Learn to form, finish clay art

July 31, 2014 by Anonymous

You can transform a lump of clay into beautiful, useful pottery with the techniques you’ll learn in a noncredit “Clay Art” class on Tuesday mornings, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., this fall at Northland Pioneer College’s Show Low Campus, 1001 W. Deuce of Clubs, in the Aspen Center, room 104.

Michael Sweeney
Michael Sweeney

With one-on-one instruction from master potter Michael Sweeney, you’ll learn how to form and finish clay art. All skill levels, ages 12 and up, benefit from the knowledge he has gained during his lifetime of pottery making.

“Beginning students will gain the basic knowledge to form and finish pieces, with an emphasis on wheel-thrown forms. For the advanced student, it will provide an intensive studio environment to innovate and expand their techniques, including the mixing of their own glazes. I want to share with NPC art students what I’ve learned over a lifetime of pottery making,” Sweeney explains.

“Michael, with his laid-back attitude and willingness to help, was awesome,” commented one student after attending his “Clay Art” class.

You can enroll for a full 16-week course (reference ART 099x-94196), Aug. 19 through Dec. 2, for $220, which includes a $20 lab fee for glazes and kiln firings. Two 8-week sessions are also available, Aug. 19 through Sept. 30 (reference ART 099x-94194) or Oct. 7 through Dec. 2 (reference ART 099x-94195) for $110 each. There will be no class Nov. 11 when the college is closed for the Veteran’s Day holiday. Students must bring their own basic clay tools.

Sign up for the Clay Art course at least three days before the class starts to ensure it is not cancelled due to insufficient enrollment. Register at any NPC location or by phone, 524-7459 or (800) 266-7845 ext. 7459, during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Sweeney has over 40 years of experience in ceramics. While attending college, he apprenticed under master potter Gurujan Singh in Laguna Beach, CA., and also taught ceramics at the Experimental College at the University of California – Irvine. A Spanish and Cultural Anthropology major in college, he spent 15 months in Central America, studying Mayan Art and Culture.

In 1987, Sweeney began attending ceramics classes at NPC. After 11 semesters, he built a kiln and set up a studio in his home, offering informal lessons. Feeling the need for inspiration and the company of other potters, he came back to NPC, studying under instructors Lee Sweetman and Sharon Brush, and for the past several years, serves as a studio aide. Several of his ceramics pieces were included in faculty Talon Gallery exhibitions.

NPC’s Community and Corporate Learning Division provides personal interest and specialized corporate training throughout NPC's service area. For more information about noncredit, personal interest classes, contact Loyelin Aceves, community learning specialist, (800) 266-7845, ext. 6244, or email or click on the "Noncredit Classes {Learning Adventures" link. For corporate training, contact Royce Kincanon, corporate learning coordinator, (800) 266-7845, ext. 6239, or email.

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