Just Completed Wonderful Fundraising Workshop Weekend: “Painting and Pottery”

L to R: Janet Harper, potter and Rachael McCampbell, painter

My sister Janet Harper, who is a fabulous potter in Knoxville, TN, and I, decided to join creative forces and offer an entire weekend to experience painting and pottery. The plan was that our guests would create a still life painting with a vase that they would also create out of clay. We divided the weekend between making pottery and learning to paint.

This creative weekend was purchased by two women at an Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts Auction last year called “Meet the Artists.” They then invited folks they thought would enjoy this time together. It was the perfect group of 9 artists.

For my portion of the weekend, I showed them how to paint (in a loose, impressionistic way) a “grisaille,” which is a painting using various shades of gray as the undertone. I took a photo of a still life with Star Gazer Lilies on a table with oranges that I had arranged. I printed the photos out for the painters to use as a guide. First, they made the grisaille then followed that up in the next session by painting in either acrylics or oil colors on top. I had demonstrated painting in both mediums so they could choose.

Janet demonstrated how to make a hand-built vase and a cup. She taught how to cut and score the clay, how to create slip and gently fold a piece together while keeping the wet clay in a symmetrical shape. She showed them how to use antique lace and other household items to create beautiful texture in the clay too. I tried to make one and it was challenging but fun!

The clay pieces will dry and be bisque fired then glazed and fired a second time. Janet is going to do all that for everyone and then get them their final pieces. I can’t wait to see all the finished vases and cups that they made.  I will add those images to this post later.

They were highly focused artists and created FABULOUS works in only a few short hours! See what they did in the photos below. I was very proud of them and so enjoyed meeting each one of these lovely women. To have a creative experience together is a unique experience and something most folks never get to do. I was so happy to be a part of this memorable event that raised a great deal of money for Arrowmont. It was a win/win for everyone!


Mary Jane Fox is creating magic with oils!

L to R: Janet Harper, Jessica Ramsey, Mary Jane Fox, Debbie Ryan, Laurie Dover, Sandy Patterson, Rachael McCampbell, Debaran Hughes, Debby Steenrod, Ashley Stamper

Rachael’s monochromatic demo in grays (grisaille painting). 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas.

Demonstration on top of grisaille painting using oils. 12 x 12 acrylic and oil on canvas.

The group holding their art on Saturday. L to R Front Row: Mary Jane Fox, Rachael McCampbell, Debby Steenrod, L to R Back Row: Debaran Hughes, Sandy Patterson, Debbie Ryan, Laurie Dover, Ashley Stamper.

Work by Mary Jane Fox.

Work by Sandy Patterson.

Work by Ashley Stamper

Work by Laurie Dover.

Work by Debbie Ryan.

Work by Debby Steenrod.

Work by Debaran Hughes.

We used Dynasty Brushes.

Laurie and Sandy building their cups.

Beautiful antique lace used to create wonderful texture.

Debby Steenrod is focusing on her creation in clay.

Ashley Stamper making her cup.

Debaran Hughes cutting her forms out of wet clay.

L to R: Mary Jane Fox, Janet Harper, Rachael McCampbell and Laurie Dover.

Janet prepared a wonderful home cooked meal for everyone on Saturday night and we dined in her lovely dining room.

Jessica Ramsey’s vase.

Debaran deciding on her texture for her vase.

Mary Jane is smoothing out the seam in her vase.

Ashley is examining her pot.

Jessica is creating.

Debbie has mastered it.

Laurie’s vase is perfectly balanced.

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Rachael McCampbell