This year for my Creative Retreats I decided to change things up a bit and introduce some new types of art to the mix. I am lucky to have several students that have come back again and again to our farm. This does pose a problem in that I need to develop new classes so that they can learn new things. It's not really a problem for me because I like to do so many different creative pursuits and techniques and it is really hard for me to rein myself in. The challenge is in finding a project that can be completed in a day and one that is also easy enough for beginners to learn and complete in a day.
Since my return to making pottery and painting ceramics a couple years ago, I have been wondering if I could include it in one of my summer retreats. In May when I announced the Retreats, I included a weekend which featured a day of Ceramic Tile Design. Amazingly so, that Retreat was the quickest to have students sign up. Maybe I am onto something?
Sunday came and as with any class I teach for the first time, I was sleepless the night before. Going over and over how I was going to approach teaching it in my head occupied most of the night. The students arrived at 9:30 and down we climbed into my studio.
The class went amazingly well. There were all kinds of levels of abilities with painting. Some students hadn't touched a brush since grade school while others were pros. The students spent the day planning, practicing and painting their very own set of ceramic tiles. By the end of the day, everyone was done. Here's the complete set of what they made.
Here you can see everyone painting their beautiful tiles.
Darby's tiles were inspired by illustrator Katie Daisy and Darby's love of gardening.
Stephanie had a mid-century modern thing going on.
Marji loves to knit but was game to try something new. I think these tiles are going to be fantastic when fired. I love the primitive look to her lines and shapes.
Tamson is a tile collector and came armed with photos of her collection of tiles. Lovely simple motifs with a painterly vibe to them.
Maureen had past experience as a decorative painter doing rosemaling and other techniques. Her hand was so light and delicate. Her set of tiles was inspired by her grandchildren.
Carol is a decorative furniture painter and her skills translated gorgeously to the underglazes and brushes we were using.
The tiles will now be fired in my kiln. I will then add a gloss glaze to all the tiles and then ship them to each student. I'll be sure to show you all how they look after the gloss glaze is added.
Now to brainstorm on new subjects for 2018. I've got some ideas percolating. Do you have any suggestions of what you would like to learn from me?