Ekaterina (Yeh-ka-te-reena) Harrison has been a sculptor, metalworker and foundry artist since an apprenticeship with The Johnson Atelier foundry in the 80s and 90s. Now, she hopes to build a community of artists around her La Sal studio by teaching workshops, including her Aug. 18-19 “Rubber Mold-Making Workshop.”
The workshop is taking place over the course of two consecutive weekends, on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19. and Aug 25-26. The workshops are held each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a two-hour break for lunch.
“I’ll be going over how to make a good-quality mold,” Harrison said.
There are two ways for participants to learn how to make a mold during the workshop.
The first option is for participants to watch the full mold-making process and collaborate on creating a demo mold. At the end of the workshop, the participants will have learned how to make a mold, but they won’t leave the workshop with their own mold.
The second option for participants is to bring their own sculpture to the workshop and learn how to make a mold with it.
“So, they will see the demo that is being done, and at the same time, they work on their own mold,” Harrison said.
Harrison said she will offer guidance throughout the workshop to both the participants who are working on the demo mold and to those who are working on their individual mold.
“The techniques are the same,” Harrison said.
For participants who make their own mold, they will also learn how to make a plaster casting of their mold.
“They will walk away with a mold that they can use multiple times to do castings,” Harrison said.
She hopes her workshops are useful to a variety of artists and builders. Her “Rubber Mold-Making Workshop” will be geared toward beginners.
“The great thing about rubber mold-making is that you can use it for a lot of things,” Harrison said. “You can use it to cast resins, cement, paper maché, and even low-temperature metals, like pewter, into a silicon mold directly. You can use it for special effects. You could make a rubber mask. You can use it for fully three-dimensional pieces, but you can also use it for architectural embellishments.”
Harrison’s studio in La Sal, from which she runs Sculpture Adventure Studios, includes a metal shop, a casting area, and a space for wax, ceramics, glass, wood and stone work.
She said she wants to share her studio with the Moab community because it has inspired her creative work.
“The first time I went to the Moab area it really captivated me,” Harrison said.
Dailey Haren, a small business owner in Moab, worked with Harrison recently and learned how to use the different tools in Harrison’s studio.
“I had lost the use of my arm almost completely,” Haren said. “I was an artist and a builder. Ekaterina (Harrison) called me and wanted to hire me … she said, ‘I know what it’s like to only be able to use one arm.’ It was really powerful because it changed my life at the time when I felt so useless.”
Haren still comes back to Harrison’s studio from time to time to work.
“She is extremely patient,” Haren said. “She covers all the bases in a way that allows the creative process to be on a top-notch level. It’s truly a professional studio with professional work.”
“I’ve been doing sculpture most of my life,” Harrison said.
Harrison studied at the University of Utah, but it was during her foundry apprenticeship in New Jersey that she began to embrace her personal style.
“It was an incredible place because I got to work with artists from all over the world, and artists I read about in art history,” Harrison said. “It was a very vibrant environment to work in.”
The sculpture work Harrison pursues is intensive and requires training in the arts, plus a diverse working knowledge with an array of tools, including a forge.
“I think back to my experience with the university and I remember how frustrated I was that I didn’t have the tools to make the sculptures I wanted to make,” Harrison said. “I had to go outside of that to find other places to work. I found this apprenticeship, and it was incredible, and I want to offer the same type of experience in old La Sal.”
In the course of her career, Harrison has experienced the incredible costs sometimes involved with sculpture.
“It can cost a lot of money, and hundreds of hours, to make a piece,” she said. “A lot of artists cast a clay sculpture and take it to the foundry to be cast in bronze, which is very expensive. What I want to do is give artists the skills to save a lot of money by casting in bronze themselves, and they could even possibly come in to my place for a lower fee.”
Harrison hopes to continue offering workshops using all of the materials in her studio and just began to publish online demos.
“I posted my first video on the steel tree in Zax restaurant I forged,” Harrison said.
The video is available on the Sculpture Adventure Studios Facebook page, and on her YouTube channel, which can be found under her name.
“Working with her was very safe and thorough,” Haren said. “The studio space is great. It is a big studio with all of the tools and equipment. A lot of stuff Harrison has built herself. It kind of leaves you in awe that this one woman has created this wonderful space. She has a temperament that allows her to connect with and teach people in this professional space. You can feel that when you’re in her studio.”
Artist Ekaterina Harrison opens her personal studio for workshop
“The studio space is great. It is a big studio with all of the tools and equipment. A lot of stuff Harrison has built herself. It kind of leaves you in awe that this one woman has created this wonderful space.”
When: Two weekends, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19, and Aug. 25-26
Where: Sculpture Adventure Studios
Cost: $310.00 to $450.00
Contact: Contact Ekaterina Harrison by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-272-8578.
More info: Like and follow Sculpture Adventure Studios on Facebook.