Beth Cavener Stichter workshop.


How do you spell epiphany? I’ve been in the conceptual weeds for a couple of months — trying to find my way to forms that speak to me, and straining against my technical boundaries. My studio situation was getting me down, too. I work in a community studio, which is wonderful and challenging at the same time. So many bodies milling about and not a lot of space for reflection, no room to spread out, no place to post sketches for contemplation.

This workshop was a revelation. Beth started with little formal clay training. She forged her own way with clay, failing a lot and developing techniques that aren’t supposed to work (if you listen to clay lore). Her process is remarkable. She makes these often enormous pieces that are completely hollow when she’s finished. They start as solid masses of clay thrown onto carefully constructed armatures. The mass of clay is then cut apart and each section is hollowed until the walls are 1/4″ thick. The thin walls make for a stronger piece, because the stress is spread out over a larger surface area.

Once the hollowing is complete, she puts the form back together again. After some adjustments, the piece is often cut into a couple of sections for firing. The process continues after the firing with grinding, reassembly, cold finishing, and sometimes porcelain slip application with a refire. Amazing.

Her risk-taking, explorer attitude and self-deprecating good humor really got me fired up to get out of my own way in the studio and forge a path to my own unique creative process. Thanks for a great workshop, Beth.

Beth Cavener - at work

Here’s an image of Beth in her Washington Studio. Notice the Plastilene mockette on the far right.

Below are some images from the tile show going on at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester NY, where the workshop was held.



: debra :

8 thoughts on “Beth Cavener Stichter workshop.

  1. I would love watching you in person. I throw on a wheel but would change if I could do what you do.

    1. Hi Melanie. I’m located in Boston. I’m not teaching at the moment but will post if I schedule something.

  2. Are you conducting any workshops in the U.S.A. soon ? If not, could I possibly help you lay up clay to one of your sculptures. I am also a sculptor. I live in Colorado. I have admired your work for quite a few years. I saw your work in New York in 2005, and knew you would be a top artist in your field. I would
    love to come help you in your studio.
    Peg King
    7097 Skunk Alley
    Evergreen, CO 80439
    +1 (303) 674-6764
    +1 (303) 823-5164

    1. Hi Peg. I’m out of Boston, Massachusetts. I haven’t been conducting workshops lately, but will post if I get one scheduled! I welcome visitors, if you find yourself in Boston.

  3. I love Beth’s work – how fabulous that you attended her workshop! And now I’ve discovered your work as well!

    1. Thank you! I feel so fortunate to have experienced her work. It opened up the idea of creating my own methods.

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