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The dates for the 2025 South Carolina Clay Conference and Pottery Sale are

February 21-23, 2025. 

 

More information will be announced

at a later date

2024 Expert Presenters

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Jennifer McCurdy

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Bio

Jennifer McCurdy has been working with porcelain for over forty years.   She loves porcelain because it has a beautiful surface, and it conveys the qualities of light and shadow that she wishes to express. After throwing her vessel on the potter’s wheel, she alters the form to set up a movement of soft shadow. When the porcelain is leather hard, she carves patterns to add energy and counterpoint. It is fired to cone 10, where the porcelain becomes non-porous and translucent.

 

Jennifer’s work resides in the collections of museums and patrons around the world, including the Smithsonian Museum’s Renwick Gallery, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Everson Museum of Art. She resides with her husband on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Artist Demonstrations

Wheel Thrown Porcelain

“Testing the Limits of Porcelain in Thrown, Altered, and Carved Sculptures”

To begin, Jennifer will demonstrate the technique of “dry throwing”, using two metal ribs to create the shape of the piece, after the basic cylinder has been thrown.  Next, she will show how altering and folding that form by hand can add movement and strength. Then you will see carving techniques on the porcelain when it is leather hard. Next she will show sanding techniques once the piece is bone dry.  The last hour of each day can be devoted to looking at images or actual pieces of each participant’s work, and discussing ways that the these techniques can be individually utilized.

 

Additional alterations to the piece can occur in the white hot heat of vitrification, and we will discuss strategies to encourage and control slumping in the firing.  We will discuss the concept of “strength vs. plasticity” in the porcelain as it moves through the working stages from wet to dry through vitrification.  The porcelain Jen uses is Miller#550 by Laguna clay.  It fires to cone 10.

Jen has been selling her porcelain in art shows and galleries for the last thirty-five years, and her work is included in the collections of several institutions, including the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY, and the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA.  She maintains a studio in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.  Her focus on the reflective and bone-like quality of the bare porcelain has led her to explore the light and shadow of the clay forms, resulting in a unique melding of line and structure.  She is looking forward to sharing some of the tricks she has learned along the way – tricks of the trade, and tricks of porcelain. 

Christina Orthwein

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Christina Orthwein is a ceramic artist who works out of a home studio in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. After decades creating slab-built and wheel-thrown functional ware, ceramic jewelry and low relief tile, the pandemic brought about a shift in Christina’s work to focus on realistic figural sculpture. With a BFA in ceramics from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Christina has been a Lecturer of Studio Art at Bryn Athyn College for 23 years. 

Artist Demonstrations

Figurative Sculpture and Carved/Pressed Slab Construction

Christina will be demonstrating her solid built figure sculpting process, from setting up an armature, to sketching out the form and moving on to show techniques for various textures and details in clothing, hair and facial features. She will also discuss the hollowing, drying and firing process. Christina works from photographs of her models and will go over some ideas to get the best possible reference materials. 

Christina will also demonstrate her technique used to create a low relief art deco style slab-built mug. She will show various methods to sketch a design, transfer that design to plaster, carve a reverse press mold and press the textured slabs. Christina will give some tips on constructing with those slabs and thoughts on other types of work that can be made with this technique. This process will relate to the Sunday hands-on workshop. 

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Presenters
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Alexis Gregg

Creating Together: 
The Dynamic Intersection of Public Art, Industry, and Community

Attendee Information:

  • Attendees to the SC Clay Conference can participate in the SC ClayCon Pottery Sale.

    • The SC ClayCon Pottery Sale allows each participant to bring several pieces of pottery or sculpture to be sold during Friday and Saturday of the conference. Newberry Arts Center staff and volunteers manage the sales so that participants do not have to be present. There is no change to be part of the sale, but participants are asked to pay a $25.00 deposit to hold a place for them in the sales area. Participants who bring work for sale will receive their deposit back when payment for items sold is mailed. Participants forfeit their deposit if they do not bring work to sell.​​

  • Hands-on with SC Clay Conference Presenters:​

    • It has become the tradition of the clay conference to have a hands-on session with presenters on the last day of the conference. Materials will be provided. This is a fun and energetic learning experience that everyone seems to enjoy!​

  • Registration Fee includes:​

    • All demos, discussions and hands-on experiences​

    • Friday lunch

    • Friday reception

    • Snacks, coffee and bottled water

    • Exclusive pre-sale of presenters' work

  • New this Year:  Cup and Bowl Sale

    • Bring a cup or bowl or both to donate to raise money for scholarships for future SC Clay Conferences.

Agenda
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*Agenda subject to change

SCClayCon

Pottery Sale

8th Annual SCClayCon Pottery Sale
Free and Open to the Public
Friday, February 23, 2024 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
The Old Newberry Hotel
1110 Caldwell Street

 

Don’t miss this once a year sale that is becoming one of the largest collections of work by potters and clay artists in the state. Free and open to the public, this sale features pottery and sculpture by artists who have gathered to attend the South Carolina Clay Conference.  

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Images from past SC Clay Con Pottery Sales

Pottery Market
Travel & Lodging

Travel & Lodging

Where to Stay
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Newberry Manor

1710 College Street
Newberry, SC 29108
Phone: 803.597.5031
View Website

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Hampton Inn, Newberry Opera House

1201 Nance Street
Newberry, SC 29108
Phone: 803.276.6666 
View Website

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Holiday Inn Express and Suites

I-26/Exit 76 (Main Street/SC Hwy. 219) 121 Truman Avenue
Newberry, SC 29108
Phone: 803.321.3955
View Website

Newberry Attractions

Newberry Attractions

Things to See & Do

Newberry Attractions

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Newberry Museum

Newberry's official history museum is located right off Main Street. This new addition to Newberry features pieces and stories that depict our local history.  

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Newberry Opera House

The Newberry Opera House hosts many performances each year. This historic landmark has been a staple to our little community for many years. 

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Enoree River Winery

The winery is a popular spot in Newberry and features wine tastings and  tours. The winery also is used as an event space for weddings, birthday parties and more.

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Carter & Holmes

Carter & Holmes produces and sells premium orchids and draws in locals and visitors alike. They are located just outside the city of Newberry, where they welcome visitors to shop and view their greenhouses.

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Wells Japanese Garden

The Japanese Gardens is a local landmark in Newberry and is a short walk from downtown Newberry. While the garden is small, the  atmosphere provides a large amount of peace and tranquility to the visitor.

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Other Outdoor Recreation

There are many other places to visit and spend time in Newberry and surrounding area. These places include, but are not limited, to the Oakland Tennis Center, the Newberry Country Club, the Mid-Carolina Country Club, Lake Murray and many others. Click the link to learn more about these places. 

Conference Venues

Conference Venues

Where it happens

Newberry Attractions

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Newberry Firehouse Conference Center:  

The Firehouse Conference Center sits beside the Newberry Opera House in historic downtown Newberry. This building, once used as the district fire station, is now used as an event space for meetings, conferences, weddings and more. The conference center is where SCClayCon is held annually. It is only a short walking distance from the Newberry Arts Center, where the pottery sale is held. For more information please click their name or photo to visit their website.

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Newberry Arts Center:

The Newberry Arts Center (NAC) is located in the Old Newberry Hotel. The Arts Center showcases local artwork for sale and hosts many classes such as pottery, painting, afternoon art for kids and more. For more information on NAC, please their name or photo to visit their website.

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Old Newberry Hotel:

The Old Newberry Hotel is located in the heart of Historic downtown Newberry. Recently renovated, it is the home of the Newberry Arts Center, apartments, short-term rental space, a large event space, offices and more. SCClayCon holds the annual pottery sale in this space which is only a short walking distance from the Firehouse Conference Center. For more information on the Old Newberry Hotel, please click their name or photo to visit their website. 

Our Sponsors

Great Supporters of the arts

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Old Newberry Hotel

Interested in becoming a sponsor?  Please let us know at SCClayCon@gmail.com.

We are supported by a 501c3, CREATE Newberry, Inc. Tax ID#85-1035631

Sponsors
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