Summer 2018 Ceramics Workshop with Donna Polseno & Rick Hensley

Course description

On 23 and 24 August, 2018, Donna Polseno and Richard Hensley came to Sweden to give focussed demonstrations of their artistic expressions using clay!


Donna’s sculptural pieces speak to the intrinsic common metaphor of women and pottery vessels.  Her functional pottery is very much inspired by the beauty of nature with motifs of grasses, leaves and birds.  It is also inspired by the presentation of food and flowers and relates to a notion of domestic joy and tranquility.

Rick has based his porcelain pottery ideas on the very basic and useful notion that his work should serve to illuminate and bring a sense of special occasion to food and family gatherings.  His high temperature porcelain is formed and decorated with harmonic patterns that look forward to lively and colorful presentations of food piled high on his special dishes and vessels.

In this 2-days workshop, Donna will give demonstrations of the sculptural still life pieces she is working on that include several handbuilding techniques and sometimes a dash of throwing. Rick will give throwing demonstrations with porcelain, including altering and incising decoration. As a participant you will have the opportunity to try out some of the demonstrated techniques and receive personal support from the teachers. There will be slide shows and images galore to feed your imagination and open the doors to learning about great pots made around the world. You are encouraged to bring along some of your own ceramic pieces to get some valuable and unique feedback from these experienced artists on how to further develop your pottery!

Course location and program details

The course was held in the ceramics studio of Torö Skola, at the island of Torö, 50 km south of Stockholm.

lunch_lrEach day starts at 09:00 and the lectures end at 16:00. A lunch break is scheduled from 11:30 – 13:00, during which you will also have the chance to stretch your legs and take a walk to the nearby beautiful pebble beaches. There is a bus stop in front of Torö skola which takes you with a direct line to the port of Nynäshamn and the train line towards Stockholm.

Registration and accommodation

The registration fee, without accommodation, including  breakfast, lunch and breaks on each day as well as dinner on the evening of the 23rd is 2500 SEK p.p. In the guesthouse, limited accommodation with shared facilities, is available and can be reserved by the participants of the workshop. In case accommodation is booked at Torö Skola, the total course fee is 3000 SEK. The course fee is not including material costs.

As the workshop has only space for a limited number of participants, please register as soon as possible. Participants will receive payment details after their initial registration, final registration will be confirmed as soon as the course fee is received.

In the ‘comments‘ section of your registration, please indicate:

  • if you are interested in reserving accommodation;
  • a little about  your background  (eg: skill level or why you are interested in the course)

Please note this course is passed and registration is no longer possible.

About the teachers

Donna PolsenoDonna Polseno made her studies and graduated in 1974 at Rhode Island School of Design. She has received important grants and taught in some of the most well established Schools and Universities of the USA. She is the organizer of the symposium “Woman in Clay” at Hollins College, where eminent woman ceramicist present their work. Donna Polseno is well known both for her functional and for her sculptural work. Much of her inspiration comes from the female figure and pottery and how they relate to each other symbolically. Since a few years she is regularly in Italy for long term periods.

Rick HensleyRichard Hensley is internationally known for his distinctive porcelain pottery. He has been a studio potter for 30 years and a teacher at Hollins University for the last five years. He has been published in books and magazines, shown in museums and the recipient of the prestigious NEA Fellowship. He has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation and in Izmir, Turkey. He has taught in short term positions at several prestigious universities and at the Jingdezhen Institute for Ceramics in China.