Carol Gouthro – Handbuilding a Segmented, Pleated, Sculptural Form

Hi, my name is Carol Gouthro, and in this workshop I will be showing you how I use segmented moulds to handbuild and assemble one of my botanically inspired, flowering gourd forms using pleated slabs.

Materials List

  • Plaster Segment Mold
  • Metal Rib
  • Rubber Rib
  • Knife
  • Scoring Tool
  • Needle tool
  • Wooden tools

After this workshop you could be making amazing work like this:

I have a strong interest in natural forms, and minutiae. I am drawn to color, ornament, embellishment, pattern, and texture. When I start working on a new sculptural piece, I am often responding to something that I have seen that captivates me. It might be something very small, something in my garden, a seed, or flower petal, or it might be something I have seen in my tool drawer like the elegant line of a plastic French curve, or I might be stimulated by one of the many clay bits and pieces of detritus that build up on my studio shelves.  As I start working I do not have an intent or interest in reproducing or replicating anything that I see but only in abstracting and translating these stimuli and feelings into a tangible object.

I often begin working on a new piece by making very rudimentary sketches. These are usually simple line drawings with lots of notes about surface and form. I think about form and surface at the same time. Texture is often a component in my work and I need to plan on how I am going to incorporate this before I begin building. I use a lot of texture slabs to wrap skins of texture onto volumetric forms and this has to be planned out ahead of time. Next I make small studies or bits and pieces of details I might want to incorporate into my piece to see if I think they will work.

Once I have thought through some of the details I begin with the basic form. I work primarily with slabs and I often use either a plaster press mold or wooden drop mold to begin building my form and from that point on I work intuitively letting one thing lead to the next, adding details and/or eliminating them as I go. I sometimes end up making something very different than I had planned. I leave it open so it can evolve as I go.

Color and pattern for me are like food. I must have them to thrive and therefore they are very important in my work.  They are also the most difficult part of my work. I am very deliberate in my approach to using them. Color is emotional for me and is another vehicle for expression.  I often have to fire my pieces several times to get the color results I am happy with.   Color can pulsate on a curved textured form, or draw the eye into an interior space. Pattern can accentuate an undulating form and create movement in a static form.

I am trying to balance strength, energy and tension in my recent pieces and express my need to communicate and create.

When you buy this workshop, you get:

  • Watch my Live Online Workshop
    • The workshop is around 1 hour 10 minutes long.
  • Bonus Q&A
    • Watch my bonus Live Q&A where I answered questions about my process face-to-face
  • Lifetime Access to the Replays
    • The workshop and the Q&A are recorded, and you will have lifetime access to it. You can watch it online, or download it to your device to watch offline at any time

About Carol Gouthro

Carol Gouthro, a graduate of the School of Art, University of Manitoba, Canada, is a Seattle based ceramic artist and educator who has been maintaining a studio practice and exhibiting for over 40 years. Carol has an extensive exhibition record of solo, invitational, and juried exhibitions, including the recent 2 year installation of her work in the forum of  the Bellevue Arts Museum.  Other recent shows include Profusion at Eutectic Gallery, Portland, Oregon,2018, The Subversive Flower, NCECA  2018, Pittsbrugh, Pa,  Biomophics, at  Studio Amoca, Pasadena,Ca, The Evocative Garden NCECA National  2017 Portland, curated by Gail Brown,  and Function, Form & Fantasy, Ceramics from the Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger Collection at the Flint Institute of Art, May-Aug 2016.  

Her ceramic works have been published in many books and periodicals including the March 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly with a feature article on her work by Matthew Kangas , Carol Gouthro at Gallery IMA and the March 2018 issue with a feature article by Heidi McKenzie,  Ebullience and Gusto with Carol Gouthro. Her works are included in many public and private collections including the Racine Art Museum, Flint Institute of Art, Kamm Foundation Collection, and Kolvo/Sullivan Ceramic Collection Carol teaches workshops internationally, teaching at La Meridiana International Ceramic School  Italy ,May 2019 and at the Gaya Ceramic Art Center in Bali Indonesia in August 2019. In the Seattle area she has been a ceramics instructor at the Seward Park Clay Studio and the Kirkland Arts Center for over 25 years.


  • Instant Access.
  • Course Certificate
  • Lifetime Access. Download or watch online
  • +914 enrolled
  • Price: $39

Ratings and Reviews

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1 Ratings
What's your experience? We'd love to know!
Maria Botero
Posted 1 year ago

Wonderful work, love it, seeing her skill in modeling this organic piece very carefully, beautiful result. I wish I could see her enamel work as well

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