|pg. 6 Barbara Kobler Clay Mudart Biography and Workshops|
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ABOUT MY WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES.................
My workshops and classes are designed to expose participants to many different ways of using clay and glaze to stimulate your journey of discovery and creativity. Each session includes demonstrations with time to try the techniques and expand your own clay vocabulary so that you can make those things you feel you must do. Additional help and demos are on an individual basis. Handouts with all technical details are included.
With a pathological desire to "explore everything" I have accumulated way too much information on widely varied collection of techniques-- through formal classes, workshops and 37 years of expeiences. It includes such things as constructing preform supports using tar paper, cardstock, felt, styrofoam, flexible plastic, wood, latex and plaster. Methods for constructing large scale bas relief wall murals, big totems, hand made mosaics and installation techniques. Ways of combining clay metal and other aggregates. Making elongated ruffles and flanges for wall and pot textures. Using gussets, darts and pleats. Laminations, canes, inlays. Combining and layering engobes with glazes, using dry powdered stains for pastel painting effects, developing your own low and mid-fire glazes and turkish lustres, reducing in an electric kiln. Sandwiching slips between glazes.for crusty textures. Fuming and firing gold chloride, using nitrates sulfates and chlorides for "watercolour" effects. Smoking pots without a kiln. Alterntive firings with clay, wet paper clay, T-shirts, metal can or aluminum foil saggars. Using ferric on hot glazed pots, ferric chloride tin foil marbelizing.
Kobco Studio GREEN VALLEY, Az (22 Mi. South of Tucson)
"SAGGARS AND KOSAI in ELECTRIC KILN & RAKU KILN" 9-3 (or 730-130 May-Oct) 4 STUDENTS $30@ firing 7-10 pieces.
"GETTING THE MOST OUT OF PAPER CLAY" 10-4 4 STUDENTS $30 each
Sedona Art Center, Sedona Arizona Color Development for Alternative Fires or Paper Clay
The Clay Studio of Green Valley Recreation Center Various clay and glaze 4 week classes. $50 4/ 3 hr. classes
Tucson Clay Co-op, SACA Southern Arizona Clay Association, Various private facility locations.
OUT OF TOWN At YOUR LOCATION
CLAY EDUCATION & EXPERIENCES
In late 60s to mid 70s l lived in New YOrk City's Greenwich Village where I apprenticed with Judith Baldwin, Baldwin Pottery, West Broadway, and was the "studio manager", meaning I did the grudge work mixing clay, glaze, sleeping on a cot under the basement stairs to baby sit kilns all night, cleaning and sweeping in exchange for learning everything she could pass onto me about clay glaze and running a studio business. During that period iliving and potting in Greenwich Village, I also had opportunities to spend time in informal settings with many clay people who later began our grand masters. Peter Voulkas who showed me to not be afraid of anything, Paulus Berenshohn who formed the foundation of my philosophy of art and clay. Bruno Luchessi whose studio was close to mine and let me observe him at work--while I am no portrait sculptor, he helped me see movement and expression. And Mary Franks who "blew my mind" working on her unique slab construction. In the late 80s and early 90s after moving to Connecticut I attended several formal seminars and workshops ranging from a weekend to 2 weeks. I spend a 9 day workshop with Bill Daley learning how to build pre-form supports for large works. Thanks to Bill I spent a half-day with Norm Schulman in his wonderful old church gallery and studio. He has been an inspiration ever since. Marilyn Dintefass opened my eyes to new ways of creating textures for architectual murals. And spending time with Elizabeth MacDonald privately and in a formal workshop opened an entirely new world of surfaces and very small units for monumental works.
In 1969 I established my own clay business in the West Village. First a small studio at Sheridan Square, then 3200 sq. ft.on Hudson. It had an up front just below street level gallery and plenty of room to create an inter-disipline group studio. There were clay facilities, a full darkroom, silver smithing equipment, skylighted area for painting, a floor loom and industrial sewing machines. It was open to all types of visual artists and for a monthly fee of $25 they received a key to use it 24/7. I was also a clay mentor for Bennington College students participating in their work-study program. For the next 25 years I maintained studios in New York and Connecticut. In the early 90s I explored bright colors with low fire glazes and began to further develop my Citiscape Series of pots and Totem-like garden sculptures and fountains. For additional income I worked as a marketing research consultant, film and theatre production assistant and the chef-owner of a catering organization providing entertainment needs for Manhattan's rich and famous and then a small country bistro restaurant in Connecticut. I
When I retired and moved from the New York City area to Arizona I had quit clay and did not plan on ever doing it again. A few years earlier, after 30 years working with and teaching abouit clay I had no more ideas. My studio sat quiet, unused, a source of guilt each time I passed by. I began taking painting classes. Once in Arizona, daily en plein air and studio painting was my creative pursuit. I also got interested in concrete outdoor sculpture. Then one day a long-time friend asked me to complete a garden sculpture I had started for her 10 years earlier. When I went to a local clay studio to finish it, I made an astounding discovery: for the first time I saw someone using paper clay! I was amazed and delighted by its qualities and possibilities. I stopped painting mid-canvas and jumped full force back into clay. A great clay teacher wouild often caution me to remember clay's true nature and not struggle so much trying to make it do things it can't do. With paper clay caution went out the window. I used it to create works I never thought possible. My world became daily explorations in ways of manipulating it. I seem to have crammed in more new clay experiences, more teaching and more time working on projects than in the previous 30 years. I have enjoyed the explorations in mocha tea, marbelizing, slip glaze encrustations, alternative firngs, fuming, kosai, lustres, heavy metals, fusing glass to clay, developing more new glazes and discovering, of all things, commercial glazes! I will someday finish those unfinished paintings on my living room walls becasue painting relaxes me. Clay is much more demanding. At times it is an exhilirating discovery or meditative contemplation. Sometimes it's plain fun and makes me laugh, and other times it is a frustrating struggle and chore, but no matter what else it may be, it is always an insightful journey and often profoundly spiritual. And as long as I can keep it light and something from my life and heart instead of intellect and ego I don't think I'll quit it again. As some one said, (was it Gordon Hutchinson) "clay is much too important to be taken seriously."