Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Posts Tagged ‘ceramic workshops’

Colorado Art Educators Conference – Master Teacher’s Workshop

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

In October I taught a Master Teacher’s workshop at the Colorado Art Educator’s Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado.   The one thing that made this workshop different from all the workshops I’ve taught is I tried to cut off the top of my thumb right before the workshop started.  As usual, I was a little nervous before the workshop started, running around the last 30 minutes before the workshop trying to get all the odds and ends done before the class started, as I was cutting contact paper for everyone to use to ran the Xacto knife over my thumb and it cut right through my nail and down the corner of my thumb, not a pretty site.  Blood was gushing from my thumb and I was terrified to look at it.  I had a trail of blood from the classroom to the bathroom.  Luckily my teacher friends from Denver and Loveland were there to help me out and clean up the room and finish cutting the contact paper.  The security guard was called, I don’t know why!  And he was very freaked out about the whole ordeal, and saying I needed to go to the hospital, but he would not take me, which was fine, I had friends there, but I kept repeating how he would not take me.  I think he was more freaked out about it than I was.

My friends got some gauze bandages, and wrapped my thumb, by this time everyone taking the workshop was there.  I felt like I shouldn’t leave so I taught the workshop.  Let me tell you, my thumb was killing me.  I got through the three hour workshop and my friends insisted I go to the emergency room.  I agreed, but that was a challeng, Breckenridge in October is the off season, nothing was open, and not even the hospital.  Everyone told us everything shuts down until ski season.  Finally we found an emergency room in Frisco, about 15 miles away.  And the doctor was kind enough to give me five stitches, and tell me that my injury was considered an amputation!!!  

That night was the big Saturday Night Bash and the theme was The Rocky Horror Show, but I didn’t bring anything to dress up, so my friends wouldn’t let me go without a costume, so my thumb became Senor Amputee!

Well, this was my last workshop that I taught; I’m starting to get ready for the next workshop that I’m teaching in Las Vegas at Clay Arts Vegas.  And this nightmare has been on my mind, because in two weeks I will be teaching another workshop.  Hopefully I will not repeat the same show as in Breckenridge!

Spring Workshops at Plinth Gallery

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Beginning in February 2011, Plinth Gallery will host a series of ceramic workshops in the Gallery’s recently remodeled studio space. Three workshops will each emphasize surface decoration and finishing techniques, and will be instructed by the Gallery guest artist for the month.

The series opens on February 5th for a one-day seminar with Shalene Valenzuela. Shalene, whose show, “Recipe for Disaster” is the gallery exhibit for February, will demonstrate a variety of surface-embellishment techniques and application of images. Through slide presentation, lecture and hands-on demonstration, she will share her unique process of illustrating on bisque surfaces and incorporating print aspects with her drawn images.

Shalene earned her MFA in ceramics from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and has recently taught at the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts. A former resident at the Archie Bray Foundation, she currently works at The Clay Studio of Missoula, Montana. Her quirky, humorous narrative vessels have been exhibited nationally.

On April 2, Yoko Sekino-Bove will demonstrate combinations of decoration techniques including sgraffito, carving, stamping, and a variety of glaze painting. Other wet clay surface techniques will include mishima and slip painting. Students will actively participate in this workshop and make a variety of clay stamps to use on their own work. A supply list will be emailed to participants in advance of the workshop. Yoko’s show, “Fragile Immortalitiy” will be the featured exhibit at Plinth for April.

Yoko Sekino-Bove is a 2011 Niche Finalist. She earned her BFA in graphic design from Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan, and worked as a commercial graphic designer in Los Angeles before her passion took her to study ceramics at the University of Oklahoma where she earned her MFA. After serving as an apprentice at Rowantrees Pottery in Maine, then artist-in-residence at the Armory Art Center in Florida, Yoko settled as a studio artist in Washington, PA. Her work has been exhibited at both commercial and educational galleries nationally and internationally and is included in museums and private collections. Her ceramic works are featured in the Lark Books, “500 Cups”, “500 Platters and Chargers”, and a wide variety of periodicals including “American Crafts”, “Ceramics Monthly” and “The Clay Times” magazines.

