Pottery Making with Steve Smith

Posted 13/03/01 in NEWS

Pottery enthusiasts were in for a treat when they signed up for this year’s Pottery Workshop with Steve Smith.  Week one at the Woodland Cultural Centre had us working in the traditional method of molding red clay without the benefit of the potter’s wheel.  The wide variety of shapes and sizes were a testament to the diversity of talented artists in attendance.  No matter how long you’ve been “throwing” pots there’s always something new, something elusive, something challenging to learn.

Week two at the Talking Earth Pottery on Second Line at Ohsweken brought out each person’s creative diversity.  You can never predict what you’ll carve till you embrace your pot and feel the difference between drawing on paper and carving into clay.  The morning was spent cutting traditional and contemporary designs into the pots we “threw” in week one.  In the afternoon we went on to scrafitto. 

Yes!  Scrafitto.  We carefully selected a white pot from a new array “thrown” by Steve on a potter’s wheel.  The pot was gently dipped in brown slip and burnished by the expert.  We then removed the dark slip to expose the white clay beneath with freshly sharpened razor blade tools and created some of the most beautiful designs you’ll find anywhere.

The potters in the group talked clay composition, hardness, and availability, kiln temperatures and other technical mumbo jumbo while the rest of us contented ourselves with the “creative process”.  All of us asked to be put on the waiting list for the next workshop. 

Thank you Steve, and thank you Woodland for the wonderful Scrafitto experience.


Virve Wiland is the Librarian at the Woodland Cultural Centre and one of the recent participants in Pottery Making with Steve Smith.   This two day workshop was held both at Woodland and Steve's studio Talking Earth Pottery.  For further information about upcoming arts-based workshops at Woodland please check the website regularly and join our contact list.