Saggar Fire & Tile Art Workshop Blog

Learn The Art of Saggar Firing or Creating Dimensional Wall Art in one of my 2-day ceramic workshop. I welcome students of all skill levels to join me in my studio and studios across the country where I share my toolbox of tricks, tests, & techniques that I have discovered over the 20 years I have been saggar firing.

"Brenda's professionalism and artistic abilities combined with the beautiful surroundings (in Italy) inspired us all. I learned more in a week about clay, creating tiles, firing, and glazes than in all my art courses in undergraduate and graduate school combined! Thank you Brenda!" - Kasse Andrews-Weller, Washington, DC

ITALY: Savasana

Fri, Aug 7th, 2015 The final pose in every yoga class is Savasana. This is the most important and most difficult of all poses not because of how it is done, but because of what it represents, complete surrender.

In order to surrender, you have to let go and trust, two things that are very hard for humans to do. In clay, the ...   read full article →

ITALY: The Unfolding...

Sat, Aug 1st, 2015 Each Day, Makes a Week...

Our ceramic workshop of 9-days, consisted of 4 full studio days, 8am to 8 pm, with a late night open til 10pm. Some students were in the clay studio at the earliest opportunity, while others took advantage of the late nights.

Each ceramic workshop day began with a 1-hour yoga class at 7:30am; then clay studio ...   read full article →

ITALY: Off the Mat...

Thu, Jul 30th, 2015 INTO THE STUDIO

This has been a full ceramic workshop with diverse people, great ideas and lots of experimenting.

First, our crew of aspiring clay makers hale from as far away as Finland, Australia and Georgia (the country) the U.S. Northeast region and Brussels.

We have a wide variety of participants. Some are gifting themselves a week of intensive pottery ...   read full article →

ITALY: A Tile Workshop Complete

Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015 OFF the table & ONTO the wall

The studio is clean and our students are done. We had an incredibly diverse and complete experience exploring ceramic tile wall art in Italy.

It was a small but prolific and diverse group. From Switzerland to DC and NY to Italy, we spanned several countries and explored many hand made tile concepts.

Texture was ...   read full article →

ITALY: Our Routine in Clay

Sun, Jul 19th, 2015 A day in the life...of a ceramic workshop in Italy. The clay studio opens at 8 am, but class does not officially begin til 9:00.

A coffee break at 10:30, then a 3- course lunch at 12:30. We're back in the ceramic studio by 2:30, work til 4:30 then stop for another coffee break, with cookies and conversation.

Some ...   read full article →

ITALY: Clay On The Wall...

Sun, Jul 12th, 2015 Creating Sculptural Wall Art in TUSCANY

During this first 11-day workshop I am joined by a bevy of dedicated clay enthusiasts who are getting clay 'On The Wall'.

Margot & Pierre are from Switzerland, while Kasse is from Washington, DC. Danielle is Italian from Torino and Karen is from NY...but we met in Florida and she signed up for ...   read full article →

TUSCANY: La Meridiana School of Ceramics

Sat, Jul 11th, 2015 ART IN CERTALDO, ITALY

Certaldo is a small Tuscan town nestled between Florence and Sienna. It's ancient sister, Certaldo Alto (up on the hill) is a relic from the 1200's and a spectacular feast for the eyes. One of our excursions will take the group there.

The school is a 15 minute drive up the winding road into the ...   read full article →

Four Tuscan Towns

Thu, Jul 9th, 2015 Pisa, Lucca, Firenze & Certaldo.

I have arrived, a few days early to re-acquaint myself with Italy and prepare for the students.

My plane flew into Pisa - it's the first time I have been here. It is a lovely small city with many streets to walk and smaller sites to see en route to the big one, yes, ...   read full article →

Tuscany Ceramic Workshop 2015 - It's here!

Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015 Early July, 2015 begins my second trip to Italy to welcome students from around the world to Certaldo, the beautiful Tuscan town nestled between Florence and Sienna. It will be a month of Clay, creativity & cappuccino, sunrises, saggars & socializing all while enjoying art, history, piazza's the the wonderful wiles of Italy.

Stay tuned here ...   read full article →

The Art of Tile, A Workshop


What a great group in Northport, North Carolina. My 2 day tile making and glazing workshop was filled with enthusiastic participants who learned a great deal...and made beautiful pieces.

Day one I reviewed 3 tile techniques I use. On day two they finished their small murals and we moved onto glazing. ...   read full article →

Italy in 2015

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014 A TUSCAN MEDITATION

It's official! I'll be heading back to Italy in July of 2015. This time I'll be combining my love of yoga with my love of clay in a one-week ceramic workshop.

This hand-building ceramic workshop will explore tile work, carving and coil techniques. I'll introduce students to the ...   read full article →


Thu, Oct 31st, 2013 Ceramic Workshops in Italy


Though the Renaissance began across Europe, it was felt most strongly and left the greatest lasting impression in Italy's Florence. I spent 6 nights in this great city.

I fell in love with Italy as I taught in the rolling hills of Certaldo and was wowed by the beauty of ...   read full article →

CINQUE TERRA: Vernazza to Corneglia


I spent 4 nights and 5 days in these amazing Cinque Terre cliff side communities. In some ways it felt like a step back in time.

The simple beauty of the land, the spray of salt in the air, the cobble streets and narrow was a fragrance and texture like no other.

The natural ...   read full article →


Mon, Oct 28th, 2013 After my 14 days of teaching, I began a solo trek of two of Italy's most beautiful places. My first stop was in the Cinque Terre.

Thanks to travel guru Rick Steves, my visit to the town of Vernazza was made perfect by my reservation at Gianni Franzi's wonderful inn. With a spectacular view of the great Ligurian Sea, ...   read full article →

An Italian Farewell: My Travel Begins

Sun, Oct 27th, 2013 All the kilns were unloaded, pots packed and Our last full day was about goodbyes.

After our last Lucia Lunch...we visited the studio of a local contemporary fine art potter and then got one last look at Certaldo Alto, the ancient city on the hill.

Terry Davies is the local potter. Though he lives in Certaldo, he is a British transplant ...   read full article →

La Meridiana: They Make It Happen

La Meridiana would not exist without a host of important players, all of whom we appreciated!

Claudia is too big to fit under one title! She is our impressive hostess and woman of great knowledge and passion. She is the one that holds the warmth, love and business together with ...   read full article →

ITALY 2013: Our Crew of Artists

Sun, Oct 20th, 2013 Here is the class crew...Irit and Ilana are friends and good potters from Israel. One is quiet, the other explosively effervescent, they are the yin and yang to our Yin & Yang workshop. Mark, Debbie, Alison and Don hail from Colorado; each has clay experience and has come to address issues, break out of old patterns or ...   read full article →

ITALY 2013: The last stretch...

Thu, Oct 17th, 2013 Italy reveals itself like a fine wine. Delicious at first and then layered with expressions along every sensory surface! The more I drink her in, the deeper I fall in love.

I know this is the land of my family...and in some way I am not impartial....and yet, there is a love of life, food ...   read full article →

ITALY IN AUTUMN: Week two begins

Wed, Oct 16th, 2013 It has been a cool autumn in Certaldo. It seems to rain each night, but the sun shines brightly during the day. These 17th century farmhouses hold the chill so our morning and afternoon espresso breaks are a welcome relief from the studio work day and the chill.

Perhaps one of the best daily highlights is Claudia's stories about ...   read full article →

Tuscany week one

Thu, Oct 10th, 2013 October 7, 2013. Day 2

It was a brisk autumn morning, the fog holding onto the horizon with fierce determination. The 14 students got to know one another at last night's welcome dinner and this morning we enjoyed caffe and pastries together before the program began.

The real fun started as tom began doing a demo... There was so much ...   read full article →

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