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Exploring Ceramic Sculpture                                                                                        This course will allow beginning through advanced students to explore their own interests through a variety of sculpture methods, including classical sculpture and hand-building techniques appropriate for traditional and contemporary interpretations of human, animal or abstract forms. An introduction of ancient through modern sculpture will provide an overview of the elements of design appropriate for 3 dimensional ceramic sculpture.

Instructor: Susan Olsen is a local sculptor and experienced teacher who lives and works in the Roaring Fork Valley.  She has a BA in fine arts from the University of Iowa and art education certification from the University of Maryland. In addition, she holds a Masters of Education and has been teaching for over 30years. 

Ms. Olsen’s representational sculpture is primarily ceramic combined with natural wood and various assemblage materials. Her public ceramic  and bronze sculpture is installed in Colorado, Illinois and Michigan. After moving from the Chicago area, she became an artist-in-residence at the Red Brick Center for the Arts for seven years. She currently has a studio in Carbondale, CO and shows her work locally and in the Midwest. Her ongoing continuing education includes courses at the Loveland Academy, Anderson Ranch and the Palette and Chisel Academy in Chicago and she has studied with Kirsten Kokkin and Susan Clinard, two nationally recognized sculptors.

Susan will give instruction on the sculptural process including the properties of ceramic clay; conceptual planning; sculpting with or without armatures; and preparing the clay sculpture for firing, firing methods, and surface finishes.  Susan provides individualized instruction appropriate to the student’s skill level so that each student will be able to pursue his/her unique artistic direction.  


The Red Brick will provide each student with a 25lb bag of clay, and fire one sculpture for each student.

Each student should bring to class:                                                                              

  1. Clay sculpting tools. If you do not have clay tools you may buy some boxwood clay modeling tools and a ceramic tool kit at Dick  These are the best tools for an inexpensive price. The kits will have a wire clay cutting tool, a metal rib, a ribbon tool for hollowing your work, a sponge, and a wood modeling tool. You may also go on line and order from Western Sculpting Supply or Mile High Ceramics. Both are located in Denver. The art store in Basalt and Carl’s also has wooden clay tools but these are more expensive. Dick Blick and Amazon have the best prices.
  2. A plastic dip or cheese container with lid for making slip.
  3. Plastic for covering your work. Dry cleaning bags work the best.
  4. a plastic bin (around 6" high) which will be used to elevate sculpture while working on it.  
  5. Concept drawings or photos  of a subject matter for the sculpture you would like to create.   These images will be a starting point for learning and exploration.  

Course dates and time:  This course consists of 4 Saturdays from 10:30am - 1:30pm: March 17th, March 24th, March 31st and April 7th.  

 Course cost: $225 for all 4 Saturdays and includes 25lb bag of clay and firing 1 piece

Age: 18 years old and above

Class Limit: 9 participants

To cancel a registration and receive a refund, notify us at least 10 days before the start of the workshop. We will refund your payment less a $50 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made within 10 days of the start of the workshop.