For many NCECA attendees, the workshops that happen before and after the conference are one of the most memorable parts of the experience.  Pre & Post-Conference events are not planned by NCECA, but rather extension offerings from the local artist community.  There are some really great experiences to be had this year in the Providence area, so consider coming early or staying late.  Many of these opportunities are still open!  Read on to learn more…

image1The UMASS Dartmouth Ceramics Club is hosting a NCECA Pre-Conference event that will include two days of demos and lectures by two renowned ceramic artists, Jason Briggs and Lauren Gallaspy. Our Pre-Conference will take place Monday, March 23rd to Tuesday, March 24th at the Star Store in downtown New Bedford. Workshops will be taking place 9 am- 5pm each day on the fourth floor of the Star Store building. Both artists will present a lecture on their work Monday, March 23rd at 6 pm with a club sponsored potluck. One flat rate registration fee grants you access to the workshop demos as well as an evening lecture with Jason Briggs and Lauren Gallaspy.

Location: UMASS Dartmouth Ceramics Department, New Bedford, MA 02740

Cost: $45 All payments are non-refundable  Click here to register


Making Handbuilt Aka (red) Raku Chawan

With John Baymore

A Pre-NCECA Workshop at The Potters Shop & School
Saturday-Sunday-Monday, March 21-23
Fee: $350 (includes materials and  Saturday night dinner reception)

Formal Japanese Tea Ceremony, known as Chanoyu, has had a profound impact on both Japanese and world ceramics since the feudal era in Japan. The making of formal Chawan (teabowls) is considered the pinnacle of the art of the potter in Japan. The most revered Chawan for use in Chanoyu are those made by the Japanese Raku family in Kyoto.

This 3 day pre-NCECA hands-on workshop will share two specific hand forming techniques typically used for the making of aka (red) Raku Chawan as well as demonstrate this firing process that differs from typical American Raku.  A discussion of actual Chanoyu process will be included on the second day, and each participant will have the opportunity to act as both host and guest in a Chakai (an informal tea ceremony) we’ll hold for each other.  On the last day, we’ll cap our day’s firing efforts by again making matcha (whisked tea ceremony tea) in the aka Raku bowls we’ve just fired. On day one John will demonstrate the forming of the chawan. Following his demonstration the group will work on their individual chawan under John’s tuteledge. Day two is a chance for each participant to individually go thru a taemae (tea procedure) as others observe and learn. Day three will be the two Japanese-style firings of the bowls that each person has made.

*This event is currently full, waitlist available*

You can also visit the Potter’s School AFTER the conference for

Screen Printing on Textured Thrown and Altered Forms 
Karen Mahoney will demonstrate her personalized techniques developed to create rope impressed and screen printed thrown and altered functional ware. Beginning at the wheel, Karen will demonstrate and discuss altering her thrown forms, and refining them through the drying process. Over the course of the day Karen will share the tools, materials, and techniques she uses to keep crisp divisions between imagery, texture, and smooth clay. Participants will leave understanding how to make and successfully use an original screen print image on various clay forms, and how to incorporate this type of surface decoration with texture. The Potters Shop and School, 31 Thorpe Road, Needham, MA 02494. Contact Steven Branfman, 781-449-7687, Cost $75


As part of the NCECA pre-conference events, Chris Gustin has invited eleven ceramic artists from the US and India, as well as the core group of artists that are the ‘crew’ for his kiln, to send work and come to my studio for the month of March to participate in an anagama wood firing at his studio from March 6 thru March 17th, 2015.

ChrisGustin_headshotIn the spirit of the conference theme ‘Lively Experiments’, I was interested in putting together a group of artists whose work I respected and admired, and bring them to Massachusetts to fire their work in my kiln. All of the invited artists have done a significant amount of wood firing, and what better way to celebrate the conference theme than to work together to fire the kiln. My kiln has three chambers, including a 100 cubic foot soda chamber. The three chambers combined will fire approximately 800-1000 pieces.

The firing of the kiln is an invitational event. However, those people interested in coming to see the firing are welcome.

The unloading on Tuesday, March 24th will be an open event for pre-conference visitors, who are welcome to participate in the unstacking of the kiln.


Of Earth, Sea & Fire: A Symposium of Makers
Eight ceramic artists making works in response to the collection at the New Bedford Whaling Museum come together with eight wood-fire artists participating in the March 2015 Anagama firing at Gustin Studio for a weekend of lively discussion, demostration & lecture. Artists Participating: Chris Archer, Mary Barringer, Cynthia Constantino, Molly Hatch, Sergei Isupov, Kathy King, Jim Lawton, Seth Rainville, Arnie Zimmerman, Randy Johnston, Jan McKeachie, Doug Casebeer, John Balistreri, Matt Long, Dan Anderson, Chris Gustin.

Schedule and Registration

Day 1. Saturday March 21

8:00 – 9:00 am
coffee & pastries – Museum Galleries open for participants

9:00 – 10:00 am
Opening remarks  

Dr. Christina Connett, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, NBWM

Seth Rainville: Introduction to NCECA shows/events and artists from the Gustin Pre-conference Anagama firing

Jim Lawton: Making of an exhibition – artists prepare for Of Earth & Sea

10:15 – 11:45 am
Demo with Matt Long and Molly Hatch

11:45 am – 12:45 pm

1:00 – 2:00 pm
Gallery Walk with Jim Lawton and Artists in the NBWM Exhibition Of Earth & Sea

2:15 – 3:45 pm
Demo with Cynthia Consentino and Jan McKeachie Johnston

4:00 – 5:00 pm
Lecture: Sergei Isupov

5:00 – 6:00 pm


Day 2. Sunday March 22

8:00 – 9:00 am
coffee & pastries – Museum Galleries open for participants

9: 00 – 10:15 am
Lecture: Surface and Beyond with Kathy King, Dan Anderson and Seth Rainville

10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Demo with Randy Johnston and Doug Casebeer

12:00 – 1:00 pm

1:00 – 2:30 pm
Demo concludes with Cynthia Consentino and Jan McKeachie Johnston

2:45 – 4:15 pm
Demo concludes with Matt Long and Molly Hatch

4:30 – 5:30 pm
Lecture: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Eleanor Wilson and John Balistreri

5:30 – 6:00 pm
Closing Remarks

To register, visit The New Bedford Whaling Museum Website. Cost $75 general public for weekend; $65 New Bedford Whaling Museum members.