Drawing week

Drawing on Clay – Drawing with Clay

During this 4 day workshop students will discover clay’s potential for direct expression. Creating slabs of clay to manipulate and draw on, using your hands and bodies, there is the possibility for something intangible to arise. Through gesture, mark making and metaphor a new language arises that allows the clay to let one’s body speak.


You will be able to book tickets from 9:30am on Wednesday 29 January.


Lecturers: Louise Boscacci and Stephen Bird

Location: NAS Building 5 (2nd Year Ceramics Studio)

Clay and drawing have been interchangeable since humans began to draw on cave walls 40,000 years ago. Clay has been the carrier of pigments that have conveyed expression, ideas and symbols from Palaeolithic times to the present day.

Clay is an incredibly responsive material. It has a unique ability to respond to the touch of our hands. Tools are often not necessary in manipulating it into objects. When we work with clay it responds directly and intimately and sometimes suggests what the next move might be. It can speak of movement and stillness and the passage of time.

2. Andy Goldsworthy P1010329
Andy Goldsworthy

This program will allow students to explore the materiality of clay and what it means to draw directly with clay and on clay.

Artists: Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long, Robert Smithson, Lucio Fontana, Asger Jorn, Alexandra Engelfriet, Miquel Barceló

6. Asger Jorn 690x_ (1)
Asger Jorn

Students need to bring:

  • Sketch pads
  • Large sheets of paper
  • A variety of brushes, both large and small
  • Drawing ink
  • Empty containers and buckets for water and mixing in
  • Towel, sponge or kitchen roll
  • Unusual things to draw with like sticks and other natural objects


Drawing with clay in various states – wet, plastic and dry

Exercises on paper and then slabs of clay


Developing ideas and intuitive thought through divergent thinking drawing exercises

Formulating inks and making crayons to draw on ceramic surfaces

Selection of other works fired in electric kiln over weekend


Stephen Bird is a lecturer in the Ceramics Department at NAS. He has an extensive exhibiting career.

Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird’s website

Louise Boscacci is an artist, biologist and process thinker who has worked with the materiality of clay and the possibilities of ceramics for the past two decades.