Wheel-Thrown Ceramics, by Don Davis, was published in 1998. It immediately became a favourite book here until it sadly went out of print in 2005. So since we could no longer get the book, we had to get the real thing! We were thrilled to have him here for a hands-on workshop with 15 participants from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas.
Original Don Davis Workshop Description:
Participants will compose their pieces from separate elements made either on the potter’s wheel or by hand building methods. Each day will begin with a demonstration or presentation by the instructor and then we will get to work forming, altering and combining the elemental pieces to combine and create our composite forms. The emphasis will be on experimentation, creativity and having fun with clay. We will construct a group piece composed of individual elements made by each of the participants first and then focus on our own pieces. Individual work by participants may be utilitarian or purely sculptural. Composite pieces could range from vase forms to teapots to outdoor sculpture.
Some previous experience working with clay would be helpful but this workshop could be open to participants of any skill level.
Don Davis Bio
As the son of a Naval Officer Don’s childhood was spent in various locations including Florida, Italy, Virginia, California and Hawaii. Graduate Studies in Ceramics were accomplished at Rhode Island School of Design where he received his MFA in 1974. Most of his career (1976-2001) has been as a full time studio potter working in Asheville, N.C. From 1994-1995 he served as the initial director of Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts in Asheville and then as a university professor of art from 1999 until 2015.
He is the author of Wheel Thrown Ceramics, published in 1998 and his work is included in numerous other books and magazines. His most recent publication (2014) in Etruscan Studies, The Journal of the Etruscan Foundation features the replica Etruscan Kiln that he & crew built and fired at Castello Spannocchia, Italy in 2010.
His work is included in the collections of Rhode Island School of Design, Asheville Art Museum, International Museum of Ceramics in Alfred, N.Y., The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC and Shirikawa Public Hall, Japan.
Teaching workshops conducted include La Meridiana, Tuscany, Italy, Atelier Cirkel, Brasschaat, Belgium, The Virginia Museum, and University of S.C.
He led an annual summer course at Castello di Spannocchia, Italy from 2007 through 2014.
He was awarded invitational artist’s residencies at Studio Art Centers International, Florence Italy and at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Don Davis Artist Statement
My ongoing dedication to clay work is due to an enduring love for the material and the processes of forming and firing it. I cannot think of anything better to do. My first ceramic love was early American folk pottery. More recently I am drawn more to the most ancient forms, especially Minoan and prehistoric European. For many years my work focused on wheel thrown porcelain vessels. The duality indicated by the play between interior and exterior treatments keeps me constantly intrigued. Lately hand built forms and low temp techniques have also become a major part of my creative output, inspired by my fascination with ancient cultures and collaborations in experimental archaeology. This direction in my work includes sculptural pieces as well as vessel forms.
We are also thrilled to be able to include this recent Don Davis teapot, available until the exhibition closes March 26th, 2016: