Tom Turner Two Day Workshop 4 disc DVD set
At the time of this filming, Tom Turner had been in the Ceramic Arts for 44 years. He established the Ceramic Art program at Clemson University in 1971 and resigned a tenured position in 1976 in order to work full time on his pots. He has conducted workshops for 35 years all over the United States and Canada. His work is in over 30 books published in 5 countries and is in numerous museums across the United States to include The National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California, Arizona State University, United States Embassies, and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
This 4 disc DVD set documents a two day workshop he conducted at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, North Carolina in May of 2005. Along with the workshop was a mini-retrospective of 34 of his favorite pots from his permanent collection spanning 1970 to 2004. These pots document his best work from different studios, different periods of time, and different processes he used during those years.
The DVD set contains information for the beginning potter as well as the professional potter. His workshops are a two way give and take with the audience and questions from them bring out lots of valuable information. The two full days have been edited down to just under 6 hours on the 4 discs. Classrooms could show one disc a day and in 4 days see the entire workshop and show.
This isn’t a “how to” video, but a documentation of an established and highly respected artist potter who has been a full time studio potter since 1976.
Ceramics Monthly – March 2007
Tom Turner…a workshop on DVD
It’s not everyday we see an person with over 40 years of experience sit down and let it all flow. But in this 6 hour presentation Tom Turner shares his wealth of knowledge in exacting detail and covers every aspect of the potters’ art. Because he speaks so well (no ums, ers or ya’knows) he is fully understandable and easy to listen to. He has complete thoughts expressed in complete sentences within full paragraphs – yet truly extemporaneous. The material is dense in some places so you may need to take notes. It seems he has never forgotten anything he has learned or from whom he learned it. As he gives credit where it is due, he weaves a nice little history of much of American ceramics and studio pottery.
If it is technical information you seek, here it is. But Turner spends just as much time on meaning as he does method and the entire DVD is richly illustrated with examples of work in progress as well as completed pieces, these last his personal collection of the past four decades.
To say Turner is thoroughly in command of his processes and materials is no exaggeration. His motto might be tighten up america, but he is quick to point out his way is just that and not necessarily suited to others. What any viewer can extrapolate, however, is that there is no detail in pottery that can’t provide a payoff. For example, he polishes his lids in order to secure the fit AND improve the audible tone when they sit.
Understandable, complete and worth seeing repeatedly if you want to extract it all.
Mr. Pilcher is a retired professor or Ceramic Art at the University of Illinois
Ceramics Monthly – March 2007
Subject: Tom Turner is magnificent!
Thanks, Mel, for alerting us to the excellence of Tom
Turner’s new video. You’re right. Absolutely blows you
Tom’s title is A Two Day Workshop. It’s on four discs
and lasts, as I recall, about six hours. It’s several times
that for me since I keep rewinding to watch something
fascinating more than once.
I’d never seen his work before, which is incredible!
Attention to Detail could just as well have been the
title; it’s clearly a sub-theme
I’m so glad that I entered pottery at a time when so much
is available to the studio potter, at home yet!, in the form
of pubs and videos. This one is top notch!!
Thank you, Tom….. and Mel.
Joyce from California
Thank you for creating a video that is truly the next best thing to being at the workshop itself. The production quality is outstanding. The video and sound are exceptionally clear and one can’t help but feel as though ‘you are in the room’.
Your relaxed laid back style of presentation and method of working is a pleasure to watch. Your love and knowledge of porcelain clearly shows in everything you create and discuss in the workshop. I can’t comprehend how you can remember so many details when answering questions. Your expertise is unmistakable.
The last disc which spotlights your favorite pots is the perfect signature for the workshop. I have admired your work for many years and would have to describe it as simply exquisite. Your pots as with all art will affect everyone differently. For myself they show the purity and a certain sensual smoothness which porcelain best portrays. I immediately want to touch them.
As someone living somewhat isolated and who is almost completely self taught through books, workshops, videos, and simply having a love for clay, this production is the perfect learning tool for me. I’m sure I’ll watch it repeatedly and the next time I’m taking notes. Thanks again.
Charlestown , Oh.
Well I finally got the DVDs and I am really impressed with them. Not only did I learn a lot, I also feel like I know you. It was great to hear someone going through the same frustrating, time running out dilemma that I have been feeling. But the filming and the editing were very well done. I wish I could have heard more of the participant’s comments, which is my only complaint. You are without a doubt one of the nicest most informing people I have ever known, you are a great teacher. I have several videos and DVDs and I can guarantee you I will go back to yours several times. Being a teacher myself I can’t wait to share these with some of my adult students.
Bye for now and thanks again.
Claresholm, Alberta, Canada
What a pleasure it has been to watch your DVDs!!! And to watch you and see the total familiarity of the porcelain inspires, and I enjoyed seeing the attention to detail. I can easily see that the attention to detail is tedious and time consuming. You make it look so easy. You are very good at explaining the processes in your DVDs. I was totally lost whenever you talked about glazes and formulas, but still, I could tell that you were very clear to the participants at the workshop. I plan to watch these videos over and over trying to absorb the many techniques that you use while throwing and perfecting your pots. I think the best thing I could say to sum it up is that I want more.
Thank you, Katrina Thiebaut
Tom Turner’s DVD set is something you should get for yourself, your potter’s group, or for your school. This professionally filmed and edited four disc set covers a wide range of topics and lasts almost six hours. Tom demonstrates throwing, trimming, decorating, assembled pots, and talks about glazing and firing techniques. There is information for beginners, intermediate and advanced potters. I particularly enjoyed the throwing and assembly of a tea pot, or spouted vessel, as Tom calls them. You will also enjoy the slide show at the end of disc four showing 34 pots from his collection that span 1970-2004. So watch. listen, and learn from someone who really knows what he’s doing.
“The DVDs arrived safely …They are simply magnificent. The information is so concentrated that I have watched each one numerous times and know there is still MUCH to be learned. I am delighted to be trying all the things you talked about with every spare minute I have. Thanks so much for offering such a remarkable learning experience. I have most of the clay throwing videos made in the U.S., and your 4-DVD package is the very best. I especially enjoyed the thoroughness of your answers to participant questions”.
Bless you for deciding to share your years of learning with students on a one-to-one basis.
Ginny from Virginia
I received the DVDs and am about to watch them for a third time. They are wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.
Ellen from New York state
Review of Tom Turner’s new DVD series:
Invite a highly respected potter into your classroom!!! Expose your students to 44 years of experience through viewing a Tom Turner workshop. Turner’s new DVD series is an engaging resource for students wishing to explore ceramics in-depth. The four disk DVD set documents a workshop where Turner shares his knowledge and experience in ceramics. It is fascinating to watch Tom go through the steps of making his masterpieces, and gain insight into his artistic thought processes. Tom discusses and demonstrates correlation of decoration and design, throwing and trimming, lids, teapots, handles, wedging, as well as many more techniques. The last disc includes a portfolio showcasing Turner’s work from 1970 – 2004. Beginning art students to seasoned art teachers will glean information that is simply not available any other way.
The DVD set is available from Turner’s website: www.tomturnerporcelain.com, or by calling 828-689-9430. They are $97.30 including priority mail and insurance.
Libertyville High School
Vernon Hills High School
Vernon Hills, Illinois