Hey Clubbers – I hope everyone is doing all right as the number of cases of coronavirus/Covid-19 increase in Western North Carolina. It's hard to know when we might be able to meet in person again and I wanted to let you know that our April Clay Club hosts, The Village Potters, are talking about the possibility of a virtual Clay Club. We'll keep you posted about that. (April Clay Club was going to be the Clay Club Coffee Club proposed by Sarah Wells Rolland. The Village Potters are still hoping to host a Saturday morning Clay Club when we're able to meet in person – hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.)
Eligible educational institutions include K-12 schools, community centers and universities. From the Studio Potter website:
In light of the reality that many of our colleagues are scrambling to create online learning for their ceramics students, Studio Potter is offering a three-month free membership to educators. Our archive of over 8,000 pages of content will be accessable, and it is an excellent resource for remote ceramic education.
Any university or educational institution including all K-12 schools and community centers who teach ceramic courses that are affected by COVID-19 are eligible for the free three month membership. All students and faculty will access the journal under one log in for the three month period.
I want to start by just saying thank you to any of you who are able to take the time read this and consider what I'm asking - I know this is a really trying and stressful time for everyone so I'm not expecting anything, but I thought it couldn't hurt to reach out to people in the WNC clay community and see what comes back.
As I'm sure you have all heard by now, Penland has completely closed down in light of the coronavirus situation. I was here assisting Jenny Mendes for the Spring Concentration and I am trying to figure out what to do.
I moved out of my house in California and drove out here, and was intending to stay on the East Coast for the foreseeable future. I am trying to pursue a career/life in clay, and I want to do everything I can to keep working towards that despite the reality of the moment.
Basically I'm trying to figure out a place to sleep and a way to stay busy for the next month or two. I have a wheel and my own car so I could be relatively self-sufficient, and also am very willing to help out with any studio or home-related work. I'm not looking for monetary compensation, and am willing in able to pay rent depending on the situation. I have professional experience cooking in restaurant kitchens, farming, and some production pottery experience including loading/firing wood and gas kilns (and soda firing).
If anyone of you might be able to work something out, or know someone who might, please let me know!
Wishing everyone health and the ability to maintain a sense of purpose in this time!!
As clay artists, many of us keep stocks of high-quality particle masks in our studios — comparable to or more effective than the N95 masks that are now in desperately short supply for medical personnel and people particularly susceptible to COVID-19. Please consider donating any stock of masks you have to local hospitals, clinics or people you know who are elderly or have serious, chronic health conditions. Thank you.
We made the decision to temporarily close our Gallery and Teaching Center for the next 2 weeks (starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020). Depending on the situation in our region and country in the coming weeks, we may reevaluate our current plan, and any changes or updates will be posted on our website and social media pages.
Laguna Clay purchases and special orders can still be made via phone and email! We will work with customers on an individual basis to schedule a pick up time. If you would like to purchase clay or other Laguna Clay supplies you may contact Lindsey at email@example.com or give us a call at (828) 253-2424.
Also, stay connected with us via Instagram and Facebook for some exciting things in the coming days!
We deeply appreciate your support during this time!
The Village Potters Clay Center
Sarah, George, Lindsey, Chris, Julia, Judi, Lori, Tori, Katie, Eva, and Caroline
Odyssey ClayWorks shared this COVID-19 update along with their upcoming schedule:
Hello students, customers, friends,
After a lot of careful deliberation, we have decided to close Odyssey ClayWorks for two weeks. We have a tentative re-opening date of Monday, March 30th, and will be in touch if that changes. The studio as well as the gallery will be closed to students, customers, and the greater public.
Our Spring Session of classes, set to start today, will be postponed two weeks. Our 8 week classes will re-start on Monday, March 30th and run through the week of May 25th (not including May 18th-22nd, due to our 5-day Amazing Glaze Workshop). Our 6-week classes will run as planned. If you would like to reserve your spot, we will keep you in the class and be in touch closer to the re-start. If you would like to have a credit for a future class or workshop, that can be arranged as well.
Thank you so much for your understanding during this time. We hope you and yours stay safe and healthy! We look forward to having you all back in the studio soon!
The Figure, Abstracted
March 16th – May 4th
The objective of this course is to develop a mastery of the human form in 3 dimensions based on a live model, and then add an abstract spin. We will be inspired by both the human form, as well as the geometric and abstract capabilities of clay. The result is a unique and expressive modality which captures the vitality of the human spirit. This class is open to all levels.
