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Summer study in pottery at Spannocchia in Italy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008JOHNSON CITY—Don Davis, an associate professor in the East Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design, is organizing the third annual summer class in wood-fired terracotta to be held in Castello di Spannocchia near Siena, Italy. The class will be held June 23-July 7, 2009.

The 12th century estate of Spannocchia is home to an archeological and architectural conservation group and is also a living museum of Tuscan rural life, including a working organic farm and refuge for endangered breeds of domestic farm animals. Educational programs are offered, with students living and dining on the estate. Beginners to professionals are welcome, and time for sightseeing excursions will be available.

Participants will use traditional Italian terracotta and find local materials for surface treatments. The course emphasizes experimentation, creativity, and the process of working with clay using rapid hand building techniques. Group excursions are planned to museums, historical sites and traditional Italian potters in the area. The session will culminate with finishing the class members’ work in a wood-fired kiln.

The fee of $2,400 for students or $2,700 for non-students covers all expenses of the course at Spannocchia, including instruction, materials, lodging, all meals, excursions and Italian language lessons. ETSU tuition, airfare and transport to the Castello are not included.

ETSU students may register for the Summer Session Special Topics Course “Wood Fired Terracotta in Italy” for academic credit and may also apply for International Study Grants through the ETSU Office of International Programs. Those who do not wish academic credit are also welcome.

Davis has worked and lived in Italy, and he has visited in each of the past 10 years. Ancient kilns are his particular research interest.

Assistance is available in planning flight arrangements, car rental, and travel before or after the course.

For further information, contact Davis at (423) 439-7864 or


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