For the past two days I have been throwing porcelain in a workshop with Elizabeth Cohen. For years I threw functional stoneware which I sold art festival. However as with many things, pottery took a back burner to life, since in my spare time I wanted to devote myself to my painting, printmaking, and photography.
. It had been two years since I last worked on the potters wheel and before that it was 7 years. But like riding a bicycle, it is something that comes back to you quickly. Mostly I have work in red clay bodies without grog and glazed these with majolica painted with plant imagery in mason stains. This workshop was all about throwing with porcelain. Porcelain is a very different animal from other clays. You must be gentle, throw with very little water and even plan you path to final vessel a bit more carefully because the porcelain will collapse on you as you get the walls to the thinness you want. So throwing a bowl that would generally take me five minutes at the most, took much longer. Elizabeth was a wonderful teacher, sharing great techniques for working with porcelain and her own personal methods and concepts which motivate her work. Her works are very elegant and the lines of the forms mimic nature.
It made me want to set up the wheel in a better place at home so I will use it more. I will need to fire up the kiln to fire the works I created.
Leslie Elliottsmith is an fine artist and for the past 38 years an art educator. She has worked in many mediums and feels no limitation on which to use or explore. Her overwhelming desire is tell a story through the imagery.