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April 2017

Arts Instructors Offer Workshops All Summer at the Sugar Maples Center for Creative Arts

Hunter, NY - April 11, 2017 - Internationally recognized instructors from across the United States will converge on the Catskills this summer at the Sugar Maples Center for Creative Arts, presenting a series of workshops teaching a wide range of ceramic techniques, as well as mosaics and Chinese Brush painting. Sugar Maples, a part of the Catskill Mountain Foundation, is now in its 12th year and continues to grow while giving individuals the opportunity to develop their artistic skills, while enjoying the unique beauty of the Catskill Mountains.
Director of Sugar Maples and well-respected ceramic artist Susan Beecher is the visionary behind this annual series. "We are delighted to be offering such a diverse and exciting program this year, appropriate for all levels of students - beginners to advanced - and being taught by some of the most respected artists working in the United States. And beyond the creative skills, we are a school that encourages camaraderie, cooperation and fellowship among all who attend our workshops. We have an exciting and fun-filled time too!"
Beecher will be joined this year by a number of world-class ceramic artists including Susan Bogen and Alan Willoughby from New Jersey, Ben Carter from California, Martha Grover from Maine, Lorna Meaden from Colorado, and Richard Aerni from Rochester, New York. Master Raku potters Randy Brodnax from Louisiana & Don Ellis from New Mexico, Art Professor at the University of Missouri Bede Clark and Canadian-born artist Lisa Chicoyne, who maintains a studio in New Jersey, are also among the instructors lending their expertise to this year's program.
The two-month series at Sugar Maples kicks off on Friday, June 23, with a three-day workshop "Learn, Refresh, Refine" led by Susan Bogen. During the weekend, students will learn and practice new skills for making beautiful pots on the potters wheel. From July 7-9, trained sculptor Lisa Chicoyne will lead a three-day workshop, "Preparing and Making with Paperclay" which will teach participants to make their own custom batch of paperclay, using dry clay or reclaim. Between August 17-21, the series continues with Colorado based studio potter Lorna Meaden who will host a five-day workshop "Focus on Making." In this workshop, students will explore wheel-thrown and altered functional pots. Participants will experiment with a range of forms, including simple pots for daily use such as cups and bowls.
Sugar Maples Six Day Summer Ceramics Workshops
For those looking to get fired up for longer, "Strategies for Making Unique Pots," kicks off the series of six day workshops at Sugar Maples on Thursday, July 6. Led by Bede Clark, Professor of Art at the University of Missouri, the workshop will focus on basic wheel forming skills such as: throwing various forms based on cylinder/bowl/plate, lids, handles, spouts and trimming. Participants will also explore enhanced throwing skills and concepts such as altered forms, inverted throwing, gesture and "skin" of the pot as well as strategies for creating sets or groupings of pots. The following week, July 13-18, internationally acclaimed instructor Ben Carter, who was named 2016 Ceramic Artist of the Year, leads the workshop titled "Exploring Earthenware." This workshop, will focus on developing functional slipware pottery forms at low fire temperatures. Workshop participants will also learn a variety of surface-design methods including slip decorating, sgraffito, stamping and other mark making techniques.
From July 27 to August 1, Alan Willoughby, recently retired Executive Director of Perkins Center for the Arts in New Jersey will lead the workshop "Earth, Air, (Salt) Fire & Water." Participants will be working with the four primary elements and are encouraged to bring pieces of bisque-ware to decorate with slips, washes and glazes, fired in the salt kiln. Altering techniques, sprigging, lids, feet and handles (as both functional and decorative elements) will be demonstrated. This will be followed by "Altered Elegance," August 3-8, taught by renowned ceramic artist Martha Grover. In this workshop, Grover will share her special throwing and altering techniques that exploit this elegant and sensuous material's best qualities. She will also demonstrate various altering techniques and additions of slabs, handles and spouts to create an assortment of functional forms. The final six-day workshop: "Glorious Ash Glazes for Cone 6," August 24-29, will be taught by legendary ceramic artist Richard Aerni. Participants in this workshop will learn various methods for increasing the beauty and appeal of their electric fired cone 6 work through glaze application methods, additions of various layers of glaze and slip, how to work with glazes and amend them to suit their tastes, and how to use firing and cooling ramps. Participants should bring 10 pieces of bisque ware of white cone 6 clay.
Special Summer Workshops
Professional artist, Cynthia Fisher returns to lead a three day workshop "Magnificent Mosaics," June 23-25. In this workshop, participants will learn about the rich history of the mosaics medium, materials, tools and substrates; instruction in a variety of methods of mosaic assembly with the major focus on the indirect method; color and the mosaic palette and how tile shape creates visual texture.
No experience is required for those 15 years and up, interested in attending the Linda Schultz workshop "Chinese Brush Painting," to be held July 29-30. Chinese Brush painting is intended to be a meditative and spontaneous art form, capturing the essence of an image or idea with very little attention to precise details. Over the two days, participants will learn the basics of this meditative art form.
For more information about the various summer programs, call (518) 263-2001 or visit
About Catskill Mountain Foundation:
The Catskill Mountain Foundation's (CMF) aim is to provide educational opportunities in the arts for youth and lifelong learners, to bring the experience of the arts to the Catskill community, and to support artists and art organizations in the development of their work through residencies. Since its founding in 1998, CMF has presented hundreds of music, dance, and theater performances; screened over 1,000 films to tens of thousands of audience members; provided studio arts classes to thousands of students of all ages; and served thousands of art-loving patrons in its gallery and bookstore.
Since 1998, CMF has raised, generated, and invested close to $15 million in facility development and an excess of $30 million in programming operations, for a total investment in the Catskill community of over $45 million. CMF believes that the arts can transform the lives of those touched by it and can transform the community. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.