Connie Norman (that’s me) will conduct the final segment of the series on May 7, 2011. Connie will focus on glazing techniques for terra cotta and white earthenware pottery, using masking tape and other office supplies to cut resist-style designs. Students should bring several pieces of bisque-fired work to experiment with glazing techniques demonstrated in this workshop. Connie’s show, “Snippets of Conversation” will be the May exhibition at Plinth.

Connie, who was born in Japan and raised all over the world, is a graduate of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She studied ceramics in Tokoname, Japan, and her work has been juried into many national shows, including Strictly Functional, Ceramics USA, Origins in Clay, and a solo exhibition at NCECA, 2006. Connie has received numerous fellowships for her work, which has also been published in “Ceramics Monthly” magazine. Most recently, her signature work has been included in Lark Books, “500 Vases”.

Each day-long workshop begins at 9am, ends by 5pm, and includes lunch. Cost is $85 for each seminar, or register for all three sessions for $230. Space is limited to 20 students, so registration will be on a first-come, first served basis and advance payment will guarantee a space. Specific information for each workshop, including any necessary supplies, will be emailed to each student when payment is received. Cancellations will be fully refunded if made by 5pm on the Monday before the workshop. Students will also receive a 10% discount on any Gallery purchases the day of the workshop only. For additional information or to register, contact Plinth Gallery at 303-295-0717, or email

I was asked to give a workshop at Lander Art Center!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
I’m very excited to teach a workshop at the Lander Art Center. I was in a show there three years ago, in 2007.  It will be very fun to go back and see some friends and meet new people.  My friend Deborah Britt another Wyoming potter, wrote the grant and organized everything to get me to Lander.  She and I got to pal around in Philadelphia at NCECA this year.  I hope we have many more trips ahead.

Lander is the home of Sinks Canyon where a geologic phenomenon in which the Popo Agie River vanishes into a large cavern (the Sinks) but reappears in a trout- filled pool, the Rise, about half a mile down the canyon.   I was thinking Todd and Vander could feed the trout during the workshop, but unfortunately the Popo Agie is flooding the area and has been declared a disaster area by Gov. Freudenthal.  I was told that the flooding is dreadful, no  electricity, bridges are out, water mains are broken, and people are being evacuated.  And they are in great peril of losing their home.  Yikes!!  I hope the river receeds fast.

Here is the press release for the workshop…

Connie Norman is a professionally trained instructor and ceramic artist who has taught numerous workshops throughout the West.  She has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and Great Lakes magazines, and was recently commissioned to create art for the Denver International Airport.  Her work will also be featured in the upcoming Lark publication, 500 Vases.
Ms. Norman will be conducting a two-day, hands-on workshop featuring hand-building and glazing techniques.
When:  Saturday, June 19 (10 am-4 pm) and Sunday, June 20 (10 am-2 pm)
Where:  Lander Art Center, 224 Main Street, Lander, WY
Cost:  $60 per person (includes materials, some experience encouraged)
A welcoming reception for the artist will be held Saturday evening.  Please call Deborah Britt (307-332-9771) or Lander Art Center (307-332-5772) for details.
This project is partially funded by the Wyoming Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and Lander Art Center.
(Here is a little about the Sinks I lifted from a Wyoming tourism site.) At Sinks Canyon State Park outside Lander, a major river just disappears. The Middle Fork of the Popo Agie (pronounced Po-Po-zsha, meaning Tall Grass River in the Crow language) rushes out of Wyoming’s largest mountain range, the Wind River Mountains, and into Sinks Canyon. It flows merrily along for quite some time until it suddenly turns into a large cave and, as the name of the park and canyon suggest, sinks underground. It isn’t until ¼ of a mile later that the river reemerges at a large, calm pool called “the Rise.”

For a long time, no one was even sure the water at the Rise was the same water that disappeared into the Sink, but then scientists did dye tests and proved the two were one and the same. Tests also revealed more water emerges at the Rise than goes in at the Sink. No one knows where the water goes for the two hours it takes to get from the Sink to the Rise though … but that’s just fine: curiosities and oddities are even more curious and odd when they can’t be fully explained.