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Tuition: $350 + $75 Lab & Live Model Fee
Better Work, Hotter Fire
Thursdays 6:30 – 9pm March 19th – May 14th
No Class April 9th
Sign up now for a chance to fire your work in our brand-new salt kiln! This class will be dedicated to exploring dynamic surfaces at Cone 10. We will achieve intriguing surfaces by using reduction firing techniques and by utilizing a variety of slips and glazes. During class, we will focus on making more complex forms on the potter’s wheel by stacking pieces together to create taller, more intriguing pots.
Level: Intermediate and Advanced
Tuition: $310 + $65 Lab Fee
The Realm of Red Clay
Fridays 10 am – 12:30 pm
March 20th – May 15th
No class March 27th
Join Sara Ballek this session as she dives into the magical realm of red clay. We will be working with a red clay body fired at midrange temperatures to create rich, distinctive works of art. Sara will introduce surface design processes and finishing methods to refine each piece. Students interested in this course should have some knowledge on working with clay and understanding of a few basic construction techniques.
Level: Intermediate and Advanced
Tuition: $310 + $50 Lab Fee
Thursdays 3 – 5:30pm
April 2nd – May 7th
Come experience the love of clay! Join instructor Matt Wegleitner and learn the skills needed to create decorative, hand-built, and functional pottery. Demonstrations will include pinch, coil, and slab techniques with a focus on creating interesting surfaces and unique forms. We’ll also cover the basics of glazing and firing your work. All skill levels welcome.
Level: All levels
Tuition: $245 + $45 Lab Fee
Me, You and Raku
Mondays 11am – 1:30pm
April 6th - April 27th
Create dramatic wheel thrown forms with Raku in mind and in preparation for an incendiary day of hand-on firing with Raku Guru Paul Gisondo. Students will learn faceting and how to create trapped air forms, as well as how to throw towering vases in 2 parts. We will use tape and wax resist design techniques and glaze our work with a variety of crackle, iridescent luster and matte glazes. For adventurous intermediate (and above) wheel throwers.
Level: Intermediate and Advanced
Tuition: $200 + $35 Lab Fee
Tuesdays 4 - 6pm
March 31st – May 5th
The process of working with clay is fun, creative, and expressive! “Muddy Makers” is great for students looking to meet other creative kids, while shaping, sculpting, and decorating projects you can take home and use. We will also get a chance to work on the potter’s wheel! Join Paige on this journey to learn the basics of clay, make friends, and have fun in the studio!
$25 discount for siblings enrolled in the same class
Ready, Set, Throw! One Night Pottery Classes
Friday, May 8th, 7 – 9pm
Ever wanted to try your hand at the pottery wheel? Have you always wanted to learn to throw but you’re not sure if you want to commit to an 8-week class? Or maybe you and some friends are just looking for something different to do in Asheville on a Friday night. Well, look no further. Ready, Set, Throw is here!
Even if you’ve never touched clay before, our highly skilled staff will guide you through the entire process. It’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and have fun! All ages and skill levels are welcome.
Level: All Levels, Beginners Welcome
Tuition: $55 Per person, per night
Kiln Maintenance for Great Firings
unday, March 22nd
9:30 am- 4:30 pm
Want to know more about your electric kiln? Maybe how to maintain it and ensure that it lasts forever? Join Kiln Tech Les Powell, trained by Skutt, for a day dedicated to all things electric kiln. Les will show you how to replace elements, relays, bricks, and wiring. He will also demonstrate a number of best practices for loading and programs that will optimize your firings. Get the insider’s view on how to maximize your kiln’s performance.
Levels: All Levels
Plaster and Clay
April 17th – 19th
Friday 6-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 9:30am-4:30pm
Join Tyler and learn the fundamentals of mold making and how to utilize plaster to accentuate your hand building and wheel throwing. Demonstrations will include how to design and cast feet, knobs, handles and other decorative elements for your pots. Students can expect to learn the basics of plaster mold making and how to implement those tools in non-traditional manners, resulting in some truly fun and highly replicable work.
