Visiting Artist Workshop with Jane Perryman


Friday, October 2, 2015, 10:00am to 6:00pm


Ceramics Studio - 224 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134

Presented by Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard


Workshop Description -
Spend the day with internationally known ceramic artist, author and filmmaker, Jane Perryman, as she demonstrates creating and firing her hand built, smoke-fired vessels. Perryman will demonstrate her hand building techniques followed by slip application and burnishing in preparation for smoke-firing. After a screening of Perryman's film, Traditions of India, a firing demonstration will feature techniques used in her books Smoke Fired Pottery and Smoke Firing Contemporary Artists & Approaches.

"My ceramic work...draws on my research into the traditional pottery making and firing techniques of village India. The quintessential round bottomed [Indian]  pot form balances on a tiny point where it sits…. enabling it to rock from side to side without falling over as it comes back to its centre of gravity.” Perryman’s ceramics, informed by this bowl shape, are modern, abstract, unglazed and smoke-fired. These light, double-walled bowls are often paired with linear clay pieces, works which reflect the tension and balance observed in our modern urban landscape.

Workshop Breakdown

10:00am – 1:00pm: Demonstration and Smoke Firing Slide Presentation
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Pot-luck Lunch/Film - Pottery Traditions of India
2:00pm – 4:00pm: Demonstration and Firing
5:00pm – 6:00pm: Slide Presentation

This workshop is free to Harvard students, $75 for those enrolled in a course, $125 for those not enrolled. To register, download our registrations form here or email Shawn Panepinto at Questions? Email Kathy King at

Related Events

This workshop is a collaboration with Vessels Gallery, Boston, MA. Jane Perryman’s one woman show at the Loft will introduce a segment of her newest and ongoing body of work, Containing Time. Each week, during her walks or travels, the artist collects natural and man-made objects.  These found pieces then inspire texts, become the subject of photographs, are used to create a frottage or rubbing, and ultimately are mixed into the clay which Perryman uses to create vessels -- a weekly diary in ceramic form, a record of Perryman’s days, containing “the objective themes of time, place and material, as well as a subjective expression of poetry, drawing, photography and sound.”

This is an intimate show and Vessels Gallery’s first exhibition at The Loft.  Workshop participants will be invited to the exhibition. All other visits are by appointment only.  Contact them at or (857) 350-4350.


Jane Perryman has an international reputation as a ceramist working within the area of handbuilding and smoke firing. She exhibits world wide and her work appears in numerous  museums and private collections as well as being featured in many books and publications. She combines studio work with writing; her books have been translated into French & German and  include Smoke Fired Pottery (published 1995), Traditional Pottery of India (2000) Naked Clay (2004) and Smoke Firing Contemporary Artists and Approaches (2008). They are published by A&C Black, London & University of Pennsylvania Press. Signed books and DVD will be available for sale. To view more of the artist's work, please visit

About the Film

Jane Perryman’s film Pottery Traditions of India (45mins) reflects her extensive travel through India researching pottery traditions for her book Traditional Pottery of India (A&C Black 2000). Indru Bhatia, her colleague took many personal interest videos of village potters at work, but was unable to edit them due to her premature death. Jane Perryman has used the material to make seven short films documenting pottery and clay traditions from different areas of India between 1996 – 1999. Each area has developed a variety of styles and techniques to make utilitarian pottery for domestic use and votive terracotta sculpture for offering in the shrines. 

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