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THE FULL FIGURE : Slab construction, feet to head, part by part

APRIL 30- May 4, 2018

Cost: $980 (including materials and daily  lunch)

8 students per session 

Location: Córdova Studios, Penland, NC

The class will work on developing a 27" full figure in clay through the use of slabs and simple patterns that can be used to articulate any gesture at different scales. We will focus on proportion and anatomy, sourcing anatomical references and strategies for refining and fine tuning figurative compositions in clay. Pieces will be developed on a simple armature system that will also serve as a display strategy for the finished piece.

The course will include:

  • The basics of anatomy and proportion, building a full figure with slabs, finishing and detailing to optimize expression
  • Clay and armatures and course binder
  • Insider resources regarding clays, anatomy books and references, models and specialty tools
  • A great lunch and afternoon coffee or tea
  • 8am-10pm access to the studio

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       Join Cristina Córdova for FLESHING: a figurative sculpture workshop. This workshop will cover basic concepts of anatomy and proportion to create figurative sculptures built with slabs and finished with slips and underglaze transfers. Córdova will discuss preliminary construction strategies using drawings, photos, and models as well as conceptual catalysts to strengthen the sculptural proposal. Demonstrations will include the construction of head, torso, arms, and hands, as well as techniques that reveal how to optimize the clarity and expression of a figure in clay. Students will explore the possibilities of laminating their sculpture with color and patterns through the use of slips and transfers to create vibrant, dynamic surfaces before bisque. The main objective will be the construction of a ceramic torso between 15-25“ h, and Córdova will also discuss how to use these techniques to construct the complete figure at different scales through the use of simple reinforcements and supports and clay body variations. Open to participants age 18 and above, and students of all experience levels are welcome.

Please email with any questions or for more information. To talk on the phone, please send an email with your phone number and preferred time to receive a call, and we will call you back.


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Join Cristina Córdova, in two immersive weeks of "giving life" to a clay body. Focusing on developing a medium to large scale torso in clay (27-47"h) using slabs and simple patterns that can be used to articulate gestures at different scales, students will benefit from Cristina's exhaustive knowledge and experience in sculpting the human form, as well as her personalized support and critique. Through daily demonstrations and discussions we will focus on proportion and anatomy (head, arms, hands and torso), sourcing anatomical references and strategies for refining and fine tuning figurative compositions for visual strength and clarity. Through the use of colored slips, underglazes and ceramic transfers we will shift into finishing and detailing the surface to optimize expression. The class will focus on a primary sculpture project supported by smaller compositions which will serve as surface and form tests and will be fired throughout the course. Open to all levels of experience


The course will take place at Gaya Ceramic Arts Center: where clay and culture come together...

With a team of masterful ceramicists, designers, and production artists in a setting of unsurpassed tropical beauty, and exquisite cultural craftsmanship: Gaya CAC is a place to expand horizons, to share inspiration and techniques, to experiment, to grow and to dream.

Directed by American wood-firing ceramic artist, Hillary Kane, Gaya Ceramic Arts Center (Gaya CAC) offers a stimulating program of international workshops, continuous weekly wheel throwing classes, and a fabulous ceramic resident artist program.

Some might ask... why come half way around the world to learn throwing skills, or to fire a kiln?  In our view, setting is everything!  Our annual calendar of world class ceramic workshops reflects this: approaching clay not only from the standpoint of a skill-building experience, but also as a creative exploration, tapping stimuli from landscape, architecture, cuisine and culture that cannot be found anywhere else but here in Bali.

Gaya CAC coordinates every detail so that participants can focus on the experience at hand—and that experience is indelible: Bali offers fecundity at every juncture---the creative interpretations are endless.

Tuition: $2,200 ( An $1200 deposit is due with registration with the balance due September 4, 2018)

*Tuition includes: general studio materials, firings, transport during workshop hours, excursions around Bali, Welcome dinner, and lunches at the studio.

**Accommodation NOT included.

Please click here to visit our "FOR TRAVELERS" section and learn about lodging options in Ubud.



Because of the slow, gradual unfolding of a clay sculpture it is often hard to relay the full arc of a piece from beginning to end in the traditional workshop context. This course will offer an intimate vantage point to study and understand all of the steps, tools and materials that come into play to create a clay head. With the methods showcased in this course and the open floor chat sessions between demonstrations to answer questions you will be fully empowered to create clay heads of different scales in your own studio. This course includes supplemental printed material that follows the course structure and several opt-ins to customize your experience. 


VIDEO MODULE 1: Before We BeginTools, Materials and Workspace Setup

VIDEO MODULE 2: Sourcing Anatomical References

VIDEO MODULE 3: Hollow Construction With Easy Patterns At Any Scale

VIDEO MODULE 4: The Skull Basics

VIDEO MODULE 5: Adding Features and Introducing Tools

VIDEO MODULE 6: Tricks and Techniques for Refining and Cleaning the Face

Come join over 100 students!


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This course will focus on demystifying glazes and other fireable surfaces in the context of low-fire figurative ceramics and sculpture ranging from cone 05 to cone 1. It will address not only the formulation and sourcing of slips, underglazes and glazes through innumerable recipes and listings but the different methods of applying and firing these materials to achieve rich, layered surfaces of extraordinary depth and interest. The course takes you step by step to reveal the process behind each showcased piece and includes an accompanying e-book: SÚPER-FICIE: Surfaces For Low-fire Figurative Ceramics And Sculpture

After years of gathering insights into pigments, slips, underglazes and glazes though my own work I have organized my favorite approaches to bring sculpture to life. This course will show you how to approach surface development in a multi-layered, dynamic way that will open door after door of possibilities to expand and compliment your forms


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