By Nawarat Thongwang
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – A ceramics artist shared tips and tricks for decorating the surfaces of ceramic pieces at a workshop on April 18 in Lincoln Hall on the Camden County College Blackwood campus.
Michael Corney conducted the workshop, which was free and open to members of the public who wanted to learn about decorating on ceramic surfaces. About 15 people attended.
Corney began by introducing his work pieces to participants in the room. Then he showed them how to paint onto a ceramic piece with different kinds of brush techniques, how to use the brush stroke, how to make a smear with a sponge, how to use the duck tape technique and how to use and adapt basic tools and equipment, along with other tips to make a unique piece of art.
“The best and most important thing you can do is have fun with it. There are so many details that you have to pay attention to. It could be frustrating if you don’t know the trick. But to figure that out, sometimes it does take a lot of time and patience,” he said.
He added, “There are different ways to paint and decorate ceramic surface. There are also many types of paint, such as glaze, glossy and shiny. For the beginners, I would suggest to start with simple tricks before going to a complicated level.”
Corney, who is from Austin, Texas, likes to paint facial expressions on ceramic mugs as one of his signature work styles. He also makes pottery.
After Corney showed his tips, tricks and basic principles, participants got to try to decorate and paint prepared ceramic pieces, such as mugs and plates, by using tools and paints provided to them.
One of the participants, Elizabeth Getler, a CCC art student who plans to graduate in May, said she learned from the workshop. “Just to have fun is one thing but most importantly, what I got from joining this workshop today is I get to expand, explore and see what I can do to contribute to my art skills,” Getler said.
She added, “I took ceramic class last semester and the professor always brought his (Corney’s) work to be examples in class. Since then, I always admired his work and style. To be able to meet him in person and learn a few helpful tips from him today … is pretty awesome.”
The workshop was part of a visiting artist lecture and workshop series sponsored by the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission.