MICHELLE GREGOR || FIGURATIVE SCULPTURE: An Improvisational Approach Through Form & Surface

*schedule forthcoming

An Improvisational Approach Through Form & Surface
with Michelle Gregor

May 13-26, 2018

Michelle Gregor will demonstrate her techniques of constructing the figure in clay.  Improvisation within the process of forming and surface development will be at the heart of this workshop. Techniques incorporating gesture and chance will be explored.  
Beginning with the creation of a series of maquettes, participants will practice construction methods and surface development. Various poses will be demonstrated and many possibilities of describing the figure will be explored. Larger scale demos will illuminate the artist's process and expressionistic approach, which incorporates attention to mark making with a painterly sensibility, Explore and create using the figure as a starting point for inspiration.

Sunday (5/13)             Welcome Dinner
Monday (5/14)           9:30am-noon:
- “Experiments in Form” -  fifteen-minute figure studies. These exercises will help students begin to construct the human figure from simple components and explore poses. We will discuss ideas such as contrapposto, groupings, and narrative. We will emphasize an experimental approach, manipulating your “first drafts” to discover movement, gesture and vitality.  Preparing the clay for solid construction.
1pm-4:30pm: Artists Slide Presentation.
-      The reclining and seated figure- demo
-      Demo: Solid construction, a figurative approach. Massing and laying out
primary forms.
Tuesday (5/14)           9:30-noon:
Studio Exercise: Working with the Maquettes. Thinking by doing, shifting poses, incorporating movement and gesture, loosening up, avoiding pitfalls. Proportions.
-      Hollowing and preparing Marquette’s for bisque firing.
-      Studio practice: begin constructing a figurative sculpture using 10-15 lbs of clay applying the methods of solid construction.
Slide presentation- the head and features through history
-      Small head study, focusing on the masses of the skull, proportions, and expression (in preparation for press molding).
-      ***Tonight!: Please email michellegregor@gmail.com four images of your own work and or work that inspires you to share with the group during
Wednesday (5/16)      9:30am-noon: Demo: Hollowing and reassembly. Drying and firing successfully.
-      Finish hollowing the maquettes in preparation for kiln firing.
-      Materials management: reclaiming clay without a pug mill
Slide talk- the figure through art history.  Inspiration and idea development.
- Mark making
- Studio Work: Finish sculpting the head. Begin sculpting a second figure from 10-15 lbs of clay.

Thursday (5/17)         9:30am-noon:
Sketch Field trip
-      Color and surface demo. How to use a variety of stains, glazes,
underglazes, underglaze pencils, etc. to build complex and layered surfaces.
-      Create ceramic press molds from Tuesday’s head study.

 Friday (5/18)             9:30-noon:
- Workshop artist’s slideshow. We invite each workshop participant to speak about their artwork and inspiration.
- How to fire sculpture: a discussion of drying, kiln schedules for bisque and
glaze firings. Brief overview of different firing techniques, temperatures and their outcomes. Special effects: lusters and decals.
-      Studio work: continue individual sculpture work.
-      Prepare maquettes for bisque firing.
Saturday (5/19)          9:30-noon:
-     Press Molds. Create multiples from press molds for glaze testing.
-      Sculpting the human hand.
Studio Work:  Continue sculpting, hollowing and reassembling your projects

Sunday (5/20)             Free day. Bisque fire maquettes

Monday (5/21)           9:30-noon
-     Demo: Achieving larger forms: How to incorporate coil building with solid
-     Studio Work: Finish sculpting and hollowing solid built figures/groups
Special Guest Demo by Francoise LeClerc ‘Animals and Armatures”
Tuesday (5/22)           9:30-noon: Studio Work: Coloration. Form and surface.
-     Prepare bisque fired work for Cone 5 firing
-      Studio Work. Finish sculpting and hollowing larger forms
Wednesday (5/23)      Excursion around Bali
Thursday (5/24)
- Developing the Surface
- Load and fire maquettes to cone 5.
Friday (5/25)
- Cracks and their solutions! Repair, adhesives and colorants, the world of epoxy.
- Ideation, using the sketchbook for developing ideas.
Saturday (5/26)
-     Class critique, share work and ideas. Finishing work.
Please note, we will make adjustments to this schedule as necessary.

Clay Bodies
Raku Sculpture Clay- highly refractory (high alumina) body.

Porcelain Slip used during the workshop was made from trimmings of Coleman cone 10 porcelain clay. Michelle uses this slip effectively on leather hard, bisque and even on clay fired to cone 5 if applied thin.
Michelle’s Cone 5 Barium Blue (use safety precautions – not food safe)
60 Nephaline Synite
30 Barium Carbonate
4 Lithium Carbonate
1 Zinc Oxide
Add 3-5% copper carbonate
*Dry stains can be mixed into porcelain slip although this will opacify the color. *Stains can also be added into transparent glaze formulas.
Always test in advance! Use safety precautions.
Ceramic Suppliers – SF Bay Area
Clay People in Richmond, CA 623 S 32nd St, Richmond, CA 94804 (510) 236-1492
Leslies Ceramic Supply/Aftosa, 776 Wright Ave, Richmond, CA 94804 (510) 524-7363
Clay Planet in San Jose 775 Russell Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95054 (408) 295-3352
Use safety precautions when using epoxy. Use rubbing alcohol for cleanup. Remove all excess epoxy within the product’s working window.
PC 7 Epoxy. Grey color with 24 hour set and approx. 1 hour working time. Good product for repairing.
PC 11 Marine Epoxy- White color (can tint with stains if desired) 24 hour set and approx. 1 hour working time.
Both PC 7 and PC 11 are available at hardware stores and home centers.
Magic Sculpt. Two-part epoxy with clay consistency. Used to fill large areas. 24 hour set. Can be tinted with stains.
Magic Smooth- Two part epoxy. This is the more liquid version and is used to glue parts together. One hour working time with 24 hour set. Can be tinted with stains.Magic Sculpt and Magic Smooth are available from Douglas and Sturgess Sculpture Supply 1023 Factory St Richmond, CA (510) 235-8411 also try TAP Plastics to find this product.

Books and Online Resources
Life Models online resource http://www.artmodeltips.com/ Anatomy for the Artist by Jeno Barcsay
Portrait Sculpting by Philippe Faraut
Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet
Animals Pictorial Archive by Dover Press
Julia Galloway http://juliagalloway.com/field-guide/chapter-10/resources-ceramics/
Building Solid and Hollowing - Beth Cavener. Excellent description of the process.

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