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Past Workshops

This artist talk + demo runs from 10 am to 4pm with an hour lunch break in between. Lunch will be provided! There will also be a Q + A towards the end so be prepared with questions to ask Kevin!

Saturday, February 8th, 2020
from 10am to 4pm.

*(the price difference will be refunded)




Kevin Kowalski is an artist, educator and owner of Kowalski Pottery. He has been working with clay for over 20 years and teaches beginning and advanced Ceramics at Esperanza High School. He is married to his wonderful wife Abi and has two fantastic daughters. He also runs and operates Kowalski Pottery in Placentia, California where he makes and sells soda fired and glazed porcelain pottery. His artwork marries soda firing with the Mocha Diffusion decorating technique to create atmospheric landscapes. Dusk and dawn are the time periods he aims to capture and the carved landscape is the perfect setting for the green trees and bushes. His landscape series also explore a heavily textured lava flow surface and aerial perspectives of the worlds beautiful shorelines. He has taught many workshops including multiple day hands-on workshops at The Palo Alto Art Center, Clay By the Bay SF and Chaffee College in AZ.

Artist Statement

In my current body of work I am using the methods of Mocha Diffusion and soda firing to create decorative landscapes on my utilitarian pottery. I have developed depth in each landscape composition through layers of texture, design and atmosphere.

With references to Mochaware of the early 1800’s my dendritic tree decoration is a dominant feature in each scene. The unique pattern of foliage is achieved in most cases through a brush stroke of chrome green oxide with an organic acidic mixture on top of a fresh layer of liquid clay. The addition of the sun or full moon is a way I add a focal point and create a sense of balance and depth in the composition. The sky and atmosphere in the landscape is created by flashing slips and soda vapor which is reminiscent of dusk and dawn.

After falling in love with the rich and vibrant surfaces of Gail Nichol’s soda fired work and learning about Mocha Diffusion decoration while watching a Robin Hopper video I knew the two techniques could work great together. Nichols and Hopper are wonderful examples of artists using traditional methods and creating innovation in their work. This inspired me to bring together the two methods of Soda firing and Mocha Diffusion to innovate these traditional surface treatments in my work.


This 5-hour Master Class will be presented in 2 parts, over 2 consecutive evenings:

Tuesday, JUNE 11 & Wednesday, JUNE 12
from 6:30pm – 9:00pm

$90 for Members and current Xiem Students

$100 for Non-Members



Titia brings the wealth of her creative background in a variety of media to her role as instructor at Xiem Clay Center & Gallery in Pasadena, CA where she teaches Beginning and Advanced Hand Building. As a designer, Titia collaborates with various Interior Designers. While some of her work is commissioned, she is also represented at galleries and design stores in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Houston and New York.

Artist Statement

I am a ceramic artist in Los Angeles, California. Living and working minutes from downtown Los Angeles in a loft on the rooftop of an industrial building known as “The Brewery”, I have an amazing view of the skyline. In contrast, my husband and I travel weekends to our home in Pioneertown, CA, where we love the inspiring views of nature in the high desert. Influenced by both, my sculptural vessels and tile designs are based, in part, on the geometric shapes found in nature and the features of man-made structures.

Viewed at a microscopic level, nature consists of diminutive systems, organized to create a larger whole. Simple, yet infinitely complex, recurring patterns are set in motion. Nature recreates itself in perfect symmetry, evolving beyond its origin.

Inspired by this concept, with respect for the geometry and patterns in nature, my pieces are constructed and organized with principles found in both geology and architecture. My creative impetus is to express these similarities, along with their contrasting elements, through form, and the use of crusty and smooth glazes as well as the stony surface of raw clay.

Although I utilize the wheel to throw certain elements of my work, primarily, I employ hand-building techniques. Often a recurring technique, slabs are cut, assembled into multiple, hollow forms and attached to the central body of the piece. These forms create volume while organized to convey the patterns found in nature - similarly duplicated by humans. Construction is architectural and complex, but the eye moves effortlessly over the graceful, greater whole.

Instagram: @titiaestes


Internationally acclaimed Japanese Ceramic Artist Yukiya Izumita will demonstrate his unique and exquisite ceramic techniques at Xiem Studio on Friday, May 24th, from 7.00pm - 8.30pm.

