The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Pottery Amplifies Community: a Wood Fire Workshop with Sam Taylor and Mark Shapiro

WHAT: Wood Fire Pottery Workshop with Sam Taylor and Mark Shapiro
WHERE: Craigarden, 501 Hurricane Rd, Keene, NY
WHEN: Sunday October 21, 2018 6:00 PM to Saturday, October 2, 2018 10:00 AM

Join us for a week-long conversation that will be filled with inquiry, humor, and compassion as we focus on our lives as potters, makers, and human beings.


The idea that "together we can do it" started for Sam Taylor and Mark Shapiro 30 years ago when they built their first wood kiln together at the Stonepool Pottery. They’ve been at it ever since. In 2014 Sam and Mark joined with a group of potters to found POW (Pottery on Wheels!). In their own studio practices, Sam and Mark have been continuously evolving ways of bringing their work into communities, from rural classrooms, to inner city neighborhoods, to art centers and craft schools across the country.  They have been frequent exhibitors at every major craft venue in the US and renowned workshop presenters; many of their favorite experiences have involved collaborations together.

As Sam says, "Teaching with Mark is special. It's an ongoing conversation. I love to disagree with Mark [not because he is wrong (even though he is a lot) but...] because it leads to the next question. "  This workshop is a result of the dialog that Mark and Sam have been engaged in for years. 

This very special week-long workshop focuses attention on pottery as a tool for community building.  Participants will quickly create and strengthen their relationship to each other over the harvest, preparation, and enjoyment of many farm-to-fork meals, a wood kiln firing, and a team-building Pots To People project.  Through this project, participants will contribute to the strengthening of our local Adirondack community by designing and making pottery to give away to families in need. 

A Very Full Week:  Pots + Food + Community

Participants arrive on Sunday evening to a welcome meal harvested from our own farm and partner farms and prepared by our culinary artist-in-residence.  Each participant brings their own bisque-ware to be slipped, glazed, wadded and loaded on Monday under the guidance of Mark and Sam.  In addition to prepping for a Tuesday wood kiln firing, we'll source fresh, seasonal ingredients from the farm and farm store, divvy the chores, and meet the Craigardan staff that will assist in our journey to fire, make, and eat.

Tuesday's all-day firing will culminate in a kiln-side community BBQ dinner, curated and prepared by participants with assistance from Craigardan's professional farm and culinary staff.  Our Adirondack friends and neighbors will join us in celebrating the process and in sharing the feast.  While we wait for the kiln to cool, we'll spend Wednesday and Thursday teaming up to design and execute the Pots To People collective project in the studio + in the kitchen; watching demos, making pots, touring local farms, and eating beautiful, nourishing food. 

On Friday we'll unload the kiln, hold collective and individual critiques, and enjoy a closing, celebratory meal as a new clay community, strengthened by what we've created together in receiving and in giving. 

The Craigardan Experience

Participants are encouraged to experience Craigardan's interdisciplinary approach to life and art through hands-on participation in the on-farm harvesting of meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables, as well as through team culinary preparations, and complete access to a variety of studios, spaces, and perspectives during the week.  Accommodations are in the simple and elegant Farmhouse and Studiohouse; comfortable and spacious buildings with stunning views of the Adirondack's highest peaks.  Both houses have shared kitchen, living, and laundry rooms available for artists.  The kitchens will be stocked with farm-fresh ingredients for self-serve breakfasts and snacks.

Registration and Fees

*Two need-based, $600 scholarships are available!  Submit the application form below prior to registering.

$700 Day-Participant Only:  Monday through Friday  |  includes instruction, all materials and firings, and most meals (lunch and dinner, including Sunday eve welcome dinner)

$1200 In-Residence, Double Room:  Sunday eve through Saturday morning  |  includes instruction, all materials and firings, all meals, and a shared room with shared bath

$1600 In-Residence, Single Room:  Sunday eve through Saturday morning  |  includes instruction, all materials and firings, all meals, and a private room with private bath

All skill levels are welcome, and no farming or culinary experience is necessary.  We only require a willingness to be part of the group experience.

Maximum of 12 artists  |  Each participant may bring up to 8 cubic ft. of bisque ware for the wood/salt kiln firing.

To register, click the button below to make payment in full via credit card.  Full refunds will only made for cancellations at least 30 days prior to workshop date. 


*Two need-based, $600 scholarships are available!  Submit the application form below.  Application deadline:  August 1st


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