McKenzie Smith invited to Byrdcliffe as guest lecturer

Ceramic cups with fish

McKenzie Smith is a potter, adjunct professor, and Instructional Support Specialist in the Fine Arts Department at SPC’s Clearwater Campus.  Recently Professor Smith was invited to the prestigious and historic Byrdcliffe Barn studio in Woodstock, NY to be a guest artist and lecturer in August 2018. His four day workshop, entitled Clay, Form, Slip, Glaze Fire, is a four-day ceramics workshop that will run from August 2-5th.  It focuses on advanced ceramic glazing and decorating approaches that are associated with a particular firing technique.

Mckenzie Smith Interview photo
McKenzie Smith Interview photo

Learn from nationally exhibited artist McKenzie Smith

At SPC, Professor Smith teaches Ceramics 1 ART 1750C during the summer terms.  He received his BFA from the University of South Florida — Tampa and his MFA from the University of Florida – Gainesville. He worked as a Core Student at the Penland School of Crafts, and when not at SPC, he teaches workshops across the United States. Smith has been featured in Artaxis.org, Northern Clay Center, the  Skinner Auction House and on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast. He exhibits nationally and has enjoyed several showings at the Tour de Clay as well as multiple residencies.

McKenzie Smith Teapot

Energetic and purposeful ceramic art

The uniqueness of McKenzie Smith’s art comes from of the traditional and functional spirit of Japanese Mingei 民芸 folk tradition and English folk ware. The stoneware clay transforms into energetic and purposeful ceramic art. The pots, bowls, cups, and plates show the natural beauty of the marriage of clay and fire due to the unique glazing and firing techniques. The purposeful choice to expose clay to soda, salt, or wood fire techniques result in an organic living firing of the clay body.

Clay kissed by fire

There is a geometry and structure to Smith’s pots, and he teaches how to alter the primarily wheel-thrown pottery into a functional art form that also illustrates the element of chance frozen in fire. His teaching style illustrates that glazing and limited decorating becomes enhanced by exposed clay kissed by the firing process. Students in the Clearwater SPC Fine Arts Department discover the natural beauty of clay and fire from Professor McKenzie Smith.

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