Nature, Forms

August 9-23

A two-week-long ceramic workshop / lecture series combining theoretical and practical approaches, led by ceramicists Irine Jibuti and Nona Otarashvili-Becher, and CeramicStudio1300. The course includes a special component with Nikoloz Meskhi dedicated to the art of Bonsai.


Transforming forms of nature into your work

Over the course of the workshop, the participants will get introduced to the history of ceramics and basic techniques of working with clay. They will be given tasks to reflect on and/or replicate in their work the impressions gathered from nature. The inspiration for these creations will come from theoretical lessons on Bonsai art and fieldwork in the nature of Tusheti.

Workshop Program:

Week 1

Theoretical lessons:

  • The art of Bonsai
  • The history of ceramics and its related technologies
  • Discussions
  • Drafting plans for individual projects


Practical lessons:

Participants will work on their individual pieces, a process that will include:

  • Working with clay through hand-building techniques and a throwing wheel
  • Covering the surface of the artworks with dye (slip, rust) and using natural prints
  • Preparing the work for different firing processes
  • Firing the artworks in the wood-fired kiln located at the Aqtushetii residency


Description of lectures on the art of Bonsai

Bonsai is the Japanese art of growing miniature trees through very specific techniques. Bonsai is not a genetic dwarf plant – it is an ordinary tree that after a special care remains small in size and has the same beautiful and natural shape, as that of its larger “companions” grown in nature.

For perfecting a small sapling, 3 or 4 years is sometimes not enough, therefore attention and patience are qualities required by anyone practicing this particular art. Ceramic clay pots are also a very important part of Bonsai aesthetics. The above-mentioned qualities apply to the process of working with clay as well.

The series of theoretical lectures throughout 3 days will be structured as follows:

Day 1: Discussion about Bonsai – as a field in the arts, its specifics and aesthetics.

Day 2: The importance of clay pots for Bonsai aesthetics – proportions and the ways in which the miniature trees adopt natural qualities.

Day 3: The practices of care and the techniques for forming a Bonsai.


Week 2

Nona Otarashvili-Becher’s Masterclass Naked Raku

The participants of the workshop will be able to make a slip, a ceramic dye, of different colors. In order to cover the surface, they will be using natural dye as well as some other components, including hand-made stamps and templates, taking part in a number of additional experiments. During the workshop, Nona will also be teaching the traditional Japanese technology of Raku firing and how to make typical dishware for the tea ceremony. Some Japanese bowls will be made of clay that contain a rough mixture of Grog (Ger. Schamotte) and clay. On the last day of the workshop, we will apply the Raku firing method.



650 Euros all-inclusive

This all-in price includes:

– transport Tbilisi-Omalo-Tbilisi

– 14 nights accommodation (in capsule dormitories)

– 15 days of catering: a light breakfast and two large meals per day

– participants will be provided with the material (clay, glaze, engobe, etc.) as well as the necessary equipment.


Application Information:

The course is open to both ceramic artists and enthusiasts

To apply please send your information to

Regulations for Crossing the Georgian Border in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic




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