Our thanks to JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. Xiem Studio is honored and delighted to have this opportunity. Yukiya Izumita is visiting LA to participate in the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Events program for their current exhibition KESHIKI: The Landscape Within
This event is free and open to all levels, but space is limited.
Reservation is by email only to

Co-presented by JAPAN HOUSE, an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs - London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo - conceived by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Located in the heart of Hollywood, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles serves to showcase the best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, technology, and more, offering a rich experience that intrigues the five senses. For more information, please visit

DATES AND TIMES:        SATURDAY, October 13th
                                            From 11:00apm – 2pm

VENUE: XIEM STUDIO:     1563 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104

WORKSHOP FEE:             $175 for Members and Current Xiem Students
                                             $195for Non-Members


Conquer your fear (and loathing?) of glazing as you gain a deeper understanding of materials and process. 5 Xiem artists and instructors will share their personal insights, tips and tricks in this 6-hour workshop, presented in 2 parts, over 2 consecutive evenings.

DATES AND TIMES:         Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 25th & Wednesday,
                                            SEPTEMBER 26th. From 6:30pm – 9:00pm

VENUE: XIEM STUDIO:     1563 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104

WORKSHOP FEE:             $100 for Members and Current Xiem Students
                                             $125 for Non-Members


This 6-hour workshop will be presented in 2 parts, over 2 consecutive evenings:

Wednesday, APRIL 11 & Thursday, APRIL 12
From 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Workshop fee: $100 for Members and Current Xiem Students
                            $125 for Non-Members

Renowned ceramic artist and instructor Biliana Popova will present this unque 2-day hands-on workshop, applying the traditional teapot-making techniques of Yixing to the creation of contemporary designs.

Instruction will take place between 10am and 3pm on Tuesday, June 14th and Wednesday, June 15th. There will be a ½ hour lunch break from 12 – 12.30pm and students may work in the studio after class until 6pm on both days. Clay will be provided and each student will complete a teapot during the workshop. Teapots will be bisque fired within 2 weeks of completion of the workshop and students may return to glaze their pieces in Xiem studio during business hours the following week.

Previous handbuilding experience is prerequisite and a special set of tools will be required.

The kit will be available for purchase from our store for $35.

The workshop is limited to 12 participants and booking closes June 3rd.

Members: $165 Non-Members: $180

Printmaking for Clay


Saturday, October 17 (9am – 4pm)

Renowned ceramic artist, printmaker and educator Steve Horn presents this exciting 1-day, 6-hour, hands-on workshop assisted by inspirational ceramic artist and designer Heather Rosenman.

Steve will demonstrate and share with you his personal exploration of Lithographic Printmaking techniques, transferring multicolored images to clay using oxides and stains. Workshop is limited to 20 participants. Suitable for Intermediate and Advanced level Wheel Throwing and Hand Building students.

Workshop fee includes the firing of 1 piece per participant, not exceeding 250 cubic inches. There will be a 1-hour break from 12noon – 1pm. Register Online Only Xiem Members: $95 Non-

Members: $115 + Required Class Materials Kit: $35.00

Register for this Workship >>

A Workshop with Steve Horn
June 10th, 11th, 21st - 2013

Renowned ceramic artist, printmaker and educator Steve Horn’s work is astonishingly fluid, anarchic and playful, but its apparent ease and spontaneity are founded on skill, practice, curiosity and boundary-pushing. Students consistently take his classes more than once, as there is always so much more to discover.

In this 3-day, 9-hour, hands-on workshop. Steve will demonstrate and share with you his personal exploration of printmaking techniques for clay. Topics covered will include Photocopy and Lithographic transfer of images, using oxides and stains.

Workshop Calendar:

Monday: June 10th: 10:00am -1:00 pm
Tuesday: June 11th: 10:00am – 1:00 pm
Friday: June 21st: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Workshop fee includes 25 lbs of clay and 2,750 cubic inches of firing space per student.
Students may continue to work on their projects in the studio until 5:00pm on the days of the workshop.
Allow 7-10 days for final firing of finished pieces.
This workshop is limited to students with an intermediate level of ceramic experience in handbuilding or wheel throwing

Workshop fee: $125 (members) $150 (non-members)

Register ONLINE or in person or by phone (626-794-5833)

Booking for this workshop closes Thursday, June 7th.

and other “Mad Potter” Wheel Throwing Techniques


When: Monday, June 14th
Tuesday, June 15th
Thursday, Juen 17th
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Where: Xiem Clay Center

Click here for Direction and Hours
 Ross Peterson
Description: In this 3-day, 9-hour, hands-on workshop, renowned ceramic artist, printmaker and educator Stephen L. Horn will demonstrate and share with you his mastery of throwing, altering and assembling forms made on the potters wheel.

Topics will include:
  • Ways to achieve maximum wall height
  • Exploring the potential of intentional distortion
  • Deconstruction and additive construction
This workshop is limited to 8 students and suited to those with Intermediate throwing ability.