Level: All Levels
Tuition: $275 (all materials included)
May 18th – May 22nd
Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Do you hate glazing? I mean, do you really HATE glazing? Have you experienced the frustration of making a beautiful piece, then ruining it with flawed, or perhaps worse, boring glaze? Would you rather spend your time doing just about ANYTHING else, even cleaning your studio? Then this is the workshop for you! Join best-selling author of the book, Amazing Glaze, as he reveals the techniques that will help you learn to love the glazing process, achieve more dynamic results, and get your work noticed. Topics will include under and overglaze decoration, glazing large and delicate work, spraying glazes, and multiple firings. We will also examine the basics of formulating, mixing, and altering a glaze.
Level: Seasoned Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Tuition: $595 + $75 Lab Fee, Includes a copy of the book Amazing Glaze.
Clay Camp 2020
June 8th – August 14th, 2020
Ages 5 - 17
A Bug’s Life
Ages 5 – 8
June 8 – 12, 9am – 12pm
What do you think of bugs? Are they eww gross? Or way cool?! One thing is for certain, they are super important for a healthy planet. We can learn a lot from these little critters, and in this camp, we will do just that! We’ll dig in the dirt and watch our ideas take flight. Come on all you earthworms and ladybugs! Let’s party!
It's Wheely Fun!
Ages 8 – 12
June 8 – 12, 2 – 5pm
Learn how to throw on the potter’s wheel during this “wheely” fun camp! We will make and decorate mugs, bowls, flower vases and more! Join Halima for a fun camp with an upbeat atmosphere. Let’s go for a spin!
Ages 8 - 12
June 15 – 19, 9am – 12pm
Have you ever seen a fox turn into a coffee mug? Or used a unicorn horn for an ice cream cone? In this camp we will be learning how to make several types of pots and will add details to give them their own personality! The focus will be on getting students comfortable using the wheel while having the creative freedom to turn their pots into fun characters along the way!
Pedal to the Metal
Ages 8 – 12
June 15 – 19, 2 – 5pm
We are going to go learn how to use a pottery wheel to make cups, bowls, vases and plates! Students will learn different ways to decorate these vessels, and once finished, they will be food safe treasures for the whole family! This is a fun exploration of the clay studio for kids age 8-12.
On Your Marks, Get Centered, Throw!
Ages 6 – 10
June 22 – 26, 9am – 12pm
Handmade pottery is a great way to add some fun and creativity to your meals! What if you had the chance to make some of your own? Students will learn how to throw on the potter’s wheel to create a variety of objects for daily use. We will also explore painting, decorating and sculpting to add final touches to our masterpieces!
Set the Table
Ages 8 – 12
June 22 – 26, 2 – 5pm
It is scientifically proven that food taste better off of dishes you made yourself! Learn how to fill the kitchen cabinet with one of a kind bowls, cups, and plates that your family will love to use for years to come. Ding! Ding! Ding! Come to the table! Dinner’s ready!
Sculpting the Animal Kingdom
Ages 5 – 8
June 29 – July 3, 9am – 12pm
In this class we will explore the animal kingdom by making our favorite animal pals out of clay. Students will make a few animals per day on a small scale but will take on a larger project over the course of the week. On the last couple of days, we will paint our animal creations with a colorful palette that brings them to life!
Round and Round
Ages 6 – 10
June 29 – July 3, 2 - 5pm
You will learn how to work on the potter’s wheel in this fun-packed creative camp! We will be learning all sorts of hand-building and wheel-throwing skills to create amazing works of art that you can use! Bring all of your creative and interesting ideas and we will turn them into reality.
July 6 – 10, 9am – 12pm
This is the camp for students who have taken at LEAST one camp or class at Odyssey in the last year or two that was focused on the potter’s wheel. Students will be encouraged to develop their throwing skills to create bigger and better vessels on the wheel! We will move faster and have more freedom, so start sketching some ideas now and we will make them come alive!
Claying with Your Food
Ages 6 – 10
July 6 – 10, 2 – 5pm
Food is something that everybody needs, deserves, and enjoys! In this week of camp, we will prepare some of our personal favorites in the clay studio. No experience or prior knowledge of clay is necessary to enjoy hand building sculptures that resemble our favorite things to eat. We will literally be playing with our food! Students will have the opportunity to use the wheel to make a bowl or plate to serve their favorite meals. These fun exercises will get us thinking creatively about what we like to eat and get us talking about the importance of balanced nutrition.
Ages 6 – 10
July 13 – 17, 9am – 12pm
Light up your life this week while learning how light and clay work together. During this camp, we will create votives, candleholders, luminaries and lamps you can use at home. Plus, you’ll get a chance to try the potter’s wheel! Shine your brightest light!
