August 12, 13 & 27, 2017
UDU with PIZZAZZ! Workshop
Make Music With A Pot Drum You Create from Clay
And Celebrate a Nigerian Tradition
Using clay – as well as your hands and your creative spirit - learn how to make a “udu,” a soulful drum with ancient Nigerian roots. No experience is required to learn how to create, by hand, a beautiful clay drum, over the course of four sessions at Pizzazz Pottery studio in Fair Haven.
Several years ago ceramic artist Caren Helm, the owner of Pizzazz, fell in love with making udus after hearing one played. Udu means “vessel” in Igbo, a Nigerian language spoken by the tribe of the same name. The udu was originally made by the Igbo women to store water. A hole on the side of the pot allows water to be poured out. Over time, the people discovered that they could make a musical sound by tapping over the hole. Udus then became the traditional percussion instrument played at ceremonies and celebrations.
Caren’s love of the haunting and beautiful sounds made by the udu led her to study and master the process of making them. Now she is offering a workshop in order to share the joy of hand-building this beautiful vessel.
Caren will demonstrate step-by-step how to build your drum. She honors the drum-making process of the Igbo, and hopes students will also feel a connection to the history and tradition of the Igbo as they immerse themselves in it. There is something primal and soul-satisfying about using your hands to create a vessel that held such importance to a people, first, because it held water, and second, because it then was used to express emotion and to connect people.
Each student will receive individual attention throughout the process. As noted, you do not have to have experience working with clay to enjoy this experience. As Caren says, “Only a spirit of experimentation and willingness to focus on the value and appreciation of this ancient process is needed!”
The workshop includes three 3-hour back-to-back sessions. We will closely follow the primitive process of hand-building the clay, paddling it to the proper thickness with river stones, and hand-smoothing the surfaces. At the fourth and final session, students will fire their drums in a traditional pit kiln, using the same types of fuel used by the Igbo. As a way of further honoring the culture that produced this amazing vessel, the workshop will end by enjoying delicious Nigerian food and listening to traditional music, as a celebration of the process.
Where: Pizzazz Pottery Studio is located at 647 Route 4A East, in Fair Haven, Vermont. There are several B&B’s in the area. Request a recommended list on registration form.
Who: The workshop is for adults; high school students are welcome.
Enrollment: Minimum: 2 students. Maximum: 6 per class. If you would like to get a group of 6 together and have a private UDU workshop, please contact me for availability.
When: Session 1. Saturday, August 12. 10 AM to 1 PM. Bring a lunch.
Session 2. Saturday, August 12. 2 to 5 PM.
Session 3. Sunday, August 13. 1 to 4 PM.
Session 4. Sunday, August 27. 10 AM to 3 PM.
There are no makeup classes for this workshop.
Fees: $165 includes use of all tools, clay, firings and instruction. Must be pre-paid.
What to Wear and Bring: Wear your biggest smile, and bring your sense of humor and your open mind! Wear old clothes and sturdy shoes. No open-toed shoes or sandals are allowed in the studio. Bring snacks and drinks, if you wish. Also, bring your camera! You may want to record the various stages of the development of your masterpiece. Please bring a towel for hand-drying and a hairdryer to speed dry the clay at certain stages. See below for additional things to bring to Session 4.
Session 1- Begin building your drum. Learn the ancient method of coiling, and pounding thin.
Session 2- Continue to build your drum. Join pieces, make the neck, cut the hole, incise designs.
Session 3- Finish your drum by burnishing and finger smoothing. If time permits, make the cradle.
Session 4- Fire and wax your drum, and then play your udu for a fun-filled closure to the workshop. Bring your lunch and beverages, lawn chair and sunscreen to this session.
[ DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM ]
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Come Play with Clay
With potter/artist Caren Helm
WHAT? Adults (high school age or older) on any skill level are welcomed. Working in clay is very therapeutic. It is rejuvenating and relaxing. The sense of accomplishment crosses generations and gender. Your lessons will be tailored to what you, personally want to learn. It may include hand building and/or wheel throwing. Hand building can include pinch, coil and slab methods. Students will make a variety of functional items. 35 lbs. of buff stoneware clay, glaze enough for the items created with the 35 lbs. of clay, kiln time and tools are included. (More clay, glazes and kiln time can be purchased if you would like to work L-A-R-G-E) Only lead free safe glazes used. No prior experience is necessary. Work at your own pace and challenge yourself a little more each week. Being able to critique your work with a light heart is required. Waiting list will be formed if class fills and you will be notified if space becomes available according to the postmark of your registration. Only one make up class available at convenience of Pizzazz.
Warning! Homework is given!...but always optional!
WHAT TO BRING & WEAR? Wear old clothes closed toed shoes. No flip flops or sandals are allowed in the studio. Wear a big smile, bring snacks and beverages if desired and an old hand towel to use for hand drying.
WHEN? Session A: To Be Announced
Session B: To Be Announced
(students may not hop from one set of classes to another)
ENROLLMENT? Minimum 2 students/ maximum 6 students per class
FEES? Five 3 hour lessons for $280. or Five 3 hour private lessons for $415.
Fee includes instruction, clay, glazes and firings….everything!
[ DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM ]