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The Basics and Beyond: Soft Slab Handbuilding with Liz Zlot Summerfield

Cream & Sugar by Liz Summerfield

“The Basics and Beyond” demystifies working with soft slabs and offers the essential components to creating slab built pots. Students will be introduced to the techniques of working with earthenware clay slabs and paper patterns. They will begin with simple functional forms and expand to include components such as lids, feet, and spouts.

This workshop emphasizes one-on-one interaction in a supportive, positive environment where experimentation is encouraged and individual development nurtured. “Basics and Beyond” is designed to accommodate all clay enthusiasts from beginner to advanced. Included in the workshop is a discussion and demonstration on surface treatment using terra sigillata and underglazes.

*Firing not included except for people who register for other GAAC Ceramics classes for the summer of 2018.

Bio: Liz Zlot Summerfield

Liz attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to complete her Masters of Fine Arts in 2004. Since graduation, she has lived and worked in Bakersville, North Carolina with her husband and glass artist, Scott Summerfield. She has been an instructor and visiting artist at numerous clay facilities, colleges, and universities. Liz exhibits and sells her work nationally through exhibitions, galleries, and fine craft shows.  Her work resides in various permanent collections; and Liz has been featured and on the cover of Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times magazine. She has also authored and been included in a variety of ceramic publications. In 2013, Ceramics Arts Daily released an instructional DVD featuring Liz’s ceramic process and her work. www.lzspottery.com

The Workshop will be at Thoreson Farm which is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. (NOT at the Glen Arbor Arts Center. Find it on Google Maps).

Facilities and Dress
We will be in a lovely, rustic farm shed that has no air conditioning or heat, and of course you will be getting dirty, so dress accordingly. The facility has a bathroom with regular plumbing and an out-house for those who want the experience. There is plenty of parking on the grassy area nearby.

Friday evening:  sweets will be served after the demonstration. Saturday:  coffee, tea, and water will be available throughout the day. Lunch will be provided at the Farm.  We are hoping to arrange a vegetarian dinner for those who want to participate. Sunday:  coffee, tea, and water will be available throughout the day. Lunch will be provided at the Farm. 

Clay and some basic tools for hand building will be provided. Feel free to bring your own tools if you own them.

Clay will be provided. We have many tools at Thoreson but to be on the safe side, please bring the following:

Scissors, pencil, eraser, ruler, notebook Masking tape Exacto Knife Needle Tool Cutting Wire Mudtools Rubber Rib or any rubber rib (I like yellow) Large Rolling Pin  (There are several at Thoreson) Brayer (Speedball makes an affordable 2” one found on Amazon) Favorite texture makers-bisque or rubber stamps, found objects, fabric Thin plastic to cover work (There is a good supply at Thoreson) Bubble wrap to take home new work Small lidded container (for slip) Template materials such as: large construction paper, craft foam (cheap packets found at hobby stores or your favorite brand)Graph Paper (larger if possible)

Friday, June 22: 6:30-8:00 p.m. – Opening Demonstration and light reception
Saturday, June 23: 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. – Workshop (Lunch included and optional dinner for participants is being planned)
Sunday, June 24: 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. – Workshop (Lunch included)

Super surface clay mat (http://handbuildingtools.com/)  (This is optional because we have canvas covered boards, but the mats very useful if you plan to continue to handbuild.) Small Dry wall boards Sgraffito Tool Taper Point Color Shaper Tool (rubber tip tool) Clay Shredder Banding wheel (There are some at Thoreson, but if you own one and can bring it easily, please do)

Participants must arrange for their own housing


starts June 22 @ 6:30 pm
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Thoreson Farm
3694 S Thoreson Rd
Maple City, MI 49664 United States
+ Google Map


Liz Zlot Summerfield

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