After School Programs at Wildfire Ceramic Studio
Growing Creativity In Missoula Montana
WILDFIRE CERAMIC STUDIO
High School After School Art Classes and Professional Development
Wildfire Ceramic Studio offers a range of in-person and virtual after school programs in both hand-building and wheel-throwing for high school students who are seriously considering pursuing an education in the arts. WCS offers three, four, six, and eight-week courses with a current maximum of three students per on-site class to avoid crowding and to help ensure the health and safety of the students, resident artists, and community.
Select classes are also offered via Zoom. Students are provided with materials and instructional videos that follow the in-person class materials. Students deliver finished work to WCS for firings and documentation.
All classes provide professional documentation of artwork completed in courses. Six and eight-week classes provide one week of artist statement and resume development.
Private lessons are available.
Please email WildfireCeramicStudio@gmail.com for inquires, pricing, or to reserve a spot. Reserved spots require a 50% deposit with full payment due by the start date. All deposits are fully refundable if classes are canceled due to COVID.
All classes include required materials and firings. WCS does not provide open studio hours outside of class times.
Class Descriptions and Schedule
World of Textures
Taught by ceramic artist and educator Megan Caldwell. Students in this course will spend four-weeks learning the fundamentals of texturing clay through the use of found objects. During this course, students will make a variety of sculptural pieces that utilize objects collected by the students and educator. The class will conclude with 1 week of a professional development section where students will learn how to put together a portfolio, what it takes to be a successful artist, and participate in a professional critique.
Taught by figurative sculptor Sarah Conti, this six-week course will focus on sculpting wildlife. Students will learn how to create a basic armature and solid construction with hollowing. The class will conclude with 1 week of a professional development section where students will learn how to put together a portfolio, what it takes to be a successful artist, and participate in a professional critique.
Intro to Faces
Offered virtually with Zoom meetings Wed
Taught by figurative artist Stephanie Dishno. Students will spend four-weeks learning how to sculpt facial features such as eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Stephanie will be teaching an advanced two-month portrait class that will build off of the fundamentals from Faces
Wheel Throwing with an Intro into Glaze and Materials
Taught by functional potter, Bruce Kitts. This class will include three-weeks of basic wheel-throwing techniques for functional pottery forms from start to finish. During this time, students will also learn about the materials used in making clay and glazes, how to mix glazes, and how to fire an electric kiln. The class will conclude with one-week of a professional development section where students will learn how to put together a portfolio, what it takes to be a successful artist, and participate in a professional critique.
Intro Wheel Throwing
Taught by artist Krissy Ramirez this 6-week course introduces students how to create ceramic forms utilizing the potter's wheel. Learn the skills necessary to throw cylinders, bowls, cups, mugs, and more. Your instructor will demonstrate throwing, shaping, and trimming pots and will guide you step by step on how to make successful functional pieces. Basic surface decoration and glazing techniques will also be shown. The class will conclude with one-week of a professional development section where students will learn how to put together a portfolio, what it takes to be a successful artist, and participate in a professional critique.
Our Resident Artists and Instructors
Megan Caldwell is a ceramic artist and educator currently living in Missoula, Montana while teaching Art to grades 3-12 in Arlee, Montana. In 2017, Megan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas with her BFA and P-12 Teaching Licensure. During her undergraduate program, she received several awards for her artwork including the Pollack award for her ceramic sculpture to remain as a permanent installation in the Mulvane Art Museum's collection. Megan was also involved in leading demonstrations, organizing art-related public events, and heading the presidency of the Washburn Art Student Association during her undergraduate career. Currently, she is a focused educator that teaches a variety of media to her students including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, watercolor, mixed-media, and more.
Sarah Conti is a ceramic sculptor from western Washington, she received her BFA with a sculptural emphasis from the University of Idaho. After undergrad, she lived in Illinois for three years and was a resident artist at Terra Incognito ceramic studio. She then attended Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon to receive her post-baccalaureate in ceramics. Sarah is passionate about ecology, conservation, preservation, and sparking conversations about climate change and human impacts on wildlife species. She lately completed a ceramics post-baccalaureate at the University of Montana and is currently living, working, and birdwatching in Missoula.
Stephanie Dishno is a ceramic artist born and raised in Indianapolis Indiana. Stephanie obtained her BFA in ceramics at Herron School of Art and Design. After this, Stephanie attended a two-year post-baccalaureate at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Stephanie has participated in two short term residences at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge Montana. Stephanie received her MFA in ceramics at the University of Montana. Stephanie is creating work in Missoula, Montana.
Bruce Kitts was born and raised in Central Illinois where he received his BFA from SIU at Carbondale in 2009 that he followed up with a two-year residency at Terra Incognito in Oak Park, Illinois. He received his MA from EIU in 2012. As a member of the Illinois Artisan Program, his work has been displayed in various galleries and museums throughout Illinois. In 2015, Bruce left for the west coast where he was a studio tech and artist in resident at the Mendocino Art Center. Since then, his work has been displayed in several nationally juried exhibitions. In 2017, Bruce moved to Helena, MT to work as a studio potter and currently resides in Missoula, MT working in his home studio.
Krissy Ramirez discovered her passion for clay in the small border town of Douglas, Arizona. After moving to the hills of Silver City, New Mexico she continued her studies in ceramics and graduated with a BFA from Western New Mexico University in 2017. Krissy was awarded the Artist in Residence position at WNMU from 2017-2019 and is well known for her dedication to the arts community. There she was involved with a number of educational themed community mural projects that involved making ceramic tiles with Mimbres Regional Arts Council. She was also an assistant to many visiting artists for the Silver City Clay Festival such as Bede Clark, Julia Galloway, and Sunshine Cobb. She helped jury an annual K-12 arts shows and showed work in local galleries. Now, Ramirez resides in Missoula, MT, and just finished the year as a Post-Baccalaureate at the University of Montana. During her time here she has exhibited work at; The Clay Studio of Missoula, Fine Arts Building Student Gallery, Frontier Space, Off-Center Gallery, UMT University Center Gallery, and The UM Gallery of Visual arts.