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New Mexico Connections - 2022

Workshop Details:

 Friday through Sunday, August 19 - 21

Location: Ghost Ranch Retreat Center, Abiquiu, New Mexico

It was a great workshop and everyone had a great time, see The Slip Trail article. 

We come together in 2022 to renew our community in clay and share techniques and ideas with each other.  This year's New Mexico Connections workshop brings five experienced NMPCA members to share their knowledge, learn together, and celebrate creativity in the beauty of Ghost Ranch for two full days.


Luisa Baldinger

Yuriy Luzov

Brant Palley

Cirrelda Snider-Bryan

Merlene Walker 

Ghost Ranch Pinon Pottery Workshop

Ghost Ranch's Pinon Pottery Studio

Luisa Baldinger - Terra Sigillata

Luisa Baldinger, in collaboration with Judy Nelson-Moore, will be discussing the preparation of Terra Sigillata, the addition of various colorants to Terra Sigillata and its application to the hand-built form.

"My vessels are simply sculptural forms - vehicles for the exploration of color, surface, movement in three dimensions. Terra sigillata, stains and engobes are used to enhance form and surface, followed by a "fume" firing in aluminum foil saggars. 

I grew up in Santa Fe, and returning here in 1980 I soon married well-known potter, Frank Willett.  For more than fourty years we partnered in a number of ceramic adventures: producing a line of functional work,“Sunridge Pottery," combining our skills in wheel thrown pottery and slab-made work decorated with a landscape motif; we designed and produced “Santa Fe Lights,” a line of clay architectural lighting fixtures; and we owned and managed Santa Fe Pottery, a fine craft shop on historic Guadalupe Street carrying the work of over eighty local and regional craftspeople."  

More info at:

Yuriy Luzov - Polymer Clay

Yuriy Luzov will demonstrate the basics of murrine construction in Polymer Clay, with several cane profiles to generate a great variety of geometric patterns and three dimensional forms. Bigger, more elaborate sculptures may be constructed with a combination of these simple tessellated forms. With a good foundation, participants will be able to take this technique quite far. Materials are provided for hands-on learning.

Polymer clay is a medium that fascinated Yuriy's inner child in high school, and he's been working with it ever since.  Yuriy discovered the Murrine technique mostly on his own with minimal external influence, and therefore his style has developed in a unique way.

Born in Minsk, Belarus in 1982, Yuriy immigrated to the United States in 1994.  "As a child, seeds of a future in clay were planted when I discovered vast amounts of wild ball clay at my grandparents’ homestead in Ukraine, where I spent my summers.  In Colorado, I discovered atmospheric firing.  Now I have an anagama kiln of my own in Santa Fe, and am excited to build on over a decade of experience firing a variety of wood kilns around Colorado and New Mexico." 

More info on FB - Yuriy Sergeyevich Luzov   

           Brant Palley and Cirrelda Snider-Bryan - Stains and Oxides in Clay

A discussion about color in clay with a ceramic materials fabrication expert and a ceramics educator, focusing on oxides and stains. Participants will gain hands-on experience mixing a body-stain into porcelain, and making test tiles. Materials provided. Printed information will be shared: Mason Stain Ingredients; Joan Weissman Mason Body Stains for Porcelain; Wikipedia Inorganic Pigments; CAN Raw Materials; CAN Ceramic Color.

Brant Palley – Owner of New Mexico Clay since 1985. Graduate of Otis Art Institute, 1979.  Clay Body Designer, Webmaster at, Kiln Expert, and...Head Floor Sweeper.



Cirrelda Snider-Bryan – Artist/Educator/Community Muralist. Creator of clay programs/instructor of: cirrelda’s clases de clay (Pot Hollow South studio) and Clay Science at the Museum (NMMNHS). Whole school tile mural coordinator at Alvarado and Alameda Elementary schools, APS. Co-coordinator Protect Our Wildlife Corridors Community Mosaics, a project of Pathways located in Placitas, NM. Board member of NMPCA 2021-2024, editor of The Slip Trail. 

More info on Cirrelda: ,

Merlene Walker - Precious Metal Clay

Merlene will conduct a hands-on workshop in Precious Metal Clay. If you like working with clay, and you love silver jewelry, this is the best of both worlds!  Participants will see Merlene demonstrate how to work with Precious Metal Clay - no prior experience is needed.  Learn the basics: how to texture, shape and cut the clay; how to fire, polish and finish your work to best bring out the design. Students will learn these methods using bronze clay.  Silver Metal clay will be available if desired. Tools will be supplied. Tool kits and Precious Metal Clay available for purchase. 

Merlene Walker worked in a corporate environment for over 25 years. After years of taking art classes, and with the help of "The Artist Way" workshop, Merlene took a leap of faith and left her job to pursue a degree in art. She designs and facilitates metal clay classes and creative workshops to help others have fun and learn about the transformative power of creative possibilities in their life.  I am stimulated by museums, nature, books, and classes of all kinds. But my favorite stimulation is the exchange of ideas and experiences with others. I am better able to process my own thoughts more clearly as I listen to others share their experiences. Teaching provides the perfect venue for this exchange.” As a PMC instructor, certified by Tim McCreight, and cross-certified in Art Clay┬«, Merlene maintains memberships in the NMPCA and Eldorado Arts and Craft Association. 

More info at:

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