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Expanding the Functional Surface to Tell Your Story

June 2 - 7, 2024

Heidi McKay Casto  ·  heidimckaydesigns.com

Workshop at a glance

Learn conceptual and technical methodology and skills to expand functional forms to create dynamic surfaces of play and intrigue.


  • Creating and attaching hand-built forms to thrown objects
  • Sanding and preparing work for detailed drawing
  • Mapping out imagery and stories on a 3-dimensional surface
  • Underglaze application using squeeze bottles and blunt tip needles


  • Clay
  • Glazes


  • Several new works to spark conversation and laughter
  • Throwing, hand-building and drawing with glaze skills

Artist Bio

Heidi McKay Casto lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa. Casto earned a BFA degree in Ceramics from Ohio State University, and MA and MFA degrees from The University of Iowa. As Heidi McKay Designs, she creates objects at the nexus of function and sculpture adorned with playful design elements, anthropomorphic animal portraits, and vibrant colors. Casto’s work has been featured in over fifty group exhibitions. She has been a featured artist with ArtAxis.org, was selected for two purchase prizes in the 2022 Strictly Functional Pottery National, and was named a 2022 Ceramics Monthly Magazine Emerging Artist. Casto was recognized as an Emerging Artist at the 2023 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Conference (NCECA).

  • Heidi McKay Casto
  • Heidi McKay Casto
  • Heidi McKay Casto
  • Heidi McKay Casto

Workshop Description

Students in this workshop will work alongside the instructor to bring a playful approach to their studio process, and explore hand-build abstract shapes to add to functional pots to create one-of-a-kind forms. This workshop will utilze an imaginative approach to using functional forms as an expanded canvases for storytelling. Students will learn to embrace risk taking, and discover how to turn personal experiences into imagery on a clay surface through drawing and underglaze application on bisqueware.


The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is a priority at Arrowmont. To that end, a Personal Conduct & Social Distancing Policy has been adopted to foster a safe learning environment during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for the detailed Policy.


In order to complete your registration, a $300 deposit is required.

Call 865-436-5860 with questions about registering for this workshop.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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