The latest Workshop Sunday was organised and held by Friends of PSAD on the 16 October 2022.

Read below students’ reviews and scroll right down for the photographs from the day !

Review by Susan Derbyshire on Tina Vlassopulos class – Burnishing (pottery)

On Sunday 16thOctober, I signed up for a pottery workshop at Putney School of Art. This was led by Tina Vlassopulos, an internationally acclaimed ceramicist, whose work centres around the technique of burnishing. I have to admit, I was not familiar with Tina or her work. In fact, my heart sank when I was asked to write a review of the day. I have in the past found myself in similar situations, having to put a positive spin on something I had not engaged with. Thankfully I needn’t have worried, from Tina’s opening slide show, we all knew we were in for a treat. Tina’s self deprecating accompanying talk was both informative and inspiring. Her approach is direct and with a no nonsense approach to pottery.
Tina’s forms are deceptively simple. Elegant, sensual and gravity defying. They are embellished by the technique of ‘Burnishing’, (polishing) the unfired greenware surfaces. This is achieved by using everyday items like metal spoons, knives and plastic bags. Her work unifies both form and surface. Unlike so many artists Tina has no qualms about sharing her methods and tips, most refreshing. When fired the results are poetry in clay.
As you can see from the accompanying images, a wide range of work was created under Tina’s guidance. The day was a huge success and burnishing has to be the next, go to stress buster. Burnishing (polishing) is a totally immersive relaxing experience. If you have the opportunity I recommend you try a Tina Vlassopulos Burnishing workshop, you will not be disappointed. Last but not least a shout out for Leigh who was on hand as technician throughout and Nicole who organised such a wonderful day.

Review by Jackie Bailey on Nick Pearson class – Cubist Drawing

I have just spent a wonderful, engrossing day following in the footsteps of Picasso and Braque. Leading the group on this fascinating journey was art history lecturer and studio tutor Nick Pearson.

It started with a little bit of background on the Cubists with Nick talking about their thinking and what they were trying to achieve. But it wasn’t long before we were set to work. It was off to our easels and then the unveiling of a mixed still life set up in the centre of the studio which included, amongst many other things, a mannequin, guitar, wine bottles and violin. Armed with white paper and charcoal we were asked to draw what we saw. 15 minutes later I looked up from my sketch (which I was finally getting to grips with) only to find I was looking at the still life from a completely different angle. Nick had cleverly placed it on a hidden Lazy Susan which meant he was able to change our view point when ever he felt we were getting too comfortable with what we were looking at. We were again told to draw what we saw on the same piece of paper over the first drawing. This happened a number of times throughout the morning before we moved on to stage two. By this time my drawing was looking a right mess – ‘a crazed Giacometti’ was I think how it was referred to by Nick.

Next we were asked to take some white emulsion and a brush and paint over four fifths of the page leaving only the parts and shapes we felt were the strongest.

During lunch the drawings dried off and after the break it was onto applying collage and redrawing. With the original still life still in the back of our minds the group worked into the afternoon tweaking and adjusting their artworks.

Nick’s teaching style was great. There were lots of breaks where we reviewed everyone’s work and plenty of one to one feedback. There were also lots of references to the work of famous Cubists and other artists – Nick would show us their work and talk about their ideas and creative processes all with the aim of stimulating and helping us develop our own work.

The day just flew by. It was one of the best short art courses I have done – informative, challenging and a whole lot of fun.

Many thanks to Nick and the Friends of Putney School of Art. I am already looking forward to the next one.

Jackie Bailey

Below photo album – click on the first image. Photos by Leigh Jenkinson, Nicole Hollingworth and Mark Hayman.