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2010 Workshops

From Flat to Fat:
Function, Context and Process

Instructors: Andrew Martin and Mark Pharis
June 7–18, 2010

This two-week workshop will be an intuitive and practical exploration of how to work with patterns and molds, beyond the repetition of forms. The emphasis will be on using paper cut-outs to develop forms for molds and casting, and two-dimensional pattern-making for constructing three-dimensional forms.

Martin and Pharis will include demonstrations on both mold making and pattern-making, brief lectures, discussions, slide presentations, and critiques. While participants’ work will yield objective results, the underlying process for each student should include the consideration of process, visual language, and use. The formal language of these processes will focus on shape, form, mass, and volume. In addition, class discussions will be specifically about use, ergonomics, surface, touch, the context of use, and the complexity of orchestrating these concerns into exciting works that contribute to the rich ceramic history we have inherited.

Each participant is asked to bring examples of current work and to share their experiences and influences, and should come to the workshop with a clear but simple goal and be ready to take risks.

Andrew Martin, Abundant

Andrew Martin, Burnap Reverie

Mark Pharis, Transitional Bowls

Mark Pharis, Vase Set

Andrew Martin currently lives in the Netherlands and earned his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from Alfred University in New York. He has been a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation, Arts-Industry Program at the Kohler Company, and was awarded two Artist Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught over 70 workshops across the US and Canada, exhibited nationally and internationally, written essays and articles for American Ceramics and Ceramics Monthly. He has been a moderator, demonstrator, and presenter at the annual conference of The National Council of Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and “Utilitarian Clay–Celebrate the Object” at Arrowmont School of Crafts. His book, “The Essential Guide to Mold Making and Slip Casting” has become the standard text on the subject. The revised and expanded edition of this book, published by Lark Books, was released in March 2007.


Mark Pharis studied at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. In the summer of 1973 he set up a pottery studio in a rural area outside of Houston, Minnesota, where he produced work until 1989. In 1985 he began teaching in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota and served as the Chair of the department from 1998–2004. Pharis has exhibited and taught workshops around the country, and his work can be found in many private and public collections.