Find Your Spirit Animal
Ages 8 – 12
July 13 – 17, 2 – 5pm
We can learn a lot from nature when we observe animals in the wild. We can observe their natural characteristics and habits. In this week of camp, we will dig into some clay and explore our spirit animals. No experience or prior knowledge of clay is necessary to enjoy creating hand-built sculptures and wheel thrown vessels that resemble our favorite animals.
Here We Throw!
Ages 5 – 8
July 20 – 24, 9am – 12pm
Wheel 101- Come dressed to make a mess!
We are going to go learn how to use a pottery wheel to make cups, bowls, vases and plates! Students will learn different ways to decorate these vessels, and once finished, they will be food safe treasures for the whole family!
Ages 5 – 8
July 20 – 24, 2 – 5 pm
In this class, we will explore the depths of your imagination and create fantastical creatures from fairy tales, myths, and legends. Fairies, dragons, mermaids, elves and gnomes will all make an appearance in the studio this week. If you can dream it up, you can make it come to life in clay!
Ages 8 – 12
July 27 – 31, 9am – 12pm
This week we will focus on HANDBUILDING strategies to make BIG pots and sculptures that you actually get to KEEP! We are aiming for 1-2 foot sculptures and vessels. We’ll warm up to proper construction methods on the first day with 1-2 smaller pieces that we will raku on the last day, and then spend the rest of the time focusing on just 2-3 larger pieces- constructing them well so they can survive the firing, while bringing those dreams to life! Come with BIG ideas :)
The Secret Life of Clay Pets
Ages 6 – 10
July 27 – 31, 2 – 5pm
Calling all animal lovers! This is the camp for you! In this class, students will create animals out of clay while learning all about the clay studio. We will be focusing on using handbuilding methods to create colorful creatures and habitats! We’ll also use the potter’s wheel to create bowls and plates so you can feed them! Join Sara for this week on the wild side!
Fun, Colorful Clay
Ages 5 – 8
August 3 – 7, 9am – 12pm
In this camp, designed for the youngest age group, we’ll create beautiful and functional pottery forms on and off the potter’s wheel. We’ll decorate our masterpieces using colors we love and fire them so that you can use them at home for years to come. Join Kristen for a colorful and fun week in the studio!
Young Potter’s Wheel Camp
Ages 8 – 12
August 3 – 7, 2 – 5pm
Ready? Set? Throw! Let’s explore what clay can do! We’ll use the potter’s wheel to make cereal bowls, candlesticks, storage jars and more. Join Amy as she shows you how to spin some amazing creations in the studio!
Ages 5 – 8
August 10 – 14, 9am - 12pm
Explore your favorite animals and their habitats in this super fun week of clay activities. We’ll learn to draw animals and sculpt them out of clay. Then we’ll make homes for them to live in! We’ll build birds’ nests and fishbowls and so much more! Plus, we’ll even get a chance to use the potter’s wheel!
Onward and Upward!
Ages 10 – 14
August 10 – 14, 2 – 5pm
Let’s go big! In this class, we’ll roll slabs, coil, and pinch pots so big they will blow your mind! The sky is the limit in this class, so bring your imagination and we will make your big ideas into reality.
$25 discount for a sibling in the same camp. Use discount code claycamp25.
Thanks to Emily Reason and everyone at Haywood Community College for hosting Clay Club! The big draw was the exhibit HCC Clay in Retrospect, an exhibition featuring the work of 20 ceramic artists from HCC’s 46 years of clay programming. Special thanks to Duffy Baum, member of the very first class of the Professional Crafts program (in Wood), for proposing this Clay Club.
HCC Clay program alumni who came last night included Laurey-Faye Dean, Julia Mann and Trish Salmon. In addition to these alums, Gary Clontz, founder of the HCC clay program, also came. Emily, Gary, Julia, Laurey-Faye and Trish all have work in the exhibit, which I highly recommend going to see in person. The quality and variety of work from this one institution in Western North Carolina is truly impressive.
