Mold-Making Workshop for Ceramics

As one of the rewards available in my Kickstarter campaign, I will be hosting a 2-day mold-making workshop in my new Brooklyn studio!

The workshop will focus on plaster mold-making (one, two, or three-piece molds), with instructions on slip casting and clay pressing methods for creating accurate reproductions. 

Each student must bring one or two objects (depending upon complexity) to recreate with a mold. Before the workshop, I will discuss specific details with individual students via e-mail. 

Points of interest:
*How to divide an object into parts for plaster mold making
*How to build and seal mold walls
*How to prepare the plaster
*Slip casting techniques
*Clay pressing techniques

If interested, please visit my Kickstarter page, or e-mail me at 

Capacity : 4 students
Dates: Saturday 5/6/17 and Sunday 5/7/17
Time: 12am - 4:30pm
Location:  67 35th Street
Floor 2, Suite C239
Brooklyn, NY 11232

All materials included.
Refreshments will be served. 


Akio Takamori, Ceramic Sculptor, 1950-2017

While heading home after my ceramic classes this past Thursday, I read that Akio Takamori had passed away. I was shocked; I hadn't known he was sick. 

Akio Takamori, Ceramic Sculptor, 1950-2017

I met Akio in Denmark during the summer of 2009, when I was doing a residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center. My poor English made it difficult to interact in a deep way with most of the other artists. But it was always very easy to communicate with Akio; he was always happy and excited to share.

Group photos with Akio and my other residency partners at Guldagergaard in 2009

From day one I was very impressed with his work. He approached figurative sculpture (the field of study I was also pursuing) with a simplicity and plasticity that fascinated me.

Since Thursday, I have been looking at the photographs I took during my time at Guldagergaard, and recalling a lot of wonderful memories. I remember one day in particular when I got to the studio early, and Akio hadn't yet arrived. I used the opportunity to take a close look at his new, unfired sculptures. Studying all the fresh details, I realized how different my way of working with clay was. I wasn't comparing his work with mine (I was still very far way from the confident patterns his experienced fingers were capable of)... I just wanted to learn as much I could by looking at them.

Akio came to my space later that day to ask me some questions, in English, that I could barely answer. But I think he understood me. He seemed to know how I felt as a foreigner in an English-speaking country, just as he was when he came to the USA. 

Akio Takamori was born and raised in Japan, but moved to the USA in 1974. In 1993, he began teaching at the University of Washington School of Art in Seattle, where he remained as a teacher until his death.

The ceramic community has lost a great artist and a greater human being. 

Exciting NYC Ceramic Exhibitions

There are a lot of ceramics-related things going on in NYC right now, but I want to take a moment and highlight a few exhibitions which I think are absolute must-sees. Three different museums are currently hosting amazing shows:

First, if you enjoy the old tradition of Maiolica ceramics, you need to visit "Renaissance Maiolica: Painted Pottery for Shelf and Table" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

The exhibition shines a spotlight on the Met's own collection of Italian Maiolicas, timed to coincide with the publication of a new book, "Maiolica, Italian Renaissance Ceramics in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," by Timothy Wilson. The 75 objects in the show are from different workshops around Italy: Urbinno, Deruta, Naples... all of them masterpieces of Italian ceramics.

Next, the Frick Collection has an exhibit entitled, "Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection." The show focuses exclusively on porcelain works from the Royal Meissen factory, detailing aspects ranging from production to collecting and displaying. 


And finally, the Museum of Arts and Design has THREE ceramics expos, each more exciting than the last: "The Breakthrough Years," by Voulkos; "Forbidden Fruit," by Chris Antemann; and "Tell It By Heart," by Coille Hooven. 

From MAD's website:

"Spanning the years 1953–1968, Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years is the first exhibition to focus on the early career of Peter Voulkos, whose radical methods and ideas during this period opened up the possibilities for clay in ways that are still being felt today."

"Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit celebrates the collaboration between Oregon-based artist Chris Antemann and the renowned MEISSEN Porcelain manufactory. In 2011 Antemann was invited to participate in MEISSEN’s Art Studio Program, where she worked closely with MEISSEN’s master artisans to create unique pieces and a series of limited editions that strike a perfect balance between her distinctive style and MEISSEN’s identity. These pieces are arranged in Forbidden Fruit as a grand installation that reinvents and invigorates the great figurative tradition."

"For over fifty years, Coille Hooven has been working in porcelain and creating psychologically charged sculpture that explores domestic-centered narratives from the kitchen to the bedroom. One of the first ceramists to bring feminist content to clay, Hooven uses porcelain to honor the history of women’s work, confront gendered inequality, and depict the pleasures, fears, and failures of partnering and parenting."

Be sure to check out these great shows!