A “Fire” Sampler: Raku Pottery, Glass Bead Making & Forging
John Dietrich, Julie Lukosaitis & James Viste
August 29 - September 4, 2021
This class allows you to explore three art forms that depend on fire—raku pottery, glass bead making and forging.
Early people (30,000 years ago) discovered that they could use clay to produce utilitarian objects. They learned that clay could be formed and shaped because it was “plastic,” and that they could color it and harden it in fire. On Monday, you’ll make pottery with John. The pottery will then be allowed to dry before being bisque fired. On Thursday, you’ll glaze your pieces and fire them Raku style.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, you'll work with Julie while you explore the ancient art of lampworking—glass bead making with fire. You’ll use a small torch to make round glass beads, pull stringers and add color. You’ll also learn a few design techniques. In addition, there will be time to make a few glass-blown ornaments.
On Friday, James will teach you the basics of forging. You’ll learn about coal forges, anvil and hammer ergonomics, as well as techniques that will ensure an enjoyable, safe and productive experience. Demonstrations will cover introductory forging processes—variations of tapering, upsetting and twists. You can expect to make a variety of hardware for your home, such as hooks, a small cooking utensil and a fire poker. Please bring the following items to class: cotton clothing, some form of hair restraint (if needed), leather-palm gloves, safety glasses, ear protection and closed-toe shoes or boots.
John Dietrich and his wife, Diane McNeil, own and operate Ellison Bay Pottery (across the street from The Clearing), where they make functional and decorative ceramic art, and where, in 2019, they celebrated John’s 45th year making pottery there. He was Abe Cohn’s assistant at the Potter’s Wheel in both Milwaukee and Fish Creek from 1968 to 1974. John is renowned for his stoneware and for his decorative and pit-fired art pottery. He has work in national and international collections and has been learning and teaching pottery for over 50 years.
Julie Lukosaitis has a passion for making glass beads in the small flame of a torch and has been a glass flameworking instructor for almost 20 years. She is the owner of Beadazzled By Julz, and travels around Wisconsin with her glass studio teaching classes. Julie has many years of experience working in public education and teaching to different learning levels. She believes the best reward for a teacher is seeing the joy her students feel with their own creativity and building on their skills. When that happens, she can see their confidence grow, and it shows in their work.
James Viste was raised on a farm in Door County. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master of fine art degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He is a nationally known blacksmithing demonstrator and exhibitor and has participated in several national Ironwork Restoration Projects, including at Cranbrook Educational Community, The Charles Lang Freer House and The Detroit Institute of Arts. He has worked for studios in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Michigan. He is currently the Manager of Edgewise Forge LLC in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
Level: All levels
Materials Fee: $60 ($30 for raku pottery supplies and $30 for glass bead making supplies)
Shop Fee: $10
Pricing (per person):
$1120 Dorm Room Package*
$1220 Two-Person Room Package*
$1835 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$625 Commuter Package** (limited availability)
*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals **package includes tuition & 5 meals