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2016 Grace Sheese Workshop

2016 Grace Sheese Workshop

Delving into Surface with Grace Sheese

If you were to ask what my favorite new potter was from the last few years - without a doubt it would be Grace Sheese. She is a surface genious. Take everything I love about prints and drawings and there they are coming to life on pottery. She works not only with color and additions of texture but unusual materials and decals too. In this intensive three day workshop she'll be showing you how to pull it all together. She'll be demonstrating on her complex forms but we'll be working in tiles so that you'll go home with an organized collection of brilliant new surface ideas.

Pottery and stories go hand in hand. Both are about human connection. Starting with a basic shape, we will explore how altering the form, adding sculptural elements, and using a variety of surface techniques can be used to tell a story on a three dimensional object. Demonstrations include throwing, altering, using non-ceramic materials (such as wire) and surface embellishments on a leather hard, bisque, and glazed surface. We will discuss ways of telling a story through collaging, how to use easily accessible commercial ceramic materials to your advantage, ways of creating and making decals, the pros and cons of down-firing, and how to generate new ideas. You will leave the workshop armed with new skills and techniques, ways to apply those techniques to your own work, a collection of images that can be used for decals, and pieces that document your explorations.

Class size 16. Particpants will be working from tiles we make during the workshop. Details and supplies list will be sent 30 days prior to the workshop. There may be a small fee for items used on site. If you are traveling - our studio has lots of extra studio tools. Plus - I'll make breakfast!

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Three day Workshop
February 19, 20, 21, 2016
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Price: $325.00


Grace Sheese Bio and Artist Info

The things we are most familiar with can bring comfort and joy to our lives. Yet, often they become invisible to us, ever-present but hardly noticed. Functional pottery is inextricably bound to the familiar. It surrounds us, an integral part of food and family. The objects I make are functional objects meant to be touched, held and used everyday. But I strive to make them in such a way that they are not invisible and that they should be noticed, because they can say something new everyday.

My forms start with the simple and familiar. From there, I alter the shape; add bits of oddities, bobbles and protrusions that demand a bit of attention, that disturb the familiar without disturbing the function. The additions and alterations take advantage of the fact that these objects are to be handled. By modifying the terrain and texture of my forms, I use tactile cues to peak the interest of the user, to remind them that this object is not ordinary, and that it is worth closer examination.

Each piece I make tells a story. They are small stories about the everyday, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes wistful. The animals, the objects, and the subject matter I use are common and ordinary because it grounds the narrative in the familiar. Evoking the archetypes of the sheep, the fox, the rabbit and the pig allows me to tell stories about universal interactions, situations, and emotions with my work. My narrative unfolds across the inside, outside, and even the underside of my work. I use the whole piece to invite further exploration. I make my work to be touched, held and used everyday but also to be worthy of notice, of being considered, and being reconsidered.

My work raises awareness of the situation and sparks contemplation before merely devouring the elements. I am focused on creating new ways of containing and using these functional objects. I question function through combining the common and understood methods of use, and proposing new formats. I take simple objects, functions or aspects, and combine opposing elements through multiplicity, size or orientation. A prime example that puts my vision into practice is utilizing the concept of the waiters’ serving tray and morphing it together with an enlarged spoon to create a truly unique appetizer platter.

Grace Sheese Artist Bio

Grace currently teaches at Illinois Central College. She was a presenter at Milwaukee's NCECA conference in 2014.
She has been a visiting instructor and presenter at many venues since getting her MFA in 2012. Grace came to the pursuit of the ceramic arts later in life. At the age of 34 she decided to pursue graduate study. It was a game-changer for her studio practice and her work shows her newly found love for ceramics.
Grace Sheese has shown work in many functionally oriented shows including The Clay Studio, McLean County Art Center, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Baltimore Clay Works, Worcester Center for Crafts, Red Lodge Clay Center, Clay Studio of Missoula MT, and Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh. She has been published numerous times in Ceramics Montly, Clay Times, American Craft, and a variety of literary publications such as the New York Times, Philadelphia City Paper and more.