Steve’s work has an anarchic and playful fluidity, but its apparent ease and spontaneity are founded on skill, practice, curiosity and boundary-pushing in ceramics and other creative media.
Fee: Xiem Members:   $100
Non-Members:     $150
Reservation: Xiem Members: Registration Closed
Non-Members: Registration Closed

Please register online at the above link, in person or by phone (626-794-5833).
Booking for this workshop closes Thursday, June 10th.

All levels welcome.

with Alice Simpson
When: Saturday, February 27th, 2010
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Where: Xiem Clay Center

Click here for Direction and Hours
Description: A demonstration workshop offering you ideas for creating a water-based surface suitable for bisque and high-fired sculpture, using Old Fashioned Milk Paint. As an alternative to glazing, Milk Paint, made from milk protein, is gaining wide usage by artists, because its ingredients are natural and will not harm the environment.

Demonstrating on her newest work, “Cio-Cio San & Dolore” from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly from her Opera Series, Alice Simpson will share techniques she has developed.

Alice Simpson has been making, exhibiting, curating and teaching art for more than forty years. After an award-winning career as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator, Simpson taught drawing, design and packaging at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) NY, The School of Visual Arts, (SVA) NY, and Otis-Parsons, LA. Alice Simpson’s artist books and clay sculptures have been exhibited internationally, and are included in collections at The Victoria & Albert Museum, UK; Lincoln Center Library for Performing Arts, NY; Harvard; Yale; Stanford and Dartmouth. Alice Simpson was awarded residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, ME, Otis College of Art & Design, CA, and four NY BOCES Grants for Artists in Education.

To view Alice's work, please visit:
Fee: FREE!
There is no charge for this workshop but prior registration is required.
Reservation: Members: Registration Closed

Non-Members: Registration Closed

What: Photographing Your Ceramics
When: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 10am to 2pm
Where: Xiem Clay Center

Click here for Direction and Hours
Artist: Ann Elliot Cutting -

Ann Cutting is a professional photograper and Art Center instructor and a member of Xiem Studio. She understands the challenges facing ceramic artists who often need professional quality images for juried shows, promotional materials and internet marketing.
Description: In this hands-on workshop you will learn how to photograph your ceramic pieces in a variety of lighting situations that are available to you at home or in your studio. Ann will also cover composition, lighting techniques to accentuate shape and texture, editing and simple retouching as well as streamlining your photography for an online store like Etsy.

You may also want to bring your own backdrops of fabric, paper, interesting surfaces, but there will be plenty in class too.
Requirement(s): Each student will need:
  • a digital camera
  • camera manual
  • tripod
  • your own ceramics to be photographed (up to 5 pieces)
  • a packed lunch (there will be a 30 minute lunch break)
Fee: Xiem members - $100.00
non-members - $150.00
Limit: This workshop is strictly limited to 10 participants. Early booking is advised.
Reservation: Members: Registration Closed

Non-Members: Registration Closed

What: ARTIST TALK with Bari Ziperstein
When: Saturday, August 22, 2009 - 1pm
Where: The Armory Art Center

Los Angeles based artist and Xiem studio member, Bari Ziperstein presents an artist talk about her fantastical ceramic works currently featured in the group exhibition "Drama of the Gifted Child: The Five Year Plan" at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena. Geared towards Xiem members and the LA ceramics community, Ziperstein's artist talk will touch on topics relating to economy of sculptural materials, history of ceramic sculpture in Los Angeles, and intentions behind her ceramic works. This event is not to be missed - we anticipate some lively discussion!

All welcome. Please contact us to RSVP by 8/20/09
The Work: Ziperstein's process of re-assembling functional domestic objects - from found thrift store end table, hand made ceramic object, to collected lamps reimagined as piñatas - aims to re-interpret the domestic setting by challenging the physical and psychological perceptions of model domiciles and disorientating how its inhabitants are meant to interact within such spaces. However, by employing the language and rhetoric of modernist architecture (industrial, monochromatic, economic use of materials, utilitarian) – the lavish and coveted, if truly unattainable, interiors of home design magazines – she is able to create sculptures that at once waver between the fantastically absurdist and the comfortably commonplace.

The Artist: Bari Ziperstein, who lives and works in Los Angeles, is a site-specific sculptor, photographer, collage, and ceramic artist who is interested in activating space through intervention and organization. Her artistic practice is engaged with the architectural history of Los Angeles and can be read as an investigation of how urban landscapes are defined by consumerism. Ziperstein holds her MFA from CalArts and double majored at Ohio University to receive a BFA in painting and a Women’s Studies Degree.

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