We have been fortunate enough to have Steven Branfman conduct TWO workshops for us here at Brackers. In 2002, he presented a fabulous 2 day Throwing and Raku firing event. It was the first ever Bracker’s workshop, and one of our pre-conference offerings before the last Kansas City NCECA. We enjoyed spending time with Steven and his son Jared as well as over 30 attendees from Kansas, Virginia, New Hampshire, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Oregon, Indiana, California, & Arizona. Steven Branfman was so fabulous and popular that we had to have him back for another workshop in 2007, which focused more in depth on Raku . At this intimate and higher intensity “sequel”, we welcomed 15 participants from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa & Arkansas & Illinois
Original Steven Branfman Pre-NCECA 2002 Workshop Description
Original Description for our second Steven Branfman workshop:
Steven Branfman is the author of Raku: A Practical Approach, which is widely recognized as one of the best books on Raku currently in print. Drawing from his own experience of roughly 30 years of being a Raku Artist, his years of teaching, and of running The Potters Shop and The Potters School, Steve authored a book that is not only a how-to manual, but an inspirational book as well. His straightforward tone and “practical approach” to writing makes this book easy and enjoyable to read. A workshop with Steve is like the book coming to life!
Usually, I would give an anticipated schedule for the workshop here. However, this is going to be a little different. This workshop will be completely driven by the participants. I like to think of it as “Stump the Steve” (Love of laughable alliteration optional). Bring all your questions about Raku: the whys, the hows, the whens. I would bet heavily that there is no question you can ask that Steve can’t answer. Is there a technique you have been wanting to try but want some guidance with? This is the place to do it!
In general, the workshop will focus on attaining a better understanding of the Raku process. We will experiment with a variety of reduction materials to find out if the material used to reduce has an effect on a glaze. We may experiment with natural vs forced air burners, we may experiment with brick vs fiber Raku kilns, we may do some salt raku, fuming, horsehair, or naked raku. All of this will be determined by the wishes of the participants. This is, after all, YOUR workshop. Everything about this workshop will be flexible except for one thing: You will have a great time and an experience you will never forget!
The workshop will begin at roughly 10:00am each day and will end between 5:00pm-6:00pm each night (subject to last firing) Lunch will be provided both days. Please let us know if you have special dietary needs when registering.We will make every effort to accommodate you!
Steven Branfman Bio:
Steven Branfman (born 1953, L.A. California) grew up in N.Y.C. and credits a rich cultural childhood as being the influence that led him to an art career. He was further influenced by a dynamic high school art teacher particularly in the area of sculpture. Branfman studied art at Cortland State University, New York with Gerald Diguisto (sculpture) George Dugan (drawing) and John Jessiman (pottery). He received his graduate degree at Rhode Island School Of Design working under Norm Schulman and Jun Kaneko. He says of RISD, “The time spent at RISD was the most influential and important experience in my development as an artist. The teachers were dedicated, the students were serious, and the atmosphere was exciting and productive.”
Steve Branfman has been an independent studio potter since 1975. In 1977 he founded as his studio, The Potters Shop which has become a nationally known studio, school, and artists workspace, and he now enjoys an international reputation as a potter, teacher, and writer. He is the author of four books; Mastering Raku: Making Ware-Glazes-Building Kilns-Firing published by Lark Books, Raku: A Practical Approach first and second editions, published by Krause Publications, and The Potters Professional Handbook published by The American Ceramic Society. Steven has delivered numerous workshops and presentations and his work has been exhibited in many one person and group shows throughout the U.S and abroad. Steven has been the subject of, and has authored many articles on clay. Articles about, or by him have appeared in Ceramics Monthly, The Crafts Report, Clay Times, Boston Globe, Studio Potter, Neue Keramik, and Pottery Making Illustrated, among others. His clayworking techniques, examples of his work, and personal profiles appear in many books on pottery and ceramics as well as Who’s Who In American Art and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Steven’s time is spent working in his studio, The Potters Shop & School in Needham, writing, traveling to present workshops and demonstrations, and Thayer Academy in Braintree Massachusetts where he teaches pottery. Steven, his wife Ellen and their dog Bruno live in Newton Massachusetts.
Steven is a Founding Board Member and the Immediate Past Chair of the Potters Council of the American Ceramics Society, a Founding and Current Board Member of the National K-12 Ceramics Exhibition Foundation and is a six time NCECA Presenter.
Steven Branfman Artist Statement
“My concern is to make good pots, pots that hold up to thousands of years of ceramic history. My work is about vessels and the characteristics that make the vessel come alive: volume, texture, color, and scale. One of my objectives is, through my vessels, to preserve the connection between contemporary ceramic expression and pottery’s origins as functional containers, not to transform and abandon it. Though my forms are not functional as in domestic ware, they do suggest function and are certainly containers.”
We are thrilled to be able to include several of Steve Branfman’s current Raku pieces in our exhibition, available until the show closes on March 26th.