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New Mexico Connections, 2020

Ghost Ranch Retreat Center, Abiquiu, New Mexico
A 2-day Workshop, Friday through Sunday, August 28-30

We came together in 2020 to renew our community in clay and share techniques and ideas with each other.  This year's New Mexico Connections workshop brought four experienced member ceramicists who worked and played with participants.   We shared, learned, and celebrated at beautiful Ghost Ranch for two full days.  

The presenters were Joe Bova, Michael Thornton, Judy Nelson-Moore and Andrea Pichaida

Read an article about the workshop on our blog.

Ghost Ranch Pinon Pottery Workshop

Ghost Ranch's Pinon Pottery Studio


In this workshop Joe will demonstrate his "clay repousse" techniques for modeling animal forms from the inside out of wheel thrown and hand-built forms.  Finding the animal in the pot or on the pot.  For throwers or hand-builders. Bring your favorite tools. 

About Joe:  A member of the International Academy of Ceramics, Joe Bova was educated at the University of Houston (BFA, 1967) and the University of New Mexico (MA, 1969). A Professor Emeritus from LSU and Ohio University, in 2011 he was a Fulbright Fellow in Dublin, Ireland. Bova has taught workshops at institutions around the globe, including the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred, University of Georgia’s Cortona Italy Program, Rhode Island School of Design, Archie Bray Foundation, MT, the College of William and Mary, VA, and the Shangyu Celadon Modern International Ceramic Art Center, China. His work is in many public and private collections, including the Arizona State University Art Museum, International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary, the National Collection of Ireland, the Los Angeles County Museum, CA, the Mint Museum of Art, NC, and the Shangyu Museum, China. Joe lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

See more about Joe Bova's work on his website:

Michael Thornton

Naked Raku

Ceramic artist Michael Thornton will guide participants in an exploration of the surface effects possible with the Naked Raku technique. Discussion and demonstrations will lead to a focus on hands-on experience. Explore how the Naked Raku technique may be applied to your own artistic expression.

Participants will need to bring at least one bisque-fired ceramic piece (Clay suitable for raku firing, with a smooth surface is the best), which will then undergo the glaze-resist, and carbon-impregnation process.

Michael Thornton Bio: Michael has been creating with clay since his high school days, when he began to take ceramic art seriously. He came to New Mexico in the early 80s to earn his MFA at UNM. Now a retired high school art teacher, he maintains a studio practice in Albuquerque. His work can be seen at the Weyrich Gallery: and on the NMPCA Studio Tour:

Andrea Pichaida and Judy Nelson-Moore, Form and Surface with Paper Clay

Ceramic sculptors Andrea and Judy challenge each other and the workshop participants to seek different ways of working with clay, using paper clay. Try new ways to make old forms and surfaces, or experiment with new forms and surface effects. Discussion and demonstrations will augment the sessions, but the focus will be hands-on work, allowing participants to explore the paper clay medium from their own perspectives.

Andrea Pichaida started exploring the clay world at age 6 and has never stopped. She taught for 20 years at the Art School where she had also earned her Master Degree. Her main interest is to convey the beauty of nature with the human soul by creating abstract sculptures, where shape, color, texture and the craft play a main role. She discovered paper clay, worked with it and taught it for many years. Her work can be seen on her website and on the NMPCA virtual clay studio tour.

Judy Nelson-Moore has been working with clay of all kinds and many styles for 57 years, concentrating on paper clay since the early 1990’s. A long- time member of the NMPCA, she has presented paper clay and saggar-firing workshops. In her own work, she likes to combine clay with mixed media, such as paper collage, fibers, wood and metal. Her work can be seen on her website at and on the NMPCA virtual clay studio tour.

We call ourselves the NMPCA!