Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A day with Lana
Last week I attended a one day workshop with Lana Wilson at Saddleback College in South Orange County. I was looking forward to this day since I read about it in her website... May or June I think. I emailed the instructor at the college and did not hear anything for 3-4 months, I thought that I was not going to be so lucky to get in. But I did! and it was great to attend.
Lana is a very lively and energetic lady. Her life is full of experiences from the many years being a potter, her many travels, her children, a life well lived.
She incorporates times in her life as she is describing her clay work, how a technique happened to be created when she was doing something totally different from clay, or how the night before she was thinking while lying in bed of how to improve a technique that she would show us that day. She is truly fun to watch and listen to. I wish her several days workshops were near by, I'd go in a hearbeat.
While she showed us a lot of stuff in the one day workshop, I will talk about a few things that stuck. She is working with colored slips right now in creating functional pottery, something that was not done by her years ago. She adds the slip to a wet slab by brushing coats of different colored slips. And then proceeds to alter the clay in many ways by carving, stretching, throwing it on the table, stamping and so much more. She created several pieces in the day and I manage to get some pictures of a cup, vase and a couple plates.
Lana is very giving with sharing a lot of her techniques of doing clay. I see her as a kind person who probably saw in us the eagerness to learn and to create something new, beautiful and fun with our own hands. She gave us that sense that it was okay to do whatever we wanted with what she taught us and if in the process we learned something new, or a way to improve (hard to believe) to take on it and just do it.
Thank you to Richard White at Saddleback for letting me in, and to Lana for being a great teacher and an inspiring me to take clay to a new level.