Ceramics Educator Michael Harbridge to Offer Hands-on Workshop at CSC

Ceramic Supply Chicago’s next Saturday artist presentation on March 14 will feature noted educator Michael Harbridge.   The Educational Arts Manager at Royal & Langnickel Brush Manufacturing, Harbridge is known for his many instructional online videos and webinars.  He plans to teach and demonstrate two techniques for CSC customers: Decorative Banding and Decorating with Alcohol Markers.

Harbridge lives in Iola, Wisconsin, where he runs Harbridge’s Fired Arts out of his home basement studio.  He has a well-outfitted 1,500 square-foot space, where he offers workshops and classes.  “We recently created a sunny workspace in the walk-out portion of the basement, with room for a dozen students,” he says. Having the studio in his home allows him to work on his own pieces whenever he has time and inclination.    


 Harbridge’s teaching dates back to his pre-teen years.  “I learned about ceramics at age 7, in the Cub Scouts.  I loved it.  At age 11, I bought a kiln and taught the neighbor kids.  By age 16, I was teaching adults and was sure that this would be my life’s work.”  He says his parents barely tolerated his activity, with his supplies and equipment taking over his father’s workroom.  When he said he would not go to college, they were even more discouraged.  But, some years later, when Harbridge took his father along on a car-buying trip and wrote a check for the full price, his father finally accepted his son’s life path.



Harbridge supported his art with his own store and eventually opened a second business that was a major distributor of ceramic products for over fifteen years.  He developed his instructional techniques, offering workshops and classes, and published books on technique.  “When Royal offered me a position,” he recalls, “I had been teaching all over the place and felt that was what I did best. Thankfully, they have given me free reign to continue that.”  As Educational Arts Manager, he interfaces with schools and universities and incorporates his knowledge of the company’s products into his experimentation with new techniques.


At Ceramic Supply Chicago, Harbridge will focus on two different decorative techniques:  He will start the day with a demonstration of banding on the banding wheel.  He will provide the wheels, brushes, and underglazes for a practice session for attendees who bring their own bisque bowl or plate.  After the lunch break, he will demonstrate the use of markers and alcohol brushes in decorating fired pieces.  He says that this process has become very popular, as it affords a great deal of both freedom and control.  The alcohol application allows colors to soften and meld, much like watercolors.  Participants can buy a kit onsite, that includes a selection of primary and pastel markers, a gold paint pen, and a set of three Aqua-Flo fillable brushes.  Harbridge will provide 6-inch glazed tiles for practice, but personal pieces are also welcome.


Don’t miss this opportunity to learn new techniques from a natural-born ceramic educator on March 14.


View a video about banding at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_mPe6uIjQc

Learn more about Michael Harbridge at  www.learnfiredarts.com