guest artist workshops
Wood Fire Workshop
May 15-21, 2023
Samuel will lead a 6 day wood fire workshop during which we will explore reduction cooling techniques. Potters will arrive with bisqued pieces. We will spend the (Monday, day 1) first day discussing and applying slips and glazes while considering their relationship with reduction cooling effects in the kiln. We will discuss wadding techniques with attention to how the pots will sit in the kiln and how wadding can affect firing results. (Tuesday, day 2) we will load the kiln and continue our discussion of wadding effects. We will load in a way to increase clay effects – stacking, firing upside down, putting works in relationship to other works. We will use a (special) fire clay wadding, fired wads, sand, and other materials to enhance loading (preheat kiln). . (Wednesday-Thursday 3-4)We'll fire the kiln in shifts for 20-30 hours.
While the kiln cools, we will work together and discuss ideas and philosophy around making. Sam will share his thoughts and techniques born of his acknowledgment that clay and fire are both irregular and natural - at once comprehendible and wild. We will explore this mystery together in conversation and real-time making. Students can bring clay or use up to 25 lbs of ^10 from the studio. Students can choose to take damp pots home or bisque fire at the studio for an additional charge.
On (day 7) we will unload the kiln and discuss our results. We will also conduct a general clean up of the kiln area before check out and departure.
This workshop offers lodging -- a stay in our comfy guesthouse, where artists will share a kitchen and bathroom. Artists are asked to bring food for their meals. We will enjoy some meals together, potluck style. The studio will provide a celebratory dinner on the last night of the workshop. Please share food preferences and/or plan to provide an entree that serves special dietary needs.
Please visit the Guesthouse page for details about what to expect as an overnight guest.
There is also an option at checkout for daytime students.
Samuel Johnson was born on the Eastern prairie of the Red River Valley in 1973. After studying painting and ceramics at the University of Minnesota at Morris, he served a three and half year apprenticeship in pottery under Richard Bresnahan. In 2000, he was invited as a guest of Denmark’s Design School to study Scandinavian Ceramic design in Copenhagen; while also working at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, and as an assistant in private porcelain studios. After working for a short period in a studio in New York, he traveled to Japan as a studio guest of Koie Ryoji. In 2005, Johnson earned graduate degrees in fine art from the University of Iowa. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Central Minnesota and serves on the Board of Directors of Artaxis.org.