2009-10 OFA Flashback: Throwing, Showing and Selling

by OFA Staff

This is the final post in a series reporting on the past academic year's programming in ceramics, written by Forrest Snyder, Education Coordinator for the OFA's Ceramics Program.

Spring term reached its crescendo by May with 14 workshops and courses including 382 participants already in full swing—the Ceramics Program was going "great guns" right up until the end.

Visiting artist Miranda Thomas joined us in March for a demonstration of the tradition of hands-on lettering and presentation of her ceremonial and commemorative work for public and private events and clients, including the United Nations, The Vatican and the White House. (We were pleased that the Harvard Crimson covered this fascinating event.)

April brought us the "Silver Clay Workshop" with artist/designer Alexandra Daini who explored basic fabrication techniques and the many creative possibilities for modeling a material that transforms into 99.9% fine silver.

Undergrads Chris Behrer ’11 and William Murphy ‘13, with teaching assistant Jay Pastorello, put on a great show for the crowds at the ARTS FIRST festival in May. Participants of all ages watched throwing demonstrations with wide eyes, eagerly awaiting their chance "behind the wheel."

Collaborations continued with the Graduate School of Design course "Construction Automation." Five groups of students worked on different architectural case studies, adapting new and traditional technologies using ceramic materials to address the case study problems.

The solutions varied from slumped facade tiles produced on a computer milled mold to a variable shaped extruding system for building cladding, to robotically cut window-screening.

Indisputably, the centerpiece of an unforgettable year in the Ceramics Program was the Spring Show and Sale’s 40th Anniversary Benefit Invitational Exhibition and silent auction of works by former instructors, visiting artists, lecturers, studio artists and artists-in-residence. Sales from the work will assist in providing funding for both our programs and tuition awards so that deserving artists can continue to learn, work and challenge themselves.

The 40th celebration was conceived and only made possible by the extraordinary efforts of Program Coordinator Shawn Panepinto, along with the expert assistance of Kathy King, Assistant to the Program Coordinator, as well as our Publicity Coordinator, Teresa Lattanzio. The anniversary celebration featured a 40th Anniversary video tracing the history of the Program produced by Shawn and Teresa, plus a multi-media campaign of online images.

June 1 marked the beginning of summer term for the Ceramics Program. This summer, 15 courses and workshops are being offered, including "Throw Bigger! Better! Taller!", "Ocarinas: Making Musical History," and the seminar format class, "Where Did That Come From?"A certain highlight to our summer roster will be the July wood kiln workshop featuring our kiln "Green Fire" and the return of kiln designer and potter Kusakabe Masakazu.

[Caption: Miranda Thomas]

[Caption: Alex Daini's Silverclay workshop]

[Caption: molds made by the GSD's course "Construction Automation."]

[Caption: Spring Show & Sale]