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News, Events, Inspiration ◊ April 2024

Inside this issue: New class on 3rd-term schedule. Studio scholarship funds. Quick tip for surface decorating your pottery with beautiful underglazed flowers. Michigan Ceramics 2024 exhibition and competition. How to throw and hand build pots for your spring plants. Plus more exhibitions, events, and informative videos.

Amy Lesemann glazing sculpture

Studio member Amy Lesemann

glazes a sculpture

There's a new class... our 3rd-term lineup. For the first time everand at student requestwe are offering a 12-week spring-summer Advanced and Intermediate Clay class. So if you are ready to step up to the intermediate or advanced level, or want to continue to make progress at those levels, join us for this class, which is open to both wheel throwers and hand builders. You will receive instruction from established ceramic artist Elliott Kayser, who will lead you through techniques for making and decorating functional pottery.

BTW, our Early Bird Discount on tuition on all our classes is available through April 2, so you still have a few days to take advantage of it.

Here's our complete 3rd-term class schedule:

Introductory and Continuing Wheel

  • Mon, Apr 22-May 27, 3:30-5:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Mon, Apr 22-May 27, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Wed, Apr 17-May 22, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser
  • Thu, Apr 18-May 23, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thu, Apr 18-May 23, 12:30-2:30 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thu, Apr 18-May 23, 4:30-6:30 pm, with Kay Yourist
  • Thu, Apr 18-May 23, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Nick Glynos / Savanah Conrad
  • Sat, Apr 27-Jun 1, 9:45-11:45 am, with Laila Chalati
  • Sun, Apr 21-May 26, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

Early Bird Discount in effect through April 2.

Intermediate Wheel Throwing

  • Sun, Apr 21-May 26,1:30-3:30 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

Early Bird Discount in effect through April 2.

Coffee and Clay (In studio or via Zoom)

  • Wed, Apr 17-May 22, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Sat, Apr 27-Jun 1, 9:30-11:30 am, with Nancy Bulkley

Early Bird Discount in effect April 2.

Hand Building

  • Thu, May 2-Jun 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Elliott Kayser

Early Bird Discount in effect through April 2.

New! Advanced and Intermediate Clay

  • Tue, Apr 30-Jul 16, 6:30-9:00 pm, with Elliott Kayser

Early Bird Discount in effect through April 2.

Advanced / Intermediate Independent Study

  • Wed, May 1-Jul 17, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Rose Gomez

Early Bird Discount in effect through April 2

Reserve your seat today.

April Try It

Our Try It Once classes are fun to take with friends and family. So when you register, we suggest that you sign up a friend or family member as well and share the joy of clay with them.

Try It Once on the Wheel

  • Sat, April 13, 1:00-2:30 pm, with Laila Chalati

Sign up now.

Studio life

Elliott Kayser teaching sculpting workshop

Instructor Elliott Kayser

Am I ready?

How do I know if I'm ready to take the spring-summer Advanced and Intermediate Clay class with Elliott Kayser?

  • Wheel throwers: have you taken at least three introductory semesters of wheel? Are you comfortable throwing bowls and cylinders?
  • Hand builders: have you taken at least three semesters of hand building? Are you comfortable with slabs and other hand-building methods?
  • Are you interested in learning new creative techniques for making pots, surface treatment, and glazing?

Then you might be more ready than you think to take this class.

Advanced and Intermediate Clay

  • Tue, Apr 30-Jul 16, 6:30-9:00 pm, with Elliott Kayser

Register here.

Our potters' shop is stocked!

We've expanded our inventory from tools of all kinds to Speedball glazes and underglazes, as well as Aardvark clay bodies. Stop by soon to see what we have in store.

New Speedball glazes

Speedball glazes and underglazes

Are you eager to try the exciting new Speedball Mid-Fire Glazes? We've got them. Our potters' shop is now stocked with all 30 of these glazesfrom Biscotti to Variegated Lapisformulated to "create magical mottling and reduction-like effects fired at Cone 5/6." We also have a selection of economical Speedball underglazes that allow you to save by adjusting their consistency with water without compromising color.

