Blog : sfclayworks

One Year Later

One Year Later

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Its hard to believe, but its been a year since leaving The Clay Studio. This month is the one anniversary of my new studio sfclayworks. After a great deal of hard work, our dreams have become a reality.

The studio has been open to the public since January 2012 and we have been growing steadily. All of us at sfclayworks have worked hard to make this studio come together and we are very grateful for the support we have received from our previous clay community.

Settling in at sfclayworks has been harder than I expected. There are lots of new distractions of running a studio, as well as life in general. I have been on a bit of a hiatus from making my own work as there is always something else to do.

Family concerns have also been at the forefront and having ones mind in the right place to be creative has been difficult for me.

Today I ventured in to do a bit of my own work and after the initial studio work distractions, I sat down and actually made a few pieces.  I have to say that it was a good day-my beautiful new studio, good music, and a good mindset, setting the stage for a chance to once again enjoy the creative process………..

My students mighty “feats” with feet

My students mighty “feats” with feet

Believe it or not, Session Two is already over at sfclayworks and we are currently in the second week of Session Three .

Time has been flying by this year, with the new studio, job, and added responsibilities in my life. Since our last firing I have not had much time to make new work, but hope to get back into a groove very soon.

Thought I would share some of my students creations, as they have been very busy.

Session One had many of us trying to get comfortable in our new space, (including myself) at least that was the excuse I got from many students as to why very few of them followed through on their first project. Our first projects focus was “change”, a reference to the big changes we all had with the closure of our last home, “The Clay Studio.”

The students who did the project did an excellent job of challenging themselves and I am always happy when they stretch and try something new.

During Session Two I got a bigger response to the project focused on the foot of our pots. Remembering a couple of old Studio Potter magazines that had a focus on the parts of a pot, I had the students put their attention on the choices they make when finishing off their work. Too often when we are learning the craft or I suppose I should say the art of pottery making, we settle in to the old standard foot we learned in our beginning pottery class.  Now it was time for all of them to start making conscious decisions as to why they do what they do! They were asked to make five similar pieces and make a different foot on each piece.

I am happy to report, they came up with some winners!

Now they need to keep these new ideas in their arsenal of ideas for future works.  More importantly they need to keep the concept of experimentation within a basic form as an excellent tool for them to use as they move forward in the big wide world of clay.

As I always tell them, it is through the “failed” works that we learn the most, something I often remind myself when I work on coming up with new ideas.

Below are a few examples of what they came up with, and this session our new project is lips…..I look forward to their creative exploits ! Think some of the pots below might be community workers, but it gives a nice balance of ideas.


Five very different feet, by sfclayworks own Saba

Three nice mug variations

rounded foot

triball-foot (hee, hee)

Bow foot- Will it take the heat of firing?

bottom view of angled foot


side view of angled foot


cut out foot

love the swirl! attention to detail!

the no foot foot

creative foot


Gas Kiln Countdown!

Gas Kiln Countdown!

Hard to believe, but only 5 more days before the arrival of our gas reduction kiln. The kiln was ordered at the end of 2011 after we made the decision as to what we wanted.

We are purchasing our kiln through Leslie Ceramics of Berkeley, CA. During the month and a half since we decided what to purchase, our kiln was being constructed in southern California by Ceramic Services.

Last week the gas line was dropped in through the roof and PGE is on tap to upgrade our meter very soon. We still need to run the vent up, bolt the kiln down,  do the final gas hook up, do some roof repairs and maybe have a pizza party.

sfclayworks up and running!

sfclayworks up and running!

Its hard to believe, but after only two and a half months since our departure from The Clay Studio, sfcw opened its doors to students and community studio members. We have all been hard at work setting up the studio space, and based on the reactions from a variety of students and community space members, everyone seems to be very happy with sfclayworks.

Our public debut was officially January 17, 2012 when we held our first class of continuing students. It was a reunion of sorts as many of the students were formerly at The Clay Studio, but we also welcomed some new faces.

I am happy to once again have the opportunity to share my love for clay. Everyone was hard at work getting their fingers back into clay as you can see in the photo above.

Below you will see a mix of random photos of some new things happening at the studio:

There will be a gallery of images coming soon.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

The carpet is finally gone and the boxes, though not completely undone are finally getting unpacked. Prior to unpacking, I spent days pulling and scraping at the carpet which was truly kicking my ***!

My sample section came out with not too much trouble, but the rest of the floor was a struggle. All I have to say is that I am glad that job is done.

Sorted through my clays and started slaking my next bucket of recycle, also brought my wheel in and set up my peg board tool rack. If I could only keep it as neat as it is now…..

Might be time to start making some work soon. I can see already it is going to be a balancing act trying to figure out how to make sure I carve out some time to make some work for myself.

There is still lots of work to do at the new studio, but little by little, it is getting done.

Check out the slideshow below and see how much progress has been made:

Lots of Changes

Lots of Changes

Lot of changes in my life these days. Since the afternoon I spent waiting for PGE to show up for the final electrical read at 61 Bluxome Street, I have not been back to The Clay Studio ( PGE never showed by the way!). The Clay Studio has been a major part of my life for many years and I think it will take some time before my level of enthusiasm for our new space takes hold.

Spent tonight sitting in my new space contemplating how I want to set things up. The room has incredible natural light, which is a first for me when it comes to studio spaces.

My new space is fairly far from the kiln, but I am hoping the natural sunlight and fresh air will make up for the inconvenience. It has been hard for me to choose a space, but I have, and now I must decide what to do with the carpet on the floor.

Right now it is covered with plastic and thermoply sheathing. Took a small try at tearing up the carpet tonight. It will be a bear! If I do decide to tear the carpet out, it will just require a great deal of elbow grease. Rather than use chemicals, I read on the internet that hot water works , so I tried it and sure enough it immediately turned the yellow glue white and softened up a bit. Going to take lots of patience and hard work…. The photo above is of our new before we started on any of the build out.

The photos below show some of the progress we have made in the past week or so. Last weekend we had a big building party and lots of work got done! All the walls are in except for a few panels, the electrical is around the space, and members are slowly moving into their spaces. Still lots of work to do….. maybe some of you would like to join our next work party?



photos go here? How to make gallery?