Earth and Fire: Weekend Worksop with Ken Matsuzaki, May 24-26, 2024
Note: The Weekend Workshop is currently full, but the wood-firing is still open!
If you'd like to join the waitlist for the weekend workshop, please email Connor Czora: Connor (at) DistrictClayCenter.com.
Join us to learn master pottery techniques!
In this can't-miss intensive with internationally renowned artist Ken Matsuzaki, students will have the chance to learn Matsuzaki's creative philosophy, create chawans and vases, and complete a four-day wood-firing hosted by Noah Hughey-Commers in his anagama kiln.
A master ceramist from Mashiko, Japan, Matsuzaki is one of the leading potters in the world today. After apprenticing for Living National Treasure Tatsuzo Shimoka (who himself apprenticed for Shoji Hamada), Matsuzaki established his own studio in Mashiko in the late 1970s. Matsuzaki has exhibited his art around the world ever since.
The weekend workshop includes an artist talk in DC and a hands-on workshop at District Clay Center (DCC). Interested students are encouraged to sign up for the corresponding wood-firing with Matsuzaki and Noah Hughey-Commers (May 28-31). A translator will be present during all portions of the workshop.
The artist talk will take place at 6 PM on May 24, location TBD. During the lecture, Matsuzaki will discuss his background as a potter, his creative philosophy, and his latest artwork. This artist talk will be open to the public and will provide context for the techniques students will learn in the workshops.
The weekend workshop will follow on May 25 and 26, 10 AM - 5 PM, at DCC. During the workshop, Matsuzaki will demonstrate various approaches to both handbuilding and wheel-throwing. In addition to throwing or handbuilding chawans, students will construct a Matsuzaki-inspired artwork. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their work with Matsuzaki as they practice their newly acquired techniques. These pieces will be bisque-fired at DCC after the weekend workshop.* Students should pack a lunch for both days.
By the end of the weekend workshop at District Clay, students will have an understanding of the pottery traditions that have influenced Matsuzaki, practice in new techniques for their own artworks, and an unforgettable experience learning from Ken Matsuzaki.
Special discount: Students wishing to participate in both the weekend workshop and the wood-firing will recieve a 10% discount off their purchase!
*A great deal of preparation is necessary prior to firing the anagama. As many as 800 pots must be carefully loaded into the kiln. The kiln then must preheat to be sure there is no moisture in the kiln or in the pots before the firing begins. These preliminary steps will be taking place during the hands-on workshop at DCC. Accordingly, the pieces the students create with Ken at DCC can’t be fired in the anagama workshop. Students should prepare other pieces to fire in the firing workshop.
- Artist talk: May 24, 6 PM, location TBD
- Weekend Workshop: May 25-26, 10 AM - 5 PM, District Clay Center
- Cost covers 2 days of workshop instruction, 25 lbs of clay, and bisque firing
- Students should have experience in wheel-throwing and/or hand-building
- Maximum of 14 students may enroll in each workshop
- Students wishing to participate in both the weekend workshop and the wood-firing will recieve a 10% discount off their purchase!
IMPORTANT: Everyone entering District Clay must be vaccinated. You will be required to show your vax card or a photo of your card when you arrive at District Clay for your workshop. No entry without proof of vaccination and no refunds for failure to show card. To see more about our COVID-19 responses, please go here.
About Ken Matsuzaki:
"Ken Matsuzaki received a degree in Ceramic Art from Tamagawa University School of Fine Arts in Tokyo in 1972, after which he moved to Mashiko to apprentice with Tatsuzo Shimaoka. After a five-year apprenticeship, Matsuzaki established his own kiln, Yuushin Gama. Although Matsuzaki's work has a strong grounding in Mingei philosophy, his approach is very contemporary and focuses on the style of Oribe-yaki with yohen, shino, and oribe glazes." In some of his more recent work, Matsuzaki has abandoned the wheel. He is handbuilding, cutting away at the clay much as a sculptor would while maintaining the rugged character and energy of the raw clay.
"Matsuzaki’s work has been exhibited all over the world and is a part of the permanent collections of the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, California; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio; Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida; Holderness School, Holderness, New Hampshire; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York'; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Sackler Museum of Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa, Israel; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; and Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts."
**Images courtesy of Ken Matsuzaki, Susie Cohen, and Noah Hughey-Commers.