Ceramics Workshop with Magdalene Odundo, OBE – Part I

A wonderful opportunity came through Hawaii Craftsmen for me to attend Magdalene Odundo’s ceramics Master Workshop appeared and I am happy I was able to accept. I am currently Artist-in-Residence at Ark of the Unicorns’ alternative gallery space in the Chinatown Artists Lofts and her workshop has been an enriching experience for me.

Magdalene is a world renown ceramicist and this workshop placed clay in my hands for the third time in my life. It was set up for all mediums and many of the things taught in the class apply to other areas of ones life. I attended the Wet Clay Demo at Honolulu Museum of Art School and later watched her create our first project; an ostrich egg style vessel.

In the ceramics studio at Chozen Ji Zen Buddhist Temple, she made it look sooooo easy!! So with great excitement I started in on my very own ostrich egg style vessel!!

From a big square of clay I started hand-building as I saw Magdalene do. It started out well, it really did. But as I worked the clay sides up, it also ventured out. Up and out, up and further out, until it was hopeless. My inexperience with clay became glaringly obvious.

Falling back on my textile & sewing skills I chose to create three large tucks into the bowl shape bringing the circumference in. Not a pretty solution but it worked!

This is where we ended for the day as I left to contemplate where I went wrong and how I was going to bring the edges in as she demonstrated.

We came back the next day to the ceramics workshop at Chozen Ji Buddhist Temple and dug in. I know I wasn’t forceful enough initially with the hard clay so I started there with my forming. Between that and using Magdalene’s techniques I figured it out!! Super happy I was able to make this piece happen. A lot of character created by those tucks and the unusual opening. Not the prettiest, but I did it!

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A video of the completed place:

Watch for Part II – More adventures in Ceramics with Magdalene Odundo & other places to find art workshops in Hawaii.

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