What’s in your … Ceramic’s Studio

Jeanne McGovern


The Ceramics Club of Aspen’s annual Holiday Pottery Sale is Thursday, Nov. 29, and Friday, Dec. 2, at the Colorado Mountain College Aspen campus gallery from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Faculty and students from the college, along with local artists, created the works on sale, including handmade ceramic mugs, casseroles dishes, bowls, vases, serving platters and sculptures.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Everyone knows about the clay, the potter’s wheel and the kiln. But a whole lot of work goes into those hand-crafted mugs, bowls and vases. Lanese always travels with aire cutter, Needle tool, rasp, ribs (there is a soft red rib and a bunch of wood ribs), ribbon tool and loop tool (a two-ended tools with loops on the end). She also carries a “bunch of extra random things that I use for texture — toothbrushes, chop sticks, shells … there are also a few paint brushes.”

TEST RUN: Off to the side of her work station, Lanese shows us lines of tiles called “test tiles.” “So we have recipes to make a bunch of glazes,” Lanese explains. “Then we make test tiles that are made of different types of glazes to see how the glaze reacts. These tiles have a mix of two glazes to see how the two glazes react to each other.

“We do this on test tiles so we don’t ruin a piece, as a test, in case it doesn’t work.”

STUDIO SESSION: Colorado Mountain College offers ceramics classes for students of all levels, beginner to expert. The college, located on Highway 82 across from the Aspen airport, also has open studio time for qualified potters.

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