Pictured: Peter Callas: Expressionistic Forms artist workshop, Spring 2022


Upcoming workshop topics and dates are listed below.

If you have a suggestion for a workshop, or are interested in teaching, we’re always happy to hear from you. Email us at studio@amoca.org to start the conversation!

Artist Workshop Series

Quarterly workshops focused on artists and their signature techniques and approaches.

October 7 & 8, 2023 • Modular Making w/Natalia Arbelaez

10 AM-4 PM Saturday, & Sunday • $350

During this two-day workshop Natalia Arbelaez will demonstrate her approach to using modular methods of building sculpture while students work on their own projects using the demonstrated techniques. Students are encouraged to bring a few ideas to the workshop so they can best utilize their time over the weekend.

This skill of building–and thinking–modularly is important because it allows for sections of a sculpture to disassemble for firing in smaller kilns as well as for reasons of transportation, shipping, and storage. In conclusion, Natalia will demonstrate creating internal structures post-firing that bring the sculpture together into its finished form.

Basic clay techniques of coil and slab will be used; all levels are welcomed.

Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite tools and a snack/lunch. Clay and select tools will be provided.

This two-day workshop will meet from10:00AM-4:00PM on Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8. Studio access will extend until 8:00PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Once work is dry, AMOCA staff will bisque fire and contact artists for pickup.

About the Artist

Natalia Arbelaez is a Colombian American artist, born and raised in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. from The Ohio State University, with an Enrichment Fellowship. In 2016-2017 she was a Rittenberg Fellow at Clay Art Center; Port Chester, New York and was awarded the Inaugural Artaxis Fellowship that funded a residency to Watershed in Newcastle, ME. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in museums, galleries, and included in various collections, such as the Everson Museum, MAD Museum, Fuller Museum and The ICA Miami. She has been recognized by NCECA as a 2018 Emerging Artist and was a 2018-19 resident artist at the Ceramics Program at, Harvard University where she researched pre-Columbian art and histories. Natalia was an artist in residence at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City where she researched the work of historical and influential women ceramicists of color and continued this research as a 2021 and 2023 Visiting Artist at AMOCA in Pomona, CA. She lives and works in The Mid-Hudson Valley region in NY.

September 8, 9, & 10, 2023 • Experimental Shino w/Tom Coleman

Tom Coleman shared techniques he uses in experimental shino firings and the tricks he’s discovered along the way.

April 7, 2023 • Demonstration with MoonDoBang & Adam Field

Moon Byung Sik (MoonDoBang) and Adam Field demonstrated their methods for throwing a variety of wheel-thrown forms.

January 14-15, 2023 • Mette Maya: Abstractions in Clay

Danish artist Mette Maya visited the AMOCA studios for a two-day workshop on surface exploration and alternative building techniques.

November 19-20, 2022 • Christina Erives: Surface and Approach

Breaking Ground: Women in California Clay artist Chrisina Erives came to the AMOCA studios to offer a two-day workshop on surface and approach.

June 19, 2022 • Demonstration with Shiyuan Xu (Chicago / Hangzhou, China)

Xu came to AMOCA for a one-day workshop following a weeklong residency at Idyllwild Arts Academy. Presented in partnership with the Hot Clay program at Idyllwild Arts.

March 26-27, 2022 • Peter Callas: Expressionistic Forms (New Jersey)

The launch of the Artist Workshop Series featured a special masterclass by artist Peter Callas, internationally renowned for his skill and mastery of wood-firing with the Anagama kiln.

Skill Building Workshop Series

A series of weekend workshops focused on specific skills and techniques.

September 30 & October 1, 2023 • Steins, Beer, & Salt Firing w/T and Jon Pacini

9 AM-2 PM September 30 & 9 AM -4 PM October 1 • $300

This two-day workshop (9 AM to 2PM Saturday and 9AM – 4 PM Sunday) will include a combination of presentations, demonstration, and hands-on participation.

On Saturday, students will learn about the history and functions of beer steins and ale bottles and take a behind the scenes tour of AMOCA’s Mettlach and Private Collections. This will be followed by a Throwing Demo and time for hands-on throwing or handbuilding of beer stein and ale bottle shapes.

On Sunday, after a demonstration in the studio, we’ll decorate our stein lids and make handles to add to our bottles or steins; students will finish their objects to prepare them for salt firing. Sunday afternoon finishes with a presentation on Kannofenbrand, a historic salt kiln site in Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, and beer gardens, followed by a beer tasting experience with our friends from Last Name Brewing (Upland, CA).

The following Friday, October 6th, we will be firing up the Salt Kiln if you would like to come by and check that out as well. This day is not mandatory, but informative nonetheless.

Having some past clay experience will be helpful for attendees. This workshop is open to ceramicists with the ability to throw, or hand build, cylinders. In this class you will learn to improve upon your throwing skills, slip decoration, handle-making and attaching, lid-making, and surface decoration for salt-firing.

Tools, clay, and slip will be provided; additional materials will be available for sale. You are encouraged to bring your favorite tools from home to help with throwing and building.


December 9, 10, & 12, 2023 • Soda Firing w/Johnny Arvizu

Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday • times vary • $350

Saturday, December 9, 9 AM-5 PM (probably later): Glazing, Wadding, Loading, Candling: We will begin with glazing, decorating, and applying flashing slips to our work.** After the work is slipped and glazed we will begin loading the kiln. Once we finish loading we will begin candling and head home! **Each student is encouraged to bring between 5-10 pieces for the kiln, each piece no larger than 9″ in any direction, and pieces in varying sizes up to the max height is recommended. White stoneware or porcelain is recommended.

