Pottery Making: wood and soda firing – FJAM0416

October 20, 2014

Posted In: Anderson Ranch General

Matt Long

with David Pinto and Doug CaseBEER

DATES: April 25 – May 1, 2015

SKILL LEVEL: Open to all | Some clay experience with handbuilding or throwing is helpful.

CONCEPT:  Volume is the key element of functional forms; it defines the potential for containment. During this workshop, students will learn how to create inventive volumetric pots using clay slabs. Margaret will present several strategies for 

going from flat to three dimensions, including using paper templates, creative cutting and darting of forms, and building in parts. Participants will also explore the possibilities for surface embellishment using stamps, molds and sprigs to texture and adorn their work.

In this expedition, participants will travel to the north coast of Jamaica for a week-long intensive workshop focused on pottery-making techniques and design.

This exciting session is held in the remarkable ceramics studio on the Good Hope Plantation. We focus on the fundamentals of ceramics using both the wheel and constructed handbuilt forms. The instructors will demonstrate many new skills and techniques that will challenge students to explore new ideas in their work.

The workshop culminates in the firing of David Pinto’s wood-fired anagama kiln and soda kiln. There are many lively discussions and side trips. You are welcome to bring a few pieces of bisque ware to fire in the kiln. These should be high-fire cone 10 stoneware or porcelain.

The studio is open 24 hours a day, providing participants with ample time to work on individual projects. Instruction and demonstrations are designed to meet each student’s current experience and skill level. Sessions are scheduled every day, in both the morning and afternoon.

“I love this time to share my experiences, personal studio and to work with what is always an exceptional mix of students and faculty. I always learn new information, and am left with an excitement to explore new work”, explains David Pinto.

This field expedition to Jamaica is ideal for anyone who is motivated to step outside their normal work environment and is willing to take risks in a very supportive studio atmosphere. In addition to the studio experience, participants will have opportunities to interact with local artists working in clay and gain a cultural awareness of plantation life and Caribbean history.


FACULTY: David Pinto, a studio potter born in Jamaica, taught at the 92nd Street Y while living in New York. He now teaches at his studio on the Good Hope Plantation in Jamaica. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has shown his work in Japan, New York and throughout Jamaica.

Doug Casebeer directs the ceramics programs at Anderson Ranch. He lived in Jamaica for three years, working on a pottery project for the United Nations. “Jamaicans are full of life and vitality,” says Doug. “The Jamaican pace has a way of freeing up the mind. I always return home invigorated and alive with my work.” Doug is Associate Director and Ceramics Artistic Director of Anderson Ranch Arts Center for over 30 years.www.harveymeadows.com

Margaret Bohls is a studio potter and educator who lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has been teaching ceramics at the University of Nebraska since 2011 and has also taught ceramics at the University of Minnesota, Ohio University, Penn State University and NSCAD University in Halifax.  She has also taught many community classes and workshops across the country. In her studio, Margaret makes handbuilt porcelain pottery that she shows and sells both locally and nationally.


Single – $3,000 – limited availability. Please book double and we will try and honor requests.

Double – $2,650

Triple – $2450

Tented – $1,950 – tent, mattress, linens  and maid service provided.

Tented – $1,350 – bring your own gear: tent pad, sleeping bag.

*Tuition includes housing, meals, airport transfers, instruction and studio supplies. Airfare not included.

Contact: [email protected]

Deposit: $500 Registration Fee: $150
Payment in Full by: March 1, 2015

For more information:

It is ideal if we can do what we love and not have to abandon our passion to make a living. David Pinto decided to give clay 5 years and over 20 years later, he has expanded and nestled into the Parish of Trelawny. “Our annual highlight is sharing with you by hosting these workshops. We all learn and I am always left with an excitement to explore new ideas in my work,” explains David.

We first offered a ceramics workshop over 20 years ago. Participants in these special trips find the lush environment and cultural stimulation of this amazing country to be true inspirations for their art-making.

Jamaica workshops are based on the Good Hope Plantation. The Great House was built in the classic Georgian style in 1755. This mansion was headquarters to one of Jamaica’s largest and most prosperous sugar families. The 2,000-acre plantation is still actively growing fruits, raising horses, sheep and has a collection of farmyard animals at the stables.

Chukka Caribbean Adventures now manages the Great House and operates tours through the property. Green Globe Certified, these world- class tours include zip lines through the tree canopy, horse and buggy rides by the old sugar factory and waterwheel, and ATV’s through the property to ruins of an adjoining sugar estate.

Tree House Villa was the doctor’s residence in the 1700‘s and is our home base for the workshop. There are magnificent views over the Queen of Spain Valley and the meandering Martha Brae River. Delicious meals are created from local produce, giving you a taste of Jamaican cuisine while satisfying any dietary requests. .All accommodations are within walking distance of Tree House and the studio. Usually breakfast and dinner are at the Tree House, with lunch most days at David’s studio.

Just a short walk from Tree House, the ceramics studio offers an abundance of tables, wheels and space to create. There is a gas reduction kiln, an oil-fired soda kiln and an anagama wood kiln. The lush landscape and comfortable studio environment are ideal for creating artwork.

Tuition for workshops in Jamaica includes ground transportation, all meals, accommodations, instruction, all studio materials, supplies and equipment use. Students will need to bring some personal supplies such as hand tools, drawing supplies, etc., as outlined in the workshop supply list.

Airfare is not included. Participants fly into Montego Bay. Some of the airlines that serve the Montego Bay airport are US Airways, American Airlines, Northwest, Delta, Spirit, United and Air Canada.


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