Aardvark clay

As the authorized distributor in this area, we now offer the following Aardvark cone 6 and cone 10 clay bodies for purchase:

Cone 6

Arctic White, Cafe Cinco, KGBS, Long Beach minus iron, Mesa Red, SRF, and Terra Red

Cone 10

Aardvark Porcelain, Black Mountain, Carmel, Fat Red, Nara Porcelain, Pomona, Rod’s Bod, Russian River, Seaside, and Woodfire Porcelain

Pottery tools

Our shop's collection of tools for wheel throwing, hand building, carving or other surface decorating, and glazing is extensive. We carry a wide selection of pottery tools, including those most in demand from Dolan, Kemper, Michael Sherrill, Xiem, and other reliable suppliers. Our goal is to make the right tool available to you when you need it.

Shop hours

We welcome all area potters to shop with us for their pottery needs during our open studio hours:

  • Tuesday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Friday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Saturday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Sunday, 4:00-8:00 pm

Students may purchase tools as needed during their classes as well.

Did you know...

...that our Stephen Kerr Mentor / Scholarship and Sis Warner Memorial Scholarship Funds are an essential part of our YSG community support?

Sis Warner and Stephen Kerr

Sis Warner and Stephen Kerr

Stephen Kerr Mentor / Scholarship Fund

We dearly miss our friend and fellow potter, Stephen Kerr, and have all been inspired by his ways. All donations to this fund help create community programming as well as enrichment to individual students in need of extra support.

Sis Warner Scholarship Fund

Sis was a life-long “student” of ceramics, who always found time to take a pottery class in her busy life. We award the Sis Warner Memorial Scholarship to help defray the tuition cost of a class for enthusiastic students with demonstrated need and a strong desire to begin or continue their education in ceramics.

How to donate or apply

We welcome donations to our scholarship funds and applications for support. Here's how you can contribute to these funds or apply for assistance.

Pickup reminder

To make space for new work, we must remove all bisque and glaze pieces that have accumulated on the shelves in March.

  • Please pick up your glazed pieces and take them home to enjoy.
  • Please glaze your bisque ware now or take it home for glazing in the future.

Regrettably, any unclaimed bisque ware and glazed pieces remaining after April 30 must be discarded to free up room on our shelves.

Job opportunity

Studio intern

We're interviewing potential studio interns for spring and summer to help with studio maintenance in exchange for studio use. The successful applicant should know how to mix glaze, load kilns, mop floors, and perform other typical studio duties. An internship is a great experience and resume building opportunity. Please send a letter of interest, including your previous pottery studio experience, to Kay Yourist.

Potters quick tip

Video about how to paint underglaze flowers

Q. I'm all in for spring and I want to reflect my seasonal enthusiasm in the pottery I'm making. Do you have any suggestions for me?

A. How about filling your pieces with a profusion of brightly colored flowers? In this video, potter Vaughan Smith of WestCote Bell pottery shows an easy method for painting a host of exuberant flowers with underglazes over white slip.

So, how did Smith's bowl turn out in glaze firing? You can see a similar bowl here in his kiln opening. Jump to the 6:28 mark if you are in a hurry.

These videos are part of our continuing series for beginners at all levels.

Clay lover's events

Video about surgeon who also makes pottery

John Williams,

pediatric orthopedic surgeon

and potter!

On-site exhibitions

We'll let you know when new ceramics exhibitions are on display and open to the public. Before you go to an on-site exhibition, be sure to check the art museum's web site for any current health precautions.

Pewabic: Detroit's Pottery: documents the pottery's past while celebrating the present. Pewabic Pottery. Ongoing. More . . .

Decorative by Design: 250 Years of Japanese Objects. Illustrating the Japanese concept of kazari, or the art of decoration and ornamentation. Flint Institute of Arts. Now-April 14, 2024. More . . .

Leaving soon—Magdalene Odundo: A Dialogue with Objects. The largest ever presentation of Odundo's work in North America. Gardiner Museum, Toronto. Now–April 21, 2024. More . . .

Generation Bridge, Mother & Daughter: Ceramics by Jackie & Catherine Stasevich. Gifts of Art Gallery. Taubman Health Center. NowMay 31, 2024. This exhibition is limited to Michigan Medicine patients and their visitors. