Get to Know me Gnomes Ceramic Workshop

with Michael Stek

Monday, August 19 · view days & times
Price: $75 | $67.50 ArtsQuest Member
Fees: $5 Visual Arts Service Fee on all orders
Additional taxes and fees may apply

Venue: Ceramics/Clay Studio

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1 Day Workshop

Monday, August 19 | 6-9 p.m.

Gnomes are not just adorable additions to your garden; they bring joy and a touch of magic to any space! Join us for a hand-building workshop where you can craft your very own ceramic gnome. No prior experience necessary, and the instructor will guide you through every step of the way! During this workshop, students will learn how to shape and design a unique gnome, ready to watch over your home or garden. Add hair, hats, flowers, mushrooms, those button gnome noses- let your imagination run free! Pieces will be fired and glazed in a final clear coat by instructor. Final pieces will be available for pick up on a later date. The turnaround time for work to be completed and ready for pick up is approximately 3-5 weeks. Note: the email used to register for the class will be used to communicate for pick up at the Banana Factory.

I have had a strong fascination with archeology, anthropology and art since childhood. Some of my greatest influences have been the primal forms and stories of traditional cultures from around the world. Primal art forms have influenced the imaginations and the works of artists throughout time. Indigenous artists were masters of utilizing materials from natural resources, as well as materials imported or manufactured by outsiders. Each form, whether a totem, mask, shield, body art or figurine was created as a means of connecting human beings to each other and to the spirit world. These works functioned as a bridge creating a sacred communion or dialogue between the physical and spirit worlds.

The creative problem solving process has been a vital part of my life. I have been active in teaching and producing art in public and private venues to children and adults throughout my adult life. It was really during later part of my undergrad studies where I began using my early life experience years growing up where I was traveling the world that my area of personal interest began to focus on clay and in particular, figurative, gestural clay sculptures. My process evolved as integral components of rituals and influenced civilizations over time. Living the cultures of some of the world along with research and study (BFA in painting, MFA in Ceramics and Painting) highly influenced my own creative endeavors. That interest continues to lead me toward a deeper understanding of how the daily experiences of traditional cultures, and ours, were/are interwoven with our natural environment and spiritual concepts. This process is also evident in my more functional works, being hand-built to wheel thrown.

Each creation I design may be based on a cultural observations to convey my own personal narrative. My sculptural works are mostly hand built, high-fired clay forms. The surfaces may be impressed and/or incised with a compilation of natural and manufactured textures, patterns, and symbols to convey a story or idea. Colour is incorporated predominately through the application of oxide stains, coloured slips, and the method in which its fired (anagama fired, salt, raku, or reduction). Metal, hemp, raffia, and other materials may be added to elaborate and exaggerate the forms. My objective with each piece is to create a contemporary interpretation and visual narrative of primal concepts.

Venue Information
Ceramics/Clay Studio
Banana Factory
25 W Third Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
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