452-Masks in Clay

In several cultures, humans have developed different ways of blending in with nature, re-interpreting ourselves as individuals by wearing elements on our bodies such as masks or jewelry, everything that adorns us, that accompanies us, that dresses us.

Ceramics have played an important role in witnessing these objects that were often used in ritual ceremonies, battles, celebrations, and animal hunting. In order to embody new characteristics within our own sense of humanity, using animal symbols wishing to have their strength, adding fangs, and feathers, some use symbols, anthropomorphic mixtures, symbols of nature, and representations of gods, among many more symbols, according to each cosmology.

Masks can help us to reveal the identity of who we are or who we would like to be, using the attributes and strengths of animals, colors, elements of nature, symbols and reinterpreting our reality and corporeality.

In this workshop students will be creating masks by hand in clay, based on the idea of identifying in ourselves symbols that represent our identity, relationship with the natural and mythical.



Special Notes

All students must comply with the Policies and Procedures found on The Center's website. There will be no refunds for students removed from class for failure to observe The Center’s Policies and Procedures.


Supplies included in workshop.

About the Instructor

Vanessa Cabezas

I am Vanesa Cabezas, a Colombian woman, proud to believe that art is a tool for social transformation. Passionate about the art, crafts and culture of my Latin American community. I have dedicated my last 6 years to learning, building and recognizing myself in ceramics, working hand in hand with communities in Colombia, including child and adult populations. The community experience has led me to work in the field of teaching art and teaching ceramics.My path with respect to the art of ceramics began at Francisco Jose De Caldas University, Faculty of The Arts ASAB, in Bogota, Colombia. In this academic setting I was first able to develop my talents through instruction, and evaluation. After four years of dedicated study to the art of ceramics, I shifted my focus to the investigation of the processes of ceramics themselves, and their practical uses. This subsequent work was largely based on the perspectives of feminist pottery communities in Colombia. Outside of the realm of academia, I discovered teachers sharing their knowledge openly in private studios, like that of BKLYN Clay; among them are: Studio Sumo Cerámico in Bucaramanga, Colombia, Fire Spirit in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and Soul of the Earth in Cali, Colombia.As the pandemic pushed artists looking to practice and share their art onto platforms like zoom, I was able to continue learning from those openly sharing their techniques. Through online workshops, I was able to learn the processes of Argentine ceramists like those of the “We are Blue Cobalt” collective, and feminist collective “Olleras (Makers of Pots) Ceramics”, and Pablo Ruiz.As I met more artists and built strong relationships, myself and a few other ceramists oversaw the establishment of a ceramics collective to keep growing, developing, and promoting the art of ceramics in Colombia. Through this collective we investigated the ceramics methodologies of the town of Chamba in Tolima, Colombia. To this end we lived with them for a few weeks, interchanging techniques of more traditional pottery methods, and the contemporary styles seen in the Bogota city.If you follow this link you can read some anecdotes about the experience and lessons we lived as a collective within the community of la chamba, specifically the experiences that we shared with the Beatriz, and her family - all traditional pottery makers.


Class Details

November 05 - November 05, 10:00 am - 04:00 pm

Days: Saturday

Tuition: $138

Member Tuition: $113

Location: The Center for Contemporary Art

Semester: Fall 2023

Level: Adult (All Levels)

Instructor: Vanessa Cabezas

The Center for Contemporary Art
in Bedminster, NJ, is a popular destination for world-class contemporary art exhibitions and community-based arts education and programming.

2020 Burnt Mills Road
Bedminster, NJ 07921
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