Jennifer McCurdy: Testing the Limits of Porcelain in Thrown, Altered, and Carved Sculptures


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July 21 & 22
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

To begin this two day workshop, Jennifer will demonstrate the technique of “dry throwing”, using two metal ribs to create the shape of the piece, after the basic cylinder has been thrown.  Next, she will show how altering and folding that form by hand can add movement and strength.  You will see carving techniques on the porcelain when it is leather hard. Once the piece is bone dry, Jen will demonstrate sanding techniques..  The last hour of each day will be devoted to looking at images or actual pieces of each participant’s work and discussing ways that the these techniques can be individually utilized.


Additional alterations to the piece can occur in the white hot heat of vitrification, and we will discuss strategies to encourage and control slumping in the firing.  We will discuss the concept of “strength vs. plasticity” in the porcelain as it moves through the working stages from wet to dry through vitrification.  The porcelain Jen uses is Miller#550 by Laguna clay.  It fires to cone 10.


Instructor Bio

Jennifer McCurdy has been selling her porcelain in art shows and galleries for the last thirty-five years, and her work is included in the collections of several institutions, including the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY, and the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA.  She maintains a studio in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.  Her focus on the reflective and bone-like quality of the bare porcelain has led her to explore the light and shadow of the clay forms, resulting in a unique melding of line and structure.  She is looking forward to sharing some of the tricks she has learned along the way – tricks of the trade, and tricks of porcelain.  Perspective students are encouraged to review Jennifer’s website at