Ceramic Masterclass goes to Portugal - February 2024
We will be co-hosting a very special series of workshops with Clay Kitchen Portugal, a ceramic retreat center for lovers of clay, wood firing, and hands-on ceramic education overlooking a stunning landscape in Ribeira da Azenha, Southwest Portugal.
In the first week, Kwak Kyungtae will teach Korean style wheel throwing techniques. In the second week, he will introduce us to onggi, the living and breathing art of efficiently making large vessels by coil and paddle. Spoken in Korean, the classes will be translated into English by his former apprentice and co-instructor Marco Minetti. Students have several options to register: either the first wheel throwing course, just the second onggi course, or combine the two for a full ceramic retreat.
At the end of Kwak Kyungtae's Ceramic Masterclass, David Trueb will lead a wood firing workshop at Clay Kitchen Portugal and is giving students an opportunity to combine the workshops and consolidate our knowledge with a rare chance to fire some of the work inspired by Korean making techniques.
Students from all levels and backgrounds are welcome. See below for details.
7 Day Korean Wheel Throwing Masterclass
February 5th to 12th - (Arrival Feb 4, departure Feb 12)
Rest and local travel Feb 12- 15
7 Day Onggi Masterclass
February 15th - 23rd - (Arrival Feb 14, departure Feb 23)
Optional Wood Firing led by David Trueb - Beginning Feb 26 - Details below
This throwing - focused program is all about building confidence on the wheel. Ancient Korean throwing techniques are taught step by step through theory, demonstration, and guided practice. You will learn how to throw off the hump, and master basic but fundamental shapes from the “Sabal” or tea bowl, to plates, cylinders, larger forms, and jars.
We believe it is essential that students develop an honest relationship with clay, know its limits, and understand that each time we touch the clay, there must be a reason and a method to our movements. By breaking down each step in the same way our ancestors taught us, students can sharpen their skills and aspire to a higher level of craftsmanship in their own practice. Imagine all the lessons one would learn as an apprentice, condensed into 12 days of focused practice sessions.
Students from all backgrounds and skill levels are welcome. Instruction and demos will be both general for the group and also catered to each individual student’s goals and/or abilities. Learn how to practice the way the ancients did and follow the path to mastery on the wheel.
The wheels, studio space, and wood kilns are at Clay Kitchen Portugal, just a short walk from the included accommodation, Tres Marias.
Learn the rare art of the Onggi technique, a method unique in the world for coil building large pots and forms. Traditionally born out of necessity in Korea, Onggi pots were and still are used today for food fermentation and storage. You may know "onggi" as pots for kimchi. A quintessential example of how form follows function, both the forms and building techniques are a living art in and of themselves. You will be given your own set of handmade wooden tools to use during the course, and taught how to make coils, flatten the base of the pot, and coil the clay using the “Taryeom” method. Later you will learn how to paddle the form and shape it, giving you a newfound sense of volume and proportion on a scale you never thought possible, and with very little "muscle" required (we have had students from 13 - 83 yrs old enjoy the course with no issues)!
Neither a pure hand-building nor a wheel throwing technique, onggi is a world all of its own, and you will be able to use these techniques in whichever creative context you prefer. There are only a handful of Onggi masters left in Korea, and even fewer opportunities to learn from one first hand. In this one of a kind collaboration in Southern Portugal, we will be bridging cultures and sharing the Korean spirit in a new context in the hopes of forging new relationships and building a more connected, global clay community.
Combo Wheel + Onggi
Feb 5 - 23, 2024
Tuition for both workshops, Accommodation and meals at Tres Marias, Unlimited locally sourced clay and materials, Use of the studio spaces at Clay Kitchen Portugal
To register for the Combo, please register for both courses on the registration page individually. (10% discount will be applied on the second portion of your payment before the start of the course)
Combine both courses for a deep dive into Korean ceramic techniques. This is your chance to live and breathe clay and invest in yourself. You will leave the workshop with countless new skills, a new network of mentors in the field, and a new direction to inspire your work or process. Those that have joined us for combo courses in the past have nothing but great things to say, as the extended time allows for more consolidation and exposure to a variety of techniques. We provide a discounted tuition for combining the two courses.
Students who are interested in the optional Wood firing will benefit from this combo course also to take advantage of the extra making time to build up work for the firing after Kwak's workshops end.
Master Firing 2024 Course led by David Trueb (optional)
At the end of the two weeks led by Kwak Kyungtae, students will have the opportunity to join the Clay Kitchen Portugal wood firing symposium led by David Trueb. This will be a hands on firing workshop where you will participate in all aspects of the wood firing process.
Meet our Co-host
Clay Kitchen Portugal
About Clay Kitchen Portugal
Clay Kitchen Portugal is a place where creative people meet with clay in their veins. In 2019, the center was designed and built by David Trueb with all the necessary facilities to accommodate large groups working in ceramics.
"In October 2020 we built a large wood fired train kiln with a Bourry Firebox and a crossdraft chamber. This kiln has a capacity of up to 750 objects depending on size.
As a creative space we host workshops and meetings primarily about the exchange of ideas, connections and the stimulation of new ceramic techniques. It is important for us to share over privilege of this wonderful place here in Portugal and to inspire others to dive into this infinite world of ceramics that bridges cultures and brings us closer together."
Our Accommodation - Três Marias
We have arranged with the team at Tres Marias to host all of our students during these workshops. With accommodation and meals taken care of on site, students will be able to more fully immerse in clay and get the most out of the workshops. We will have beautiful meals with seasonal ingredients, and a nice balance of eating at the accommodation, in town, and cooking together over good wine and laughter!