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2 Day –  Handbuilding  with Molds and Forms.  

A hands on clay workshop with Suzanne Wang

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Saturday & Sunday, May 4 & 5, 2019

From: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (With 1 hour Lunch Break)

Workshop Description:

Expand your vocabulary of forms using foam molds, forms and patterns with Big Island ceramicist, Suzanne Wang.  Suzanne will demonstrate slab plates and dishes using drape foam molds and fabrics.  The use of patterns will also be shown to assist with the molds. Finished examples will be available to study.  The importance of proper handbuilding technique and repetition will be emphasized to result in a series of quality pieces which looks and feels consistent.  Important factors such as air bubble/warpage prevention and structural integrity in joining will be addressed.  We will also explore surface treatments, including the use of slips and textured fabrics.


Students will be given styrofoam blocks and taught how to create their own mold forms which they can keep for future use. Depending on their level of experience, students can choose to make a plate, serving dish, or slab vessel made from their mold.  The second day will be spent continuing on students’ work and finishing pieces.  Final pieces will be fired and glazed after the workshop ends.  (We will have a glaze sign up sheet for you to come back to glaze your creations)



Instructor bio:

Born in Taiwan and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Suzanne Wang received her MFA in Scene Design from New York University and spent several years in the east coast and China before moving to the Big Island in 2010. Her past love of pottery was rekindled shortly after arriving to Hilo, where she took up the craft again. Her work is strongly influenced by East Asian aesthetics and the beauty of imperfection. Merging old and new, or folk art sensibilities with the contemporary, she is interested in ceramic sculpture and functional ware. Focusing on form and texture, her work is either thrown and altered, or hand-built out of coils or slab. In 2013, she took a workshop in Kona with master potter Ken Matsuzaki, and assisted him the following year when he returned. This led to an intensive one-year apprenticeship with him in 2016 in Mashiko, Japan.


$300.00 Tuition fee includes:  

  • 12 pounds = ½ bag Cone 5 White or Red Clay

  • Bisque & Glaze Firing (We will have a glazing sign up sheet with glaze dates)

  • Use of all community tools, glazes and underglazes

  • Styrofoam (1) 2” X 4’ X 8’ sheet of Polystyrene insulation board

  • Sandpaper

  • Sur-Form Tool

  • Fabric

  • Retractable utility knive

Students should bring:

  • Sharpie marker

  • If available, thin scrap fabrics no smaller than 16” X 16”. Fabrics can be netting, textured fabrics or hemp, as long as it is stretchable and thin. Large pieces of fabric are desirable, and can be cut down to size.

  • Personal clay tools (sponges, fettling knife, scrapers, needle tool, trimming tools) You can borrow HFH tools if you don’t have tools.

  • Apron and/or clothes to get dirty in  



Please review the Registration/Cancellation Policy, Studio Rules and Size Restrictions at the bottom of this page.

To reserve a seat in the next session you must register/pay tuition by Saturday April 27,  2019  

Size Restrictions for Pottery

Size restrictions apply to all ceramic pieces. Pieces are limited to 12 inches in all directions.. 

High Fire Hawaii LLC Registration/Cancellation Policy and Studio Rules

Register Early! Class /Workshops sizes are small.

You are not registered until you have paid in full.   You may pay in person or over the phone.

Tuition may be paid by cash, American Express, Visa, Master Card or Discover. Partial payments, post-dated checks and/or prorating of tuition are not allowed. Coupons and/or discounts do not apply to Special Workshops, Classes or Seminars.

ALL clay and glazes used in our studios must be from High Fire Hawaii LLC. NO EXCEPTIONS

Classes/Workshops that do not reach a minimum enrollment may be cancelled. In the event of class cancellation students will be notified approximately 4 days prior to the scheduled start of class. Full tuition will be refunded if High Fire Hawaii LLC cancels a class.

In the case of cancellation by student 7 days prior to the start date of a class, tuition will be refunded less a $50.00 cancellation fee. Refunds will be paid by check or a credit to your charge card.   No tuition will be refunded for missed classes or cancellations made less than 7 days prior to the scheduled date of class.

High Fire Hawaii LLC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule classes.

Our time is valuable. It is the student’s responsibility to attend all classes and pay attention. Students must respect the instructor and the other students. Time and space are limited and make-up sessions would conflict with other scheduled classes. We cannot offer refunds or make-up classes.

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Anyone who acts inappropriately may be asked to leave. NO REFUNDS 





Past Workshops

Introduction to Raku Workshop

with Shannon Hickey  /  WORKSHOP IS FULL 

Saturday, June  18 & 25, 2016

From:  12:30 pm – 4:00 pm 

$90.00 Tuition includes workshop, materials and firing.  WORKSHOP IS FULL / MAHALO 

In two sessions students will be introduced to the Raku technique. The first session will present an opportunity to design and create  2-3 pieces which are appropriate for Raku (no tableware). These pieces will be bisque fired before the second session.


In the second session students will glaze their pieces and observe the loading and firing of the Raku Kiln.  When the pieces are removed from the Raku kiln, several optional post reduction finishing techniques will be discussed and applied.   Finished pieces can be taken home at the end of this second session.

Size restrictions  will apply to all ceramic pieces for this Raku firing. 

*Students must be 18 or older to attend this workshop.

THIS IS NOT A BEGINNING  LEVEL CLASS  One High Fire Hawaii class before or experience in either hand building or wheel throwing.  

To register tuition must be paid in full on or before Saturday, June 4, 2016.  Register in person by coming to the store or calling to make payment over the phone. – Mahalo



Past  Workshops Below:


Hands On Ceramic Workshop

with Jason Walker

Featuring Handbuilding & Surface Painting

ONE DAY ONLY / Sunday, May 24, 2015 

From 9:00 am – 5:00 pm   (Workshop Full)  No more seats available



High Fire Hawaii Gallery & Studio is honored to welcome Jason Walker for a Hands On, one – day workshop  on Sunday, May 24, 2015 from 9:00am – 5:00pm

 Workshop description:

 In this workshop Jason will demonstrate his hand-building techniques with porcelain, and discuss how he combines his hand-built forms with slip cast parts. He will also demonstrate underglaze-painting techniques and discuss concepts and different approaches to combing two-dimensional imagery with three-dimensional form. Jason will also present his work in the form of a power-point lecture that will explain his history as an artist, his techniques and ideas.

 After each demonstration participants will get one on one instruction from Jason and have the opportunity to learn his techniques in a hands on format.

 Participants should bring basic tools for hand-building such as, metal ribs, small carving tools, an exacto knife, a fettling knife, various paddles (a wooden spoon will suffice), wire tool, rolling pin, sponge, towel, etcetera…

 Participants should also bring a small white dish or tile to use as a palette for underglaze, a small bowl to hold water for cleaning brushes and various sizes and shapes of watercolor brushes such as rounds, flats and liners.

 High Fire Hawaii does sell most of the clay tools listed above if you need.  We will provide each participant with a materials list. 

High Fire Hawaii will provide the porcelain clay, under glazes, bisque & glaze firings of the items created during the workshop.   You will create a hand built object no larger than 6X6X6 inches and receive 2 bone dry 6X6 inch porcelain tiles to paint on. 

Must Register before Friday, May 15, 2015  

(Seating Limited to 8 people)  Workshop Full 

Workshop Tuition $ 140.00  


We will break for lunch at some point in the day.  Bring a brown bag lunch .  It is a Sunday so most food businesses are closed in Hilo.  There is a Subway across the street.  



Jason Walker Artist Bio:

Jason was born in 1973 and grew up in Pocatello, Idaho, and is currently a studio artist residing in Bellingham, Washington. He received a BFA from Utah State University and a MFA from Penn State University. After schooling he taught for two years in Napa California, and since then has taught at numerous places nationally and internationally, such as Haystack Mountain School for the Crafts, Penland School for the Crafts, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China and the International Ceramic Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary. He spent two years as an artist in residence at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, where he was the recipient of the Taunt Fellowship award. He has also been awarded an NCECA International Residency Fellowship for a residency in Vallauris, France. He has work in major collections such as the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco: De Young, the Carnegie Mellon Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Arizona State University Art Museum, Ceramic Research Center, Tempe, Arizona. He is currently represented by Ferrin Gallery.

Past Workshops below:


Silk Painting Workshop

with Patti Pease Johnson

Saturday, December 13, 2014  from 12:30 – 3:30 PM 

2014 dec 13 silk scarf class

Seating Limited to 6  

Resignation extended to

Wednesday,  December 10, 2014 



Intermediate Silk Painting Workshop

with Patti Pease Johnson

To Be Announced

Tuition: $60.00 plus 10.00 material fee.


Pit Fire Workshop with Sam Robinson

To Be Announced

Learn theory and techniques of Pit Fired ceramics with organic and recycled items. Instructor Sam Robinson shares her expertise in Pit Firing using found items and natural materials in the process.

Saturday at High Fire Hawaii Gallery & Studio in Hilo. Instruction covers techniques and methods of producing pieces suitable for achieving the best results in a pit fire.

Saturday 9:00am – noon optional open studio.  An opportunity to finish/trim/burnish your piece as needed. Possibilities will be discussed in previous class.

Saturday 10:00am – pau Preparation and firing at the pit site near Pepe’ekeo. Location and construction of the pit, placement of pieces, firing materials, stoking and firing to achieve the best results will be demonstrated and discussed.

Sunday  3:00pm – 5:00pm Opening the Pit. This session is optional but encouraged.  The fired pieces are removed from the pit to be shared and admired. If you can’t attend the pit opening you may pick up your pieces after Tuesday, February 07, 2012 at High Fire Hawaii Gallery & Studio in Hilo.


Lauhala Weaving Workshop with

Jessica Harris  

To Be Announced

Instructor Jessica Harris gathers and prepares all the materials necessary to create a unique and authentic Hawaiian Lauhala Bracelet.

Using the leaves of the Hala (Padanus) Tree students will create a bracelet with embellishments. Traditional methods of plaiting and weaving will be employed to create an authentic piece that should last for many years.

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