Emily gave us a tour of the Professional Crafts building, including the ceramics studio. (In the glaze room, Gary told us that the A.R.T. Studio Clay Company labels on the bins and jars date from early in his time – they've held up really well!) The HCC Professional Crafts program is a full-time, two-year program. Ceramics students can focus on the type of work (e.g., production, art, etc.) that they want to. The program includes extensive studio time and classes in craft history, design, business issues and more. This is really a fantastic program and very reasonably priced: in-state tuition is estimated at $2,579 per year (!), not including program fees and materials. Learn more about the Professional Crafts Program here: https://creativearts.haywood.edu/professional-crafts-program/
There are a couple of events at Haywood planned for April 22nd:
April Clay Club is planned for Saturday, April 25th at 10 am (note the change from our usual day and time) at The Village Potters in Asheville. This is the Clay Club Coffee Club proposed by Sarah Wells Rolland. A number of demos are planned and I'm super excited about this! Like all of you, we'll be monitoring the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation – fingers crossed we'll be able to hold Clay Club on this date. We'll update as we get closer to the date.
Thanks again to Emily, Duffy, Gary and all of the current students and almuni of the HCC Clay program, and to everyone who came!
After an exhaustive process of due diligence conversations and staff preparation efforts, we have come to a difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NCECA conference planned for Richmond, Virginia. We know this message is not the one many of you were hoping to receive. For others, it may be the challenging and difficult decision you hoped NCECA might reach. Please know that all of you reading this message are in our thoughts and understand that while reported risk levels for COVID-19 infection may currently be low in the conference region, the unique challenges and responsibilities associated with staging large gatherings at the present time remain immensely complex.
Over the past weeks, NCECA has heard from many of you. Your messages both to stay the course with the 2020 conference and those urging us to cancel have been read, shared, and heeded. Fortunately, and unfortunately, communing in large groups is a huge part of what NCECA has been, is, and will continue to be. Hundreds of you in the Greater Richmond community have been busy planning for years, and we are aware of how disappointing this news must be. NCECA has and will continue to be an organization that values people. Our love and dedication to ceramic art is bound up in relationships, teaching, and learning. When considering all of the factors before us, we felt that the well-being of the people and communities that have led us through 53 extraordinary conferences needed to be paramount in our decision-making.
The Foothills Folk Art Festival is a juried folk art-themed show. The festival's artist committee is looking for themed artwork intensely influenced by and displaying the spirit of folk, visionary, and outsider art.
Early Registration: The fee is $60 and will apply to any applications postmarked by June 1, 2020.
Standard Registration: The fee will be $85 and will apply to applications that are postmarked by September 1, 2020.
March Clay Club will be this Wednesday, March 11th at Haywood Community College from 5-7 (note the time is different from our usual schedule). Thanks again to Duffy Baum for proposing this Clay Club, and to Emily Reason and everyone at Haywood for hosting us!
March Clay Club will be at Haywood Community College on Wednesday, March 11th from 5-7 (note the time is different from our usual schedule). Thanks to Duffy Baum for proposing this Clay Club, and to Emily Reason and everyone at Haywood for hosting us!
We’ll visit the exhibition of alumni work “HCC Clay in Retrospect” and Emily will give a tour of the facilities and talk about the Professional Crafts program. Duffy (member of the very first class of the Professional Crafts program, in Wood) has invited several HCC Clay alumni to join us, too.
We'll have our usual potluck. Non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Haywood Community College is an alcohol-free zone, so you're welcome to bring your own beverage, but don't bring anything alcoholic.
From Asheville, NC (East of Campus):
Take I-40 West.
Take exit 27 (Highway 19-23)
Take exit 107 (East Jones Cove Road)
Follow signs to Haywood Community College
We'll be meeting in the Creative Arts Building; see the campus map below for the location. You will see the kilns in front of you as you come up the hill on campus -- pull in on right by kilns to unload into clay studio. Note closest parking is the lot on the left.
Carpooling: if you’re interested in carpooling, let me know and I will put folks in touch. You can also leave a comment here on this blog post or on this facebook post.
Just a quick reminder that the Ceramics Area ETSU in Johnson City, TN is hosting a demonstration workshop by Matt Repsher this Weds, March 4, from 9:00 - 4:00. Free and open to the public! Please email Lindsay Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information related to the event, parking on campus, etc.
Contact Tori Motyl at Tori@MotylPottery.com if you have any questions or would like to be added to our monthly newsletter which details each month's clay club meeting. (different than signing up for blog emails below.)
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About Clay Club
Clay Club meets at artist studios and other locations throughout Western North Carolina, usually on the second Wednesday of the month. All potters and ceramic artists are welcome!