Drew Caines – Handbuilding complex surfaces

The workshop is taking place on Wednesday 30th November 2022

Hi my name is Drew Caines and I am a ceramic artist based in Leeds in the north of England. I have almost 30 years experience playing with clay and I love it! Especially the way it takes pattern and texture. In this workshop I will be showing you how to combine some exciting free form handbuilding techniques in a simple process to build up satisfyingly complex surfaces. I will demonstrate how to use found objects to create pattern and texture, also how to make and use simple bisque sprig moulds. Using these techniques will really help push the detail in your making to the next level. The great thing about this approach, is it builds on common, easily mastered techniques to produce sophisticated results. This makes it suitable for all levels of experience and once you are confident with the process, you will be able to adapt and develop it to fit your own style. I will be using black clay but you can use any clay really. Hope to see you at my workshop!

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

In this workshop I will cover:

1) The properties of various clays and which ones are most suitable for this style of handbuilding.

2) How to make and use simple bisque sprig moulds.

3) How to use found objects and materials to create pattern and texture. Also how to combine them with sprigs to build up a library of textures and patterns to use in your making. 

4) How to break down complexity into a series of achievable steps and how to push it as far as you want to go.

5) Some exciting free form handbuilding techniques which break away from the old faithfuls of slabbing, coiling and pinching … allowing you to create more dynamic forms and surfaces.

Finally I will put it all together to show you how to make a beautiful, intricately detailed vase. I am making a vase to demonstrate the process but the techniques you will learn are easily transferable to many other projects. I will teach you my philosophy of handbuilding but where you take it is up to you.

Workshop  Results/Benefits:

Ceramics is all about understanding the properties of clay (strengths and supposed weaknesses) and how to exploit them to create what you want to make. At the end of this workshop you will have learnt a number of advanced handbuilding techniques and how to combine them to create a beautiful vase. You will have gained knowledge and  technical skill but also the understanding of how to create complexity from simplicity. Most importantly you will have learnt the mindset behind my process and how to transfer what you have learnt to your own projects. This workshop is all about unleashing creativity and thinking outside the box. 

Required materials/equipment

Clay, preferably a handbuilding clay but any clay can be used. I’ll be using Scarva Earthstone Professional Black Smooth stoneware handbuilding clay.

Basic modelling tools  and a knife.

Rolling pin and rolling guides or a slab roller.

A board to work on and if possible a banding wheel or turntable.

A water spray.

A container for slip.

A variety of found objects of your choice.

Most importantly imagination and creativity.

When you buy this workshop, you get:

  • Watch my Live Online Workshop
    • The workshop is taking place on Wednesday 30th November
    • The workshop will be around 1 hour long.
  • Bonus Q&A
    • Join my bonus Live Q&A where I answer 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 Drew Caines

Drew Caines is a ceramic artist based in Leeds in the north of England with almost 30 years experience of working with clay. Over the years he has worked and studied in many potteries and studios picking lots of tips along the way. He loves texture, pattern and intricate detail, which is clearly evident in the extravagant surfaces of his ceramics. Drew is attracted to the slow permanence and physicality of clay in contrast to the increasingly virtual and ephemeral nature of our world.

Drew also works with photography, social media, 2D and digital art.Working in other mediums has enriched and cross-pollinated his ceramic making. It has given him different perspectives on how you can work with clay. For example the way you use layering and sampling in Photoshop has had a big influence on the way he builds up complexity from a series of simple elements, each of which can be distorted and manipulated.

Having been a Vegan for over 30 years, his artwork often focuses on the relationships between humans, the natural environment and the other animals we share this little beautiful planet with.

Drew draws a lot of inspiration from the long, ancient tradition of ceramics but likes to mix it up with contemporary influences such as street art, contemporary character culture and pop art. He fuses these together, blending the ancient and the modern to create a contemporary style he calls “Archaic Pop”. 

Follow Drew online @drewcainesceramics @drewcainesgallery and @guerrillagram101

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Workshop Includes

  • 2 Lessons
  • Workshop Certificate