Randy Brodnax and Don Ellis

June 18th – 22nd, AND a separate workshop June 25th – 29th, 2018

Folks can register for either one of these workshops, or both. They are two separate workshops.

Fast Fire Pottree June 18th – 22nd

Back by popular demand, Randy and Don will share every aspect of fast-fired pottery that over sixty years of knowledge can bring. This will be an action packed, humorous, and intensively informative workshop. Each artist will share their philosophies and lifestyles while demonstrating a wide variety of throwing, decorating, and firing techniques.

Randy will transform huge amounts of clay into amazing lightweight pots, all the while telling stories about his experiences in the swamp! His narrative ultimately appears on the vessel he is creating. At the same time, Don will be creating and altering forms and demonstrating several surface decoration techniques. The interaction between these two characters has been described as “the best comedy act in town”.

Firings may include: raku, copper matt luster, alcohol reduction, fuming with chlorides, horsehair, wood, low-fire salt saggar firing, lichen glazes, and more. If you want to expand your throwing abilities and create interesting new forms while having a blast all week, this workshop is for you.

Functionally Divergent: A Tale of Two Potters June 25th – 29th

This course is all about functional pots.  Pots that are an integral part of our lives.  Pots that we cook our breakfast in, drink our coffee out of, and pots that we take our nourishment from.  We will concentrate on form, function, technique, aesthetics, and finding one’s own voice in clay.  We will work on creating movement with thick slips and surface decoration with the drawn line.  We will concentrate on both soda firing and cone six oxidation firings with bisque pieces that you will bring with you.  We will also throw pieces daily.  As usual, Don and Randy will share their conflicting viewpoints and colorful stories on every aspect of the clay process.



Randy w Don Raku

Don Ellis with his pots





RANDY BRODNAX is one of the best-known potters in Texas. He has specialized in Raku for many years using natural imagery and drawing upon a wild fantasy world of creatures of the mind. He is a very inventive and intuitive technician, and is a master in the art of kiln building. Born near Alexandria, Louisiana, Randy attended Northwestern State University as an all-American collegiate football player and graduated with degrees in art education and special education. He has participated in many exhibitions throughout the U.S. and is a dedicated and humorous teacher.

DON ELLIS, from Farmington, New Mexico, has for over 30 years been striving to perfect his innovative approach as a functional potter and glazing expert.  He is a technician at firing and controlling every aspect of this approach. Don attended McMurry University and the University of North Texas and graduated with degrees in education and ceramics.  He returned to McMurry University to chair the art department for 8 years.  He and his wife, Donna, and son, Dalton, owned Cloudcroft Pottery for 20 years.  He has participated in many exhibits and workshops throughout the United States. Don now teaches at San Juan College, Farmington, NM and is the Fine Arts Division Chair.

For those registered in the workshop

You should bring the following:

  • 12 bisque fired pieces not to exceed 8×8”. At least 8 of them should be suitable for quick cooling, (not necessarily heavily grogged), and 4 of them should be made out of a smooth bodied clay. You’ll get more work fired if the work you bring is smaller.
  • Pottery tools
  • Raku gloves if you have them
  • Clothing suitable for Raku i.e. long pants, closed shoes, long sleeved shirt or jacket, bandana, etc. (Shorts and sandals are not recommended when Rakuing).
  • Any other things you normally need in the studio: apron, towel, a notebook, etc.
  • Randy and Don make dinner Monday – Thursday nights. Optional $30 for dinners.

Your tuition covers one bag of clay, glazes, materials, and firings. Additional clay may be purchased for $10 a bag.