This summer I spent two weeks attending a workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, taught by wonderfully talented potter Lana Wilson. It covered hand-building techniques, plus Lana’s crazy cool slip decorating methods. We also had the treat of a guest artist for a couple of days, so we got some instruction from Sandi Pierantozzi, one of my absolute favorite potters ever!!
The best part of the whole workshop (where I learned to make several new pieces, including beautiful hand-built bowls!) was watching the contrast between Sandi’s and Lana’s work styles. Funny woman Lana calls herself “the queen of low standards,” which you certainly can’t tell if you’ve ever seen her work, but means she doesn’t stress over each seam and rim, and also just kind of likes to see what happens when, say, you slam the clay on the table 10 times. Sandi is more of a perfectionist, paying careful attention to measurements, angles, and symmetry in each piece. But both artists love texture and surface decoration (as do I!), and both produce stunning work, just with different ways of getting there. They were also charming, funny, and seemed genuinely delighted to share with us their experience and techniques, making the workshop a wonderfully comfortable learning environment—and making me energized and excited to create new work with all my new skills!