Ronan Peterson Workshop
Altered States: Unique Forms and Intense Surfaces - July 29-31, 2011
Ronan Peterson will lead this three day, hands-on workshop covering approaches to help enliven and personalize ceramic surfaces. His work is drawn from processes of growth and decay in nature, translated into a ceramic comic book interpretation of real and imagined phenomena.
Ronan will share his techniques for assembling thrown components and adding handbuilt elements to complete the form. He will demonstrate throwing and altering parts for vases, boxes, and teapots. Ronan will also discuss throwing molds for trays and plates.
The remainder of the workshop w ill be devoted to slipping, carving, and resist techniques to develop lively and intense surfaces intended for, but not exclusive to, firing in electric kilns. Ronan will also discuss and demonstrate glaze approaches to help participants plan out the finishing of their pieces.
Participants will have limited access to wheels, with a focus on assembling parts, adding handbuilt elements, and developing surface at their workstations. Ronan's decorative approach is suitable for both wheel-thrown and handbuilt work. Participants are encouraged to bring leather hard greenware and bisqueware, so as to spend more time on the demonstrated surface techniques.
Ronan will provide a packet of slip, glaze, and terra sigilatta recipes for reference after the workshop. Basic throwing or handbuilding skills are required.
Class size 16.
Free to the public
July 29-31, 2011
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Ronan Peterson Bio
Ronan Kyle Peterson grew up in Poplar, NC, a small community deep in the mountains of western North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in 1996 received a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Anthropology, with a minor in Folklore. His interest in Folklore led him to John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, where he began taking classes in ceramics and other media. After working for two years with two potters in the area of Asheville, NC, he attended Penland School of Crafts. Initially, he intended to stay for a two month Concentration in Wood and Soda Fired Pottery with MacKenzie Smith, but two months turned into four years. After Concentration, he applied for and was accepted into the Core Student program. During the two-year intensive work exchange program, he had the opportunity to study with a number of internationally known artists and craftspeople.
Currently, Ronan maintains Nine Toes Pottery, a ceramics studio in Chapel Hill, NC, which produces highly decorative and functional earthenware vessels. His work is drawn from processes of growth and decay in the natural world and translated into a ceramic comic book interpretation of both real and imagined phenomena. His ceramic vessels have shown in local and national exhibitions, including the 2008 Strictly Functional Pottery National in East Petersburg, PA. Ronan was also invited to participate in the 4th and 5th Annual Potter's Market Invitational at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, held the first weekend in September and includes some of North Carolina's most talented ceramic artists and potters. His work has been featured in both Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times, and the books 500 Bowls and 500 Plates and Chargers, which includes an image of his plates on the back cover. Ronan's work is included in the Permanent Collections of the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC and the Governor Morehead School in Raleigh, NC. Also an educator, Ronan teaches or has taught adult ceramics classes at Claymakers and the Durham Arts Council Clay Studio in Durham, NC, Jordan Hall Arts Center in Cary, NC, Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh, NC, and the Artscenter in Carrboro, NC.
Ronan Peterson Artist Statement
I grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina in a small community called Poplar. This tiny section of the southern Appalachian Mountains is marked with distinct seasons, from the richness and fullness of the succulent summer hills to the achingly bare and skeletal tree-scattered grayness of the winter. These seasonal changes hold their own agents of growth and decay, visible markers of the cycle of life. I grew up in this greater green world, with my head buried in the comic books that my dad collected. My childhood was a mixture of color and fantasy, filled with super heroes and alien beings, and the lushness of the rhododendron filled mountains. I spent hours leafing through comics, imagining worlds within worlds and encountering alternate universes and secret wars, all the while cicadas were singing and shedding their skin and whirring into the night air.
My ceramics are an amalgamation of the influences of my youth, the natural and the fantastical. My vessels provide a ceramic comic book interpretation of the natural world and its processes of growth and decay. I use thick line contours, a fullness of volume, and areas of exaggerated detail to embellish my functional ceramic vessels. I translate and abstract budding leaves and lichen encrusted bark, and assemble a collage of interpretations of natural phenomena. I like to take bits and parts, magnifying some, diminishing others and assemble them into a vessel worthy of use and destined for contemplation. Through my ceramic objects, I hope to relay a narrative of the natural world, focusing on the overwhelming visual and tactile information that seduces and causes me wonder.