Mary Beth Kosiba
Lots of new things have been happening in Ceramics the last 14 months. Mary Beth and Larry Kosiba joined Ceramics in March of 2017 and became certified instructors in May of 2017. They are full-time residents and decided to keep the Ceramic Shop open throughout the summer. It was a huge success, giving many at SunBird something to do during the long, hot summer.
A pottery wheel was added in August of 2017. Many have learned the art of using the wheel. Larry Kosiba taught the Pottery Wheel at South Suburban Community College in South Holland, IL, and is teaching the Pottery Wheel classes. Gayle Chang is more than willing to help with the wheel as needed. She has years of experience at Mesa Arts Center and is a joy to work with. We love that everyone brings new ideas and techniques with them.
New officers were elected in February, 2018. President: Mary Beth Kosiba, Vice President: Larry Kosiba, Secretary Treasurer: Shirley Tackett
Many who have come back after many years have found a lot of changes in Ceramics. There are many new techniques as well as a large variety of glazes and stains. Dry brushing has fast become the most popular at SunBird. Shirley Tackett has done a great job of teaching and passing her skill on to others.
Several have traveled to other shops to learn the following specialty techniques:
1. Sager: which is done with acid, peanut butter and honey. You can also use crushed egg shells, copper wire, Nutella and jelly to get a different look. I know, it sounds weird, but the results are beautiful. The pieces look like pottery that you find in a museum from an archeological dig.
2. Metallic with horsehair: Horsehair has been around for a while, but mixing it with metallic is new. The results are beautiful.
We have never been able to do a lot of the specialty techniques at SunBird. We recently asked and received permission to do them here. With Larry Kosiba’s expertise and ability to help us do them safely, we feel comfortable now to offer them. We hope to be able to offer them sometime in the fall. Due the complexity, they will only be done a few times a year with class registration for each.
We also added a social night once per month last summer. We pick a different restaurant to go to each month, and it has been something we all enjoy. We also recently started inviting spouses to join us. It is always a fun time, and we quickly schedule our next one.
We just had our first clay hand building class, and it was a huge success. Their first project was a coffee mug. It was taught by Carollynn Hanson and Larry Kosiba. Carolyn has been clay building at Mesa Art Center for several years now and recently joined us at SunBird. We are delighted to have her and all her talent. We look forward to learning many more techniques from her and Larry.
Mary Beth has been busy reorganizing and updating the lab. A lot of changes were made last summer, and she is busy making some new ones this summer. We have doubled the amount of glazes and stains that we have and are adding more shelves and labels to make it easier for everyone to find what they need. Everyone has been really happy with the changes, and we are always open to suggestions on ways we can improve and make it better for everyone.
Our membership has really grown, and we now have over 45 active members. Our summer months are really busy. It is not unusual to have 14 to 15 on any given day we are there. We are open on Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The sign says until 3:00, but frequently we are there until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. During the winter months when Lannie Pappano is back as our third instructor, we are open on Wednesday as well. That brings me to a sad note. We lost Anthony Pappano last summer. He and Lannie have been instructors at SunBird for many years. They both were instrumental in bringing Larry and me on as instructors. We will forever miss him, and we all are grateful for his many years of service and friendship.
We have a couple of things on our wish list for the future. We would like to display some of our beautiful pottery and ceramic pieces on the first floor. We started last summer displaying our current projects in the case outside our room and rotate frequently with new pieces. We get a lot of people stopping in to tell us how much they enjoy seeing what we are working on. We have come to realize that a lot of people never make it up to the second floor, so we would like to display on the first floor as well. If anyone has a cabinet with glass doors that they would like to donate to us, please call Mary Beth Kosiba at 219-689-5800 or the SunBird office. We would really appreciate it.
The other thing on our wish list is a specialty table for flat clay building. We hope to add it sometime down the road.
We would love to have you join us. Don’t think you have to be really artistic to be able to successful at Ceramics. There are a lot of us who can’t even draw a stick figure. There are many different directions that you can go, and we are here to help you find which one is right for you. You may want to do them all or just stick with one. We have a lot of fun and fellowship, and there is always room for more. We hope to see you soon.