Sunday, December 10, 8 AM-5 PM: Firing off the kiln! This style of firing will take 10+ hours. We check the kiln every 30-60 minutes. The results will be logged to create an informational document that is shared later on. If you’d like to join for a portion of the day it is suggested to come between 11am – 3pm, as this is the time we generally will spray the soda solution.

While firing the kiln, participants will learn how to:

  • keep safety in mind while participating
  • check the cones and pyrometer for information
  • make adjustments to the damper and gas based on the information gathered

Between checks, Johnny will give instructions on:

  • how the burners work and the different parts they are made of
  • preparing the soda kiln solution
  • cones and how to make cone packs
  • making wadding and kiln wash
  • preparing kiln furniture for the firing
  • maintaining kiln shelves and furniture
  • designing work for these firings, clays, slips, etc.

Tuesday, December 12, 10AM-2PM: The Big Reveal:

We will meet at the kilns to take our first look at the results and discuss what we see. We will unload the kiln, place the work in the studio according to how it was arranged on the shelves, and discuss what we are seeing. Johnny will instruct different methods of cleaning up the pots, removing wadding, and sanding. As a group we will clean up the kiln and kiln pad before packing up our work.

August 26, 27, 30, & September 2, 2023 • Soda Firing w/Nathan Stanfield • times vary • $350

This multi-day workshop will walk you through the process of soda firing, from glazing and wadding to kiln loading, firing, and spraying. Participants will learn how to soda fire, fire their own work, and delve into nuances of the firing process.

August 19, 20, & 26, 2023 • Clay Collage w/Breana Ferreira • times vary • $350

In this 3-day workshop students will created layered surfaces on greenware and bisqueware. Participants will learn how to create underglaze transfers, design paper patterns, and plan out a layered composition.

June 24 & 25, 2023 • Figurative Sculpture w/Biliana Popova • 10 AM–4 PM Sat & Sun • $250

This ceramic sculpture workshop will be full of helpful information on solid sculpting a human figure. The focus will be on interpretation from 2D sketch to 3D format, giving special attention to the anatomy and balance of the sculpture.

June 10, 11, & 17, 2023 • Soda Firing w/Sam Lopez • times vary • $300

This 3-day workshop will introduce students to the soda firing process and will include demonstrations for glazing, loading, firing, and spraying the sodium solution into the kiln.

January 28 & 29, February 1 & 4, 2023 • Soda Firing w/Nathan Stanfield • times vary • $350

This multi-day workshop will walk you through the process of soda firing, from glazing and wadding to kiln loading, firing, and spraying. Participants will learn how to soda fire, fire their own work, and delve into nuances of the firing process.

November 12-13, 2022 • Figurative Sculpture w/Aida Nicole Lugo Cantu • 10 AM–2 PM Sat & Sun • $150

This two-day bilingual workshop (English & Spanish) will include demonstration and hands-on participation. Class will meet 10 AM to 2 PM each day (Saturday and Sunday). Participants will learn hand-building techniques to create small studies of figurative sculptures.

October 22-23, 2022 • Steins, Beer, & Salt Firing w/T and Jon Pacini • 10 AM–3 PM / 10 AM–5PM • $225

Join southern California artists T and Jon Pacini for a Beer Stein-themed weekend! This 2-day workshop will include slide presentations on stein and ale bottle styles and a behind-the-scenes tour of AMOCA’s Mettlach Collection as well as demonstrations and throwing time in the studio. On Saturday, participants will create beer stein and ale bottle shapes on the wheel. On Sunday, we’ll learn lid decoration and handle-making to finish our vessels and get them ready for firing in the salt kiln. The weekend ends with a Sunday afternoon beer tasting.

July 9, 2022 • Architectural Incense Holders w/Eunbi Cho • 10 AM–3 PM • $75

Join Los Angeles-based artist Eunbi Cho for a three-hour skill building workshop. In this workshop, we’ll create architectural incense holders using hand-building and slab techniques.

April 9-10, 2022 • Mold Making w/Colby Charpentier • 10 AM–3 PM • $325

Join artist in residence Colby Charpentier for this two-day workshop will cover designing plaster molds primarily for slip casting and press molding clay. We will go over plaster mixing, hand-ladled molds, and multi-part molds. There will be a combination of demonstration and hands-on participation. Students are asked to bring a few small models and ideas. We will choose one plaster mold project per student to work on through the weekend. Some clay experience is helpful.

February 27, 2022 • Clay Whistles w/Colby Charpentier • 10 AM–1 PM • $75

Join artist in residence Colby Charpentier for a three-hour workshop on whistle-making. This workshop is beginner-friendly and open to ceramicists of all skill levels. Come make some music with us and create your own ceramic ocarina!

November 5-13, 2021 • Soda Firing w/Richard Burkett

Many thanks to Richard Burkett of San Diego for kicking off our return to in person activities with a soda fire workshop November 5-13.

Thanks for your interest in workshops and classes at the AMOCA Ceramics Studio! If you have any questions, requests, or suggestions, send us an email at studio@amoca.org or reach us by calling (909) 865-3146.

Bring Some Culture to Your Inbox

301 N Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91767
909.865.3146 | studio@amoca.org
The Studio is open by appointment only.

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