Shawn Spangler – How to construct an ewer

Hi, my name is Shawn Spangler, and in this workshop, I will be teaching you how to construct an ewer.

I think about work in the context of scholars, artists, designers, and producers.  It’s through material consciousness that we looked at tools and methods available to us and how the values inherent in craftsmanship obligate us to relate to those tools in a particular way.

Ceramic is tied to ideas of culture, technology, art, our means of producing functional vessels is evolving. Technological development has always defined a boundary, of old and new, what is considered traditional methods and the introduction of new tools.

There is no doubt that the destination for craft is evolving in concordance with technology. Ceramics responds and reflects; social, economic and technical demands of society from 20,000 years ago to today.  I am fascinated with how technology, which is in constant transition, continues to shape the timeless tradition of producing ceramic work.

I believe part of the importance of working in clay has always dealt with the maker’s touch and the nuance of the hand.  Along with the participatory nature of a pottery, I have always been interested in how it relates to a spirit of collaboration. Pottery can deal with formal issue, social issues but unlike some other media they may also deals with the experiential, as a tactic object we connect with daily.  When a pot enters into our homes, its context can be judged on those terms.  We may see how well does a piece pours, or how comfortable is it to handle. These are intimate objects.  We take these objects put them on the table or in our cupboards.  We cradle these objects in our hands, and we bring these objects to our lips and bringing them into our lives.  That is the wonderful thing which functional pottery can do, they can be an active participant in our world. Pottery will always mediate between nourishment and our bodies, and in a very real way makes demands on both artist and participant alike.   

My interest is focused on artistic authorship upon ceramic vessels through object interpretation, transformation, and re-contextualization from a point of origin. Ceramic vessels have served as cultural indicators throughout time. We bestow these objects with the power to narrate our experience. They may guide us through stories of our past remaining as cultural signifiers to help us locate where we once were and where we are going.

When you buy this workshop, you get:

  • Watch my Online Workshop
    • The workshop will be around 1 hour long.
  • Bonus Q&A
    • Join my bonus 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.

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

About Shawn Spangler

Shawn Spangler’s work draws inspiration from craft, industrial design and digital technology. His installation projects raise questions concerning authorship and commodification of objects, highlighting the connections and margins between digital and analog processes of producing ceramic vessels. After attaining his MFA from Alfred University he was on residency at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia PA. Spangler is a founding member of a co-op educational gallery site called Objective Clay. His wheel thrown porcelain forms can be complex, yet clearly articulated, oftentimes created through the combination of multiple parts. The forms are reminiscent of both Koryo dynasty and Song dynasty, examples he observed as a resident artist in China in 2002. He states, ”My work is an amalgamated map of the world I reflect upon. Producing pottery is a kind of play; a regenerative act ripe with reverence, revealing the human hands enduring connection to creativity. It guides us through stories of our past remaining as a cultural signifier to help us locate where we once were and where we are going.”

MFA – New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (NYSCC)
BFA – Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Jingdezhen Institute of Art, Museum of Ceramics Art, P.R. China
Jingdezhen SanBao Institute of Ceramic Art, P.R. China
John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation Collection, Kansas City, MO
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, CO
Newark Museum of Art. NJ
Schien-Joesph International Museum of Ceramics, Alfred, NY
Shiwan Ceramic Museum, P.R. China
The American Museum of Ceramic Arts, Pomona, Ca
The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Western Illinois University, University Art Gallery Collection, Macomb, IL

ART 242 (Introduction to Ceramics)
ART 343 (Ceramic Sculpture)
ART 344 (Ceramic Vessels)
ART 410 (BFA Seminar)
ART 611-614 (MFA Seminar)


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Workshop Includes

  • 2 Lessons
  • Workshop Certificate

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