will be in your pocket before you leave New Mexico! There is a deck for sitting outside to watch the sunrise, sunset, or beautiful cloud formations the southwest is known for.
Participants will learn to make simple bowls, cups, vases, and plates on the pottery wheel, and several basic hand-building techniques including making pieces from slabs and coils, pinch pots and bubble pots, We will also explore the use of texture, attach handles and decorations, make some tools for creating and recreating appliques (sprigs), prepare pieces for glazing, and apply under-glazes and glazes. Functional pieces will be fired in one of our electric kilns and at least some decorative pieces will be fired in a “pit fire,” which is always exciting and surprising.
All materials, clay, equipment and tools will be provided, though participants are welcome to bring their own tools if desired. Just trim your fingernails, bring some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and you can dive right in.
In addition to the basic classes and studio time, each week includes plenty of time to explore the rich art and music culture of Silver City, visit the Gila cliff dwellings, eat out at any of several excellent local restaurants the nights food is not provided, or eat in using the kitchen in the guest quarters.
The fully furnished guest quarters (we call it the Abode on Ridge Road) are clean and airy. It’s a very creatively refurbished single wide mobile home, with one bedroom, a full bath, kitchen, and two double beds – one full-time/full-sized bed in the bedroom and a futon couch that folds out to a bed in the living room – crisp cotton linens and towels (changed three times during your 8-day stay), all in close proximity to downtown and its popular arts culture and nearby hiking in the beautiful Gila National Forest or the Gila Wilderness. We wish we had a bed for everyone in the group, but if you are planning to bring 3 or 4 people, please be sure you understand the bed situation. We can help you find lodging elsewhere in town and adjust the price if that works better for you.