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Jonesborough to Host World Famous Potter, Bill van Gilder

Contributed To The Press • May 10, 2018 at 11:23 AM

They say every potter has a list of what they want to make. How to make it, is often the question.

The McKinney Center in Jonesborough Tennessee will be hosting a three-day demo-workshop led by master potter, Bill van Gilder. Some 50+ making techniques will be demonstrated in answer to these ‘how-to’ questions; techniques participants will want to use and adjust to fit their own future work. Shortcuts, tips, and tool-use at the wheel will be shared through demo after demo.

“Making pots is a puzzle.” Said Kerry Porche, a local artist one of van Gilder’s students and close friend. “As a potter, we’re always trying to figure out the secret to that puzzle. Whether it’s the right clay, the right design, the right glaze or the right firing technique- and Bill gives you more pieces to that puzzle. For yourself and for the world out there.”

A discussion about glazes will take place during the workshop, as requested. van Gilder’s ^6 oxidation, ^8-9-10 gas, and salt/soda wood-firing slips & glaze recipe sheets will be provided to each participant. Participants are welcome to take photos and are encouraged to bring a notebook. A selection of Bill van Gilder’s hand-tools (van Gilder Clay Tools) and a sampling of his current work are made available for participant purchase.

van Gilder is described as approachable, knowledgeable, fun and really skilled- and an all-around excellent maker. van Gilder’s journey as a potter has created quite the experience. He is a graduate of Harrow School of Art, Studio Potters, London, U.K. He was the Creator & Host, Throwing Clay television series on DIY Network, Owner/Director of the Frederick Pottery School Inc., he was a featured artist on the PBS Network television broadcast, Crafting America—The East Coast. He’s sat on the Board of Directors for the Frederick Festival of the Arts, he has owned Pottery and Craft Galleries, and he Established Mantenga Pottery, Swaziland, Africa, for World Bank.

"As a potter, I can only set-up parameters – from the choice of clays and materials to the making and finishing – allowing the nature of the flame to complete the process.” van Gilder said. “My best work seems to make itself, when the acquired knowledge and intuition of material and fire is allowed to take over. The process is complete when the pot is held in the hand, connecting the maker to the user – a subtle form of communication and enough reason for me to make pots again.”

The workshop registration fee is $175.00. The Thursday evening lecture is free and open to the public. You’ll also have the opportunity for the McKinney Center to provide lunch Friday and Saturday for one fee of $20.00. Lunch will consist of assorted sandwiches, wraps, dessert bars, cookies, sweet tea and water.

The workshop will be held on May 10th through the 12th at the McKinney Center located at 103 Franklin Avenue Jonesborough, TN 37659. For more information please contact Theresa Hammons at (423) 753-0562 or send an email to Theresah@jonesboroughtn.org.

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