for CERF+
September 20, 21, 22, 2013
Philadelphia, PA

A Conference Dedicated to Handbuilding with Clay



A Down to Earth Event to benefit

Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+)
(read more about CERF+ at the bottom of the page)

• Handbuilding, Slip Decorating, Underglaze Inlay, Slip and Brushwork, among other Surface Decorating Techniques

• A Wealth of Practical Techniques, Tips & Advice
• “Philadelphia Clay” Exhibition of Philadelphia Studio Potters
• An Open Dialogue with the Presenters

• Slide Presentations, Sources of Inspiration, Pots 

• Tools, Books, Community, & Building New Friendships
This is a demonstration only format. Video projectors will be used
for best viewing from any seat.

To be Held at Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA
(A suburb of Philadelphia)

The Exhibition “Philadelphia Clay” is sponsored by The Clay Club
of Montgomery County Community College.

Organized by Sandi Pierantozzi in conjunction with
Montgomery County Community College



Lana Wilson, a passionate handbuilder, has taught over 150 workshops in the U.S., Israel, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, been in over 185 shows and has written a column for Clay Times magazine since 1996. She is the author of Ceramics: Shape and Surface and demonstrated at 2003 National Conference for Education in the Ceramic Arts. She was on the board of Craft Emergency Relief Fund for years and is now on the board of Penland School of Crafts. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally. After graduating from Occidental College she went on to California College of Arts for a B.F.A in painting and then a Masters of Arts in ceramics from Goddard Graduate Program. She taught in the San Diego Community colleges for 24 years and currently gives workshops and works daily in her studio. She has appeared twice on Discovery Channel to extol the delights of working in clay.

Handbuilding Demo with Lana Wilson
Lana will demo her layered colored slip and sgraffito process that yields a shibori painterly look and will share the simple formulas for the colored slips and the glazes used. Also offered: unusual construction methods with soft slabs of clay to create bowls, cups and her favorite three fast easy high success techniques. Also included: use of a sink mat with stamps for textured functional ware, multi-level tiles. Handouts offered and laughter assumed. Lana’s book and DVD will be available. Her work can be seen at www.lanawilson.com



Vince Pitelka has been professionally involved in ceramics for almost forty years. After a ten-year career as a studio potter in Blue Lake, California, Vince returned to school in 1985 for his MFA in ceramics at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  At U-Mass he became fascinated with the use of pattern in ceramics, and developed techniques using bisque stamps and inlaid colored clays for creating highly detailed pattern and imagery.  Vince has taught at Northeastern University in Boston and North Dakota State University in Fargo.  For the past eighteen years he has been at Tennessee Technological University’s Appalachian Center for Craft, located in the highlands of Middle Tennessee, where he is Professor of Art and Head of the Clay Program. At the Center Vince has continued with the exploration of pattern on vessel forms, often incorporating found or fabricated parts installed after the glaze firing.  Recent work includes slab- and coil-constructed vessels employing intricate impressed patterns and textures, reinterpreting traditional utilitarian and industrial storage and pouring vessels.  Vince is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and has exhibited his work and taught workshops throughout the US and internationally.  Since 1995 Vince has been an active participant in the Clayart Internet discussion forum.  His column “Tool Times” appears quarterly in Clay Times magazine and his book Clay: A Studio Handbook, was published in 2001 by the American Ceramic Society.

Handbuilding Demo with Vince Pitelka
Vince will demonstrate the soft/stiff-slab-construction techniques he uses.  He will talk a bit about impressing pattern with bisque stamps and he will manipulate some impressed soft slabs to show how he handles them, and then he will assemble the leather-hard components into a finished pitcher.
The pieces pictured in all the images are slab-built from stoneware clay and soda-fired to cone-6 in a crossdraft gas kiln.  (Images of work shot by John Lucas) Learn more about Vince at http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/



Originally from a small town in southeast Nebraska, Chandra DeBuse earned a degree in psychology before discovering her love for making pottery.   She studied ceramics at Penland School of Crafts and was a special student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before receiving her MFA from the University of Florida in 2010.  Chandra completed consecutive year-long residencies at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, FL and at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.  During this time, Chandra was named an Emerging Artist through the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA, 2012) and also was named an emerging artist in the May 2012 issue of Ceramics Monthly magazine. Chandra moved back to the Midwest in June of 2012 and established a ceramics studio in Kansas City, MO.  She is currently working full-time as a studio potter and educator, preparing for national shows, workshops, and sales.  Recently, Chandra was an exhibiting artist and demonstrator at Northern Clay Center’s American Pottery Festival in Minneapolis, MN.  This past November, Chandra exhibited through Sherrie Gallery at SOFA Chicago, where she presented a lecture on the challenges and opportunities of emerging studio potters.

Handbuilding Demo with Chandra DeBuse
Chandra DeBuse creates playful pottery with illustrated surfaces.  Chandra will share her soft-slab construction method, showing how she uses readily available materials such as plywood and craft foam to design and create voluminous platters, servers and trays.  Using her sketchbook as a springboard, Chandra will discuss strategies for decorating the 3-dimensional surface.  By demonstrating underglaze inlay, slip and brushwork techniques, Chandra will reveal how she energizes the clay through narrative imagery and pattern, engaging the viewer in exploration of the piece.  As she develops ideas, Chandra strives to find that un-selfconscious low-risk behavior, known as play.  Throughout her demonstration, Chandra will cite examples of how play, as process, pushes her work forward. To see more of Chandra’s work go to www.chandradebuse.com.



Mitch Lyons earned his Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Ceramics from Tyler School of Art, and his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Graphics from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His clay monoprints can be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Woodmere Museum, American University and the University of Delaware.  Lyons has had exhibitions of his work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Virginia museum of Fine Arts; Noyes Museum, New Jersey; Kalmar Lans Museum, Kalmar, Sweden; and the Vonderau Museum, Fulda, Germany. He is a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council of the arts Visual Arts Grant. He has taught at West Chester University, Moore College of Art, Rowan University, Alfred University, and the University of Delaware. In the past 10 years he has led over 100 workshops.

Handbuilding Demo with Mitch Lyons
Mitch will show the participants the broomstick technique that he developed making a slab cylinder without a seam. He will add texture and colored slips and colored clays to the “broomstick” while forming the clay. The reason Mitch developed this simple technique was for two reasons. One, it was a natural way of adding color, texture, surface, and spirit to the clay before it was formed so he could arrive closer to the way nature explains it: a way of unifying the complete form to the surface. Second, it eliminated adding color to the finished form,[glazing], since the color was already integrated. To see more of Mitch’s prints and pots go to www.mitchlyons.com/



Sandi Pierantozzi is a studio potter in Philadelphia, PA. She began making pots in 1984 at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, where she first became an Associate, and then a Resident Artist.  In 1993 she was chosen as an Emerging Talent presenter at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and was a Featured Demonstrator at that conference in 2001.  She has presented at numerous conferences around the country. She has also received a Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her awards include the Hammill & Gillespie Purchase Award in the Ceramics Monthly International Ceramics Competition in 1999, the People’s Choice Award in the Strictly Functional Pottery Show in 1998, and she was the Fleisher Challenge winner in 1996.  Her work is in The American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA, The Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred, Roger D. Corsaw Collection of Functional American Ceramics, Alfred University, Alfred, NY, The Permanent Collection of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, Texas, The Permanent Collection of Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama, and in many private collections throughout the country. Sandi has taught at Penland School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and teaches workshops nationwide.  Her work has been included in over a dozen books on Pottery. She and her husband, Neil Patterson, also a potter, share a studio, “Neighborhood Potters,” in the Art Museum area of Philadelphia.

Handbuilding Demo with Sandi Pierantozzi
Demonstrations will include forming techniques that use circular and rectangular templates, and the method of making various parts fit together. Through making and combining cylindrical and conical parts, a variety of forms will be shown. Alternate ways of treating the bottom of a pot with regard to added feet or foot rings will be included, as well as various types of handles made from slabs and coils. Over the past couple of years Sandi has been exploring surface decoration with colored slips and slip trailing, and will demonstrate this technique sharing what she has learned from her trial and error.  Good craftsmanship is important, so there will be much attention paid to detail and finishing touches.  To find out about “CircleMatic Form Finder, 24 circular, flexible, durable, laminated templates that Sandi has created to explore forms made with parts based on a circle, go to: www.circlematic.com


“PHILADELPHIA CLAY” exhibition, sponsored by the Clay Club of Montgomery County Community College will be featured in the beautiful gallery at the Art Barn during the conference.  “Philadelphia Clay” is an exhibition showcasing some of Philadelphia’s finest potters.  Exhibiting artists are:  Jerry Bennett, Rebecca Chappell, Jimmy Clark, Naomi Cleary, Michael Connelly, Peter Cunicelli, Ryan Greenheck, Lana Heckendorn,  Angela Klaerner-Clark, Kathryn Narrow, Lisa Naples, Neil Patterson, Daniel Ricardo Teran, Janice Strawder, Jen Wankoff, Royce Yoder.


HANDBUILT 2013 Schedule

About The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+)

CERF+ accomplishes its mission through direct financial and educational assistance to craft artists including emergency relief assistance, business development support, and resources and referrals on topics such as health, safety, and insurance. CERF+ develops, promotes, and maintains resources for emergency readiness and recovery that benefit all artists. CERF+ also advocates, engages in research, and backs policy that supports craft artists’ careers. CERF+ is working with partner organizations to build a better safety net for artists across the United States. For More info on CERF+ go to www.craftemergency.org/

By participating in this conference you are making a difference by helping CERF+ with their mission to support Craft Artists with many aspects of their professional lives.


Onsite registration is Friday, Sept. 20 from 5 to 6pm and
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 8:00 to 8:30am

* If you register onsite Lunch is not included since the orders had to be in a week in advance.  The cafeteria will be open for lunch purchases or you can bring your own.

Registration Includes all Conference Activities and Lunch on Saturday & Sunday.

(Sorry, no cancellation refunds will be given unless requested in writing
 prior to September 1, 2013. All refunds will be minus a $50 processing fee.) 
Please make refund requests to Sandi Pierantozzi at handbuiltevent@gmail.com.

Hope to see you there!

Montgomery County Community College
340 Dekalb Pike • Blue Bell, PA 19422

“HANDBUILT” Organized by Sandi Pierantozzi
Contact: handbuiltevent@gmail.com

Click here to Check out details from the first “HANDBULT” for Cerf+
held in Semptember, 2009.

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