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NM Connections Workshop - 2024

Workshop Details:

When: Friday through Sunday, August 23 - 25, 2024

Location: Ghost Ranch Retreat Center, Near Abiquiu, New Mexico

Registration opens March 18th. To register for this workshop, click here.

To apply for a student scholarship, click here.

Read below for workshop descriptions:


As NMPCA celebrates 50 years, we gather together in

August, 2024 to renew our community in clay, 

learn together and celebrate creativity over 3 days,

ensconced within the grandeur of Ghost Ranch. 

This year's NMPCA workshop at Ghost Ranch brings

New Mexico artists Lee Akins, Barbara Campbell,

Kerry Halasz, and Sheryl Zachariah to share their

techniques, knowledge, and inspiration with us.

Lee Akins

Fear No Glaze

 Workshop Description:

Everything you ever wanted to know about glazing your work but were afraid to ask! This workshop will cover basic and advanced glaze applications through lecture and demonstration. Topics will include glazing strategies, layering and resist techniques, oxides and stains, considerations of form as relates to best glaze application, how to fix glaze drips, dealing with glaze mistakes, and overall troubleshooting glazes. Learn to glaze with confidence!

About Lee Akins: 

Lee Akins was born in Texas and grew up in Taiwan. He received his B.F.A. from the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio in 1975 and M.F.A. in Ceramics from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas in 1986. He has exhibited internationally in Taiwan and Japan and nationally including The Dallas Museum of Art. Lee’s work has been featured in ceramic magazines and books including a feature article in Ceramics Monthly, August/September 2006. Having taught ceramics for more than 45 years, he currently teaches at UNM-Taos and Taos Ceramics Center.

Sheryl Zachariah   

Forming Technique & Design

Workshop Description:

“My work has been guided less by the need to decorate and more by the desire to create a surface, or painting if you will, that is married to the form. Form for me is always of first importance, and dictates the surface."

I will demonstrate how I build my sculptures - primarily slab building, adding and subtracting, to create symmetrical or asymmetrical sculptural pieces. We will conclude with a demo/explanation of my current surface techniques using terra sigillata, oxides, underglaze and glaze to accent and enhance textures and forms.

About Sheryl Zachariah:

Sheryl Zacharia was born and raised in the New York area and lived in Manhattan all of her adult life. At Southhampton College, she majored in painting but spent many years pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter. She performed in the NYC club circuit for over 10 years and is a published songwriter.

Missing her visual arts roots, she began working in clay, which started her on new artistic path. She studied and worked in various potteries and has exhibited both locally and nationally. Her pieces have been published in various magazines and books, and are in various museums and private collections. In 2011 she completed an eight month extended residency at The Museum Of Arts and Design in NYC. Most recently, she won an award for her piece in the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art ceramic Biennial. 

Though she has always considered herself a die-hard New Yorker, she recently relocated to Santa Fe New Mexico to live out her dream of being a full time artist with a home studio. She looks forward to a different pace where her energy can be focused on her work and she can enjoy the surrounding beauty and culture that the area has to offer.


Barbara Campbell

Alternative Clay

& Faux Finish

Workshop Description:

Barbara Campbell will lead a hands-on workshop delving into the possibilities of sculpting with self-hardening clay. 

Since traditional ceramic fired finishes are not used on this clay, Barbara will instruct on the use of various "room temperature" painting media to create faux finish patinas. Participants will encounter a little-known alternative clay material and find novel ways to expand their creativity.

About Barbara Campbell:

  I intended to study foreign diplomacy and took a pottery class elective in my first year of college. I was so fascinated by the material; I transferred into Fine Arts and got my degree in Ceramics. I have been exploring the infinite facets of pottery making ever since. I have lived and worked in the village of El Rito for nearly forty-five years.

Kerry M Halasz

Photographing Ceramics

 Workshop Description:

         In the past, photographing ceramics was mostly defined by one style: a well lit white or gray gradient background. While this style is still required for submission to many galleries and shows, a wide range of options for creatively capturing images of pottery has opened up because of social media.

Participants will learn how to use natural light and unique backgrounds along with more traditional styles to photograph their work beautifully in order to grab the attention of the viewer, whether the purpose is for websites, social media, or show entries.

The instructor will demonstrate techniques   using both DSLR and smartphone cameras.

Photo Shoot Available

        Kerry is available to photograph participant’s work during two sessions at the workshop.  A sign up form will be available at the beginning of the workshop weekend for 15-minute photo shoots. Participants may choose the type of image: 1. a traditional light box background or 2. a more natural outdoor location.  Cost is $50/individual session, including labor and 4 digital images to be emailed within one week of the workshop.                                                                          

About Kerry M Halasz:

Kerry M Halasz, a native New Mexican, has been a professional photographer for more than 25 years and a ceramicist for 8 years.

Kerry’s interest in ceramics began at Santa Fe Clay where she learned hand building and wheel throwing. A love for making quickly grew into selling her work online and in local shops and studio tours. Knowing that great images pull buyers in, Kerry began photographing her own pieces using varied backgrounds and settings. She also photographed the work of other potters, emphasizing each piece’s beauty and uniqueness while helping it stand out in a crowded field.

                              Registration for NM Connections opens March 18th. To register for this workshop, click here.

To apply for a student scholarship, click here.

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