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Sculpture Workshop with Debra Fritts

Last weekend at the store, ceramic sculptor Debra Fritts presented her “Head Talk” workshop.

Debra Fritts sculpting the head

Debra shared with participants how she forms her busts and portraits. She also demonstrated how she builds up rich surfaces using oxides, engobes, raw clays, and underglaze.

Debra Fritts sculpting the head

The way Debra mixes different types of surface treatments, like adding dry clay to wet, was so refreshing. Throughout the workshop, Debra emphasized being “present” with the work. She began the workshop with her favorite quote from composer John Cage:

When you start working, everybody is in your studio—the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas—all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you’re lucky, even you leave.

While she works, she balances a critical eye with spontaneity. It was an inspired weekend!

Head in progress

Debra Fritts finished demo piece

If Debra Fritts is offering a workshop in your area, take it. I’m inspired to get in the studio and work with the techniques I’ve learned. I’ll be sharing some discoveries with you all soon.

Check out more images from the workshop on our Flickr set.

What do you think about John Cage’s quote? Do you have any tips or thoughts on being present when creating? Let us know in the comments.

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