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Organically Inspired. . .

On the shoulders of giants

Wendy McManus, Pam East and Dela Coward in Brasstown, NC at the John C. Campbell Folk School, June 2009

I’m always in awe when I hear that some people start their metal clay journey all on their own.  I had read dozens of books and articles but I still didn’t feel confident buying clay and starting out alone.  Instead, I headed off to the John C. Campbell Folk School for a week long introduction to metal clay course with Pam East.  It was a big investment of time and money, but I have never regretted it for a moment.  Pam  is a Master Instructor with Art Clay and it’s easy to see why.  She is a tremendously talented and patient teacher.  I’ve always felt that this solid foundation in metal clay was the best possible start to my work in this medium.  Thanks, Pam!

After this awesome experience, I was on a quest to learn from the best teachers in the metal clay community. So far, I’ve had the privilege to study with Barbara Becker-Simon, Gordon Uyehara, Pam East (a second time), Celie Fago, Terry Kovalcik, Jackie Truty, Holly Gage and Chris Darway.

You can see from the captions that I’ve traveled a great deal to take these classes.  If you are an artist trying to perfect your craft, I can’t stress this enough.  Invest in yourself.  Invest in your art.  Take the time and find the money to study with the best teachers you can find.  Push yourself outside your comfort zone and learn stuff you might not ever use.  Trust me.  These skills and influences will turn up in your work when you least expect it.

My skills with metal clay have progressed quickly, mostly because of what I learned from these awesome teachers.  These experiences are irreplaceable.

Wendy McManus and Barbara Becker-Simon, at the Florida Society of Goldsmiths studio in DeLand, FL, fall of 2009.
Gordon Uyehara and Wendy McManus at Gayle Frank's home in Bradenton, FL for a workshop hosted by the Florida Suncoast PMC Guild, March 2010
Celie Fago and Wendy McManus in Celie's Vermont studio, September 2010.
Wendy McManus and Pam East in Pam's home teaching studio near Atlanta, GA, January 2011.
Terry Kovalcik and Wendy McManus at the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA, April 2011.
Holly Gage and Wendy McManus at Erin Harris' Wishlist studio, Cazenovia, NY, April 2012
Wendy McManus and Chris Darway in a pre-conference class before the 2012 PMC Conference in Florence, Ky, June 2012.



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