Instructor:  Whitney Smith
Host: Kala Stein

Saturday, March 25, 2023
1-3pm Pacific Standard Time, USA. 

Check your timezone here.

Your ceramics deserve a beautiful surface! This 2-hour workshop explores Whitney's TWO favorite approaches to surface design on her ceramics, using underglazes, to achieve colorful and visually stunning one-of-a-kind surfaces while deploying sgraffito and mishima for a contrasting tactile depth that can really make your painted surfaces pop. 

These are effective decorating techniques for ceramic artists of all kinds (potters and sculptors) who want to create detailed, painterly, and/or drawn surfaces without having to struggle with standard colored glazes that flux and blend in unpredictable ways. 

Part 1: SGRAFFITO: Whitney will show you how she uses colorful underglazes using a variety of paint brushes to freehand paint the surface, occasionally using a pencil to mark guidelines. She will then demonstrate how to carve the surface to make the painted elements and images pop by exposing the dark clay underneath. 

Part 2: MISHIMA: Not into dark clay? No worries, for lighter stoneware and porcelain Whitney will show you how to inlay color to create strong contrasting lines into carved surfaces. This technique also uses underglazes, and results in stunning, controlled surface designs.

This Zoom workshop takes place in Whitney's studio (Vallejo, California, USA). 

Questions are always welcome and a large part of this workshop will be Q&A overlaid with the demo. You can pre-submit your questions using the Submit Your Questions button on the left side of your student dashboard (especially helpful if you cannot attend!).

Some students like to work during the workshop and others do not - this is your preference- we recommend watching the first time and then working alongside the recording of the video at your leisure.

All students will receive the Zoom recording to watch at their convenience after the workshop runs (you will be notified through an email within 48 hours after the workshop runs) and the recording will be a link on your student dashboard through June 25, 2023. 

If you have additional questions about this class or registration, please email us at [email protected]

Once you register you will find the tool list and the zoom link in your student dashboard. You will have access to the video for 3 months after it runs so if you cannot make it to the live class, register anyway and pre-submit your questions in the student dashboard.


Artist, Educator Whitney Smith

Whitney Smith owns and operates Whitney Smith Pottery, a sometimes production but mostly small-batch pottery studio in Vallejo California, where she lives with her husband. Whitney got her start in pottery while getting a degree in Anthropology, working for a successful local potter in Santa Cruz where she realized her new obsession with clay could actually be a full-time pursuit, which it has been since 1998. Whitney’s ceramic collections have gone through many transformations in style and creation over the past 2 decades, but it is always informed by her background in painting and a serious love for floral motifs and shapes found in nature. With her ceramics, she hopes to create a moment of transcendence within otherwise mundane, everyday moments in life. Whitney’s work has been shown and collected across the United States as well as internationally. She has written, lectured and been interviewed extensively in print media and online about her life as a working artist. She is also an instructor and runs an in-person teaching studio called Vallejo Clay Workshop out of her own studio in downtown Vallejo.