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Pottery Pitfiring with Gail West

This course focuses on creating hand built, organic forms in clay using sculpting and hand building techniques.

2 days : 
Wednesday, July 1, 10:00am-1:00pm 
Thursday July 2, 12:00pm-your choice

Bonus: As a two day course, 1 dinner and a Silo Tasting are included! (Wednesday)

Optional: Art in the Fields closing reception dinner (Thursday) Canvas Worthy Cuisine $50 

This course focuses on creating hand built, organic forms in clay using sculpting and hand building techniques. You will receive inspiration from nature and be provided with examples and hands-on demonstrations by local artist Gail West during the morning workshop. All works completed will be left to dry and will be taken by Gail for electric kiln firing at her studio that evening and returned to South Pond Farms the following day for pit firing in a nearby field. All participants will be invited to help fill the pit in the ground with their clay pieces along with straw, wood, oxides and dried organic materials. Once the hole/pit is filled with the ware, the firing will commence. Learn about this ancient firing technique, it’s process, reactions and more while you watch your work of art emerge from the fire. All skill levels accepted.

Generally, at least three hours of burning is required from the pit and subsequent cooling of a further three/four hours will be necessary. Students are not expected to hang around at this point.  Pick up of pieces can be arranged if not taken home on the day. 


10:00 - Begin your day by greeting South Pond mascot Millie the goat on your way to meet owner Danielle and artist Gail in the property’s restored 100 year old barn. Learn about the history of the property and it’s restoration while enjoying coffee, tea, granola and fresh fruit.
10:30 -Begin by learning about Gail’s own story as potter and the inspiration behind her work along with an introduction to the tools, materials and techniques being used throughout the workshop.
11:00 - Get inspired after watching demonstrations by Gail and begin working on your own masterpiece!
1:00 - Break for lunch by our outdoor stone-oven and enjoy handmade pizzas and fresh green salad.
2:30 - Enjoy free time. Explore the property by taking a walk on the trails or relax in our Muskoka chairs overlooking the hills or spend time with our animals.
3:30 -  Try one of our award winning maple butter tarts with your afternoon tea/coffee.
4:00 - Silo Tasting -  Depending on guests preferences, a wine, whiskey or other tasting will be lead by one of our local bartenders. You will learn about the nuances, regions and pairings related to your choice while enjoying nibbles.
5:00 - Dinner

12:00 - Arrive at South Pond and make your way to the Stone Oven to begin the day with an outdoor lunch.
1:00 - Next begin to gather organic material for the firing and help Gale fill the pit and prep for firing
2:00 - Light the fire and learn about the history of the ancient technique while your pieces transform in the outdoor pit.

Firing takes 3 hours. At this point you are welcome to depart and make arrangements for your piece to be shipped, or we invite you to stay for the duration of the process, and stay for the optional Closing Reception dinner and take your piece with you at the end of the night.

4:00 - Walk the grounds and admire the sculptures on display for Art in the Fields or relax by the fire
5:30 - Cocktails by the Stone Oven
6:00 - Dinner

$240 per person