Jun 3 - Jun 10, 2023


Newport Visual Arts Center

777 NW Beach Drive, Newport, OR 97365



Registration for this class has closed

This sculptural workshop is designed to get you involved working with clay, no matter your experience level. You will be following your inner spirit guide (your personal animal totem) with additional assistance along the way.

Saturday, June 3 from 12-2:30pm
and Saturday, June 10 from 6-8pm
Room 205 – Newport Visual Arts Center

Ages 18+. Maximum 20 students. Please wear old, comfortable clothes.
Scholarships are available (if funds are a barrier, please inquire!)

The class is divided into two sections on two different days:

Saturday, June 3rd (Daytime Sculpture Workshop)

Saturday, June 10th (Evening Glazing and Raku Firing)

Preparations for the June 3rd daytime sculpture class are to select an animal that is meaningful to you (wild or tame but not in cartoon form) and find a good frontal and side view of the head for reference during your sculptural experience. The Raku firing will be most successful if you are open to suggestions concerning construction, so preconceived ideas about process can be counterproductive. Fluidity and flexibility will be our guiding principles.

Raku Firing- A week of prep is needed for our sculptures to dry and be pre-fired. The June 10th evening class will involve glazing your mask and seeing them through the firing and cooling process. This generally takes 1-2 hours. Your place in the firing queue is: first glazed, first fired. Friends and family are welcome to observe.

“My experience working with the Raku method of firing ceramics began as most: Having been invited to attend a firing session and witnessing the amazing colors, patterns, iridescence, and nuance that are unique to this method of firing, I was drawn to make Raku a part of my artistic palate.  Impressive as this Americanized version of the Japanese technique was, I was equally drawn by the experience of working with fellow artists in an atmosphere of camaraderie and support, an aspect somewhat rare in the typical artistic process.

“It takes a community to do Raku. The Raku master in charge of firing needs help at critical points in the process, so a well-coordinated team is required for a successful firing. This reality led me to incorporate Raku into the school art curriculum where I taught for 25 years. As an arts educator, I was always on the lookout for activities that would invite students to get involved in the “work” aspect of the creative experience, especially when the work was essential and required real responsibility. Students loved being involved and were thrilled to see their creations go through this transformation in front of their eyes.

“Since retirement, I have continued to feed my desire to bring this experience to others by teaching the occasional Raku workshop. The same child-like thrill is a part of every session. I particularly enjoy the results of work done by participants who are new to the experience of working with clay. The Raku kiln gods seem to favor the rookies, but everyone enjoys seeing their creations worked over by the forces of fire.” – Russ Ford

Newport Visual Arts Center

777 NW Beach Drive, Newport, OR 97365 - Get Directions