“Nerikomi Intensive” with Eiko MaedaJanuary 10, 2024
“Learning from the Land: Making Indigenous Vessels” with KC AdamsJanuary 10, 2024
Title: “Salt. Soda, and Surface Decoration” with Lael Chmelyk
Instructor: Lael Chmelyk
Dates: Monday, July 29 – Tuesday, August 6 2024 (9 Days *weekends inclusive*
Registration Cost: $1295 + GST
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 1st 2024
Lodging: $495.00 + GST (check in Sunday, July 28 after 3:00PM– check out Wednesday, August 7th at 10:00AM)
In this nine-day workshop, Lael Chmelyk will take participants through the atmospheric firing process from start to finish. While the firing of salt and soda will be a focus, students will also learn methods and techniques to decorate and apply surfaces to raw pots. Firing to a mid-range temperature in a neutral atmosphere, students will be able to engage with the kiln to decorate in a collaborative way. Glazing and firing will be approached as a step in a larger process rather than a separate task.
Working to enhance and decorate work in all stages of the ceramic process, including slip layering, inlays, resists, glazing, printing, textural elements as well as initial formal considerations in the making will be covered. As well as technical demos, students will begin developing a sense of which imagery/narratives their surfaces will employ. Experience working with clay is required, however experience firing atmospheric kilns is not.
*Please note: This is a mid-range (cone ^6) Salt + Soda Workshop
Lael Chmelyk is a ceramic and fiber artist living in Calgary, Alberta. Raised in Dawson Creek, she began making from an early age, joining a long line of obsessive craftsmen. Starting ceramic classes at the age of fourteen, she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics with Distinction from The Alberta University of Arts in 2020. In 2021 she received a project grant from Canada Council for the Arts to develop a range of soda fired work to lower the environmental impact of the work. Her work focuses on themes surrounding identity, agency over our bodies, chronic illness and the legacies we leave behind. In the last year, her solo exhibition “Haptic Rituals” explored living with endometriosis and the choice to remain childfree through ceramic vessels and quilts.
Craft objects can act as a conjugate for ideas and concepts, and through their function, those ideas become a part of the everyday domestic experience. My functional soda-fired pots have contrasting surfaces that create tension between geometry and organic patterns. Areas of quiet and overwhelm in the decoration invite touch and offer the user a moment of pause and intimate investigation. Referencing botany, I look to understand my place in the world’s classifications. I attempt to catch the user’s attention, to render them in the present through chance or rituals. The intent is to give one the chance to question the place of plants in beauty - but also the place of the environment in one’s values.
By using a soda kiln, I can allow for the kiln and its unexpected nature to share agency over the work. This also echoes the balance between control and chaos that we, as a society, attempt to force on our environment. My work illustrates this balance through moments of chance and instances of control in a duet with the kiln. This balance is central to the work and allows for the ornate surfaces to exist on the forms without overwhelming the experience.
In my fiber practice, I explore ideas of femininity and ideas of otherhood through quilting and natural dyeing. By translating concepts of the female body as a vessel through a matrilineal craft, I can question the status quo of what a woman’s life should look like. Quilting practices are historically centered around familial functions, but within that history, I question whether we motherhood and womanhood are inextricably linked.
Post Secondary Student Discount: 25% off workshop fee ONLY (2 students max with proof of current student ID)
How to Receive Student Discount:
- Purchase the workshop online and then email firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of your current student ID and we can issue a refund for the difference.
- Students can email their current ID to email@example.com and we will send you a promo code to get the discount.