BAC pottery program revamped |

BAC pottery program revamped

Staff report

The Brewery Arts Center has given a face lift to its pottery program with a new class curriculum, a cleaner work space, children’s classes and open lab time for students.

Muffy Vhay, the original founder of the pottery studio, said, “I am just delighted to hear the pottery is getting rejuvenated!”

Last month the BAC staff together with the help of one of the longtime pottery students, Katie Johnson, decided to revamp the program, beginning with a cleanup of the studio itself. The staff and several volunteers tackled the studio, throwing away a lot of obsolete equipment and old pottery projects that were never claimed, and cleaning up all the dust. After that, walls were painted and space organized.

This was all done to make way for an expanded program. Lorraine Felix will be returning and teaching four children’s classes and a beginner’s class for adults this fall. “Not only are children fun to work with,” she said, “but the glow on their faces when they see something finished that they’ve created is priceless.”

Katie Johnson will step out of being a student and try her hand on teaching a beginner’s class. She has been studying pottery for almost 20 years and finally decided it was time to try teaching. “My emphasis will be on beautiful and practical pots that students can use for serving or other purposes,” she said. “Of course, if students just want something pretty to look at that they’ve created, we can do that too.”

Sharon Randall completes the curriculum by teaching an intermediate adult pottery class. Sharon first started working in clay in 1978 as a leisure activity and soon became hooked, taking classes, taking over the family room, and finally building a studio. She has studied at UAA and UAF as well as taken many workshops by nationally acclaimed potters. She is greatly influenced by Japanese historical pottery.

Since retirement, she is working full time in clay, both functional and raku works. “I’ve found my style and forms evolve in synergy with my life’s experiences and extensive travel.”

The BAC plans to offer advanced pottery as independent study classes with the help of a qualified instructor. A one-time workshop emphasizing particular aspects of pottery will also be part of the curriculum. “Every day I pass by the pottery studio, I get a little excited,” said Executive Director John Procaccini. “To see the program revamped like this is nothing short of thrilling.”

List of classes

Beginning Adult Pottery

During the class students will be introduced to the lab, routine clay care, tools etc. Students will learn basic wedging, hand building and throwing techniques. Instruction will cover two basic shapes: cylinder and bowl. Trimming, glazing and firing basics will be covered.

• Mondays 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Sept. 17-Nov. 19; instructor, Lorraine Felix; tuition: $205 ($195 for BAC members).

• Wednesdays 6-9 p.m.; Sept.19-Nov. 21; instructor, Katie Johnson; tuition: $205 ($195 for BAC members).

Intermediate Adult Pottery

Intermediate classes will include advanced shapes including joined forms, handles, covered vessels, teapots etc. Advanced glazing and firing techniques will be covered including slip demonstration, discussion of colored clays, jewelry forms and raku firing. Intermediate students will be expected to mix glazes and participate in the firing process. Students are encouraged to attend a minimum of three beginner’s classes before advancing to intermediate classes.

• Fridays 6-9 p.m.; Sept. 28-Dec.7; instructor: Sharon Randall; tuition: $205 ($195 for BAC members).

Children’s Pottery

Children’s classes run for four consecutive weeks taught by Lorraine Felix. During the class the student will complete several hand-built projects. The process will include working with the clay, hand building, glazing and firing. Tuition is $85 ($75 for BAC members).

• Wednesdays 3:30-5 p.m.; Sept. 19-Oct.10.

• Thursdays 3:30 -5 p.m.; Sept. 20-Oct. 11.

• Wednesdays 3:30-5 p.m.; Oct. 24-Nov.14.

• Thursdays 3:30-5 p.m.; Oct. 25- Nov. 15.

All classes at Muffy Vhay Pottery studio, Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St. Visit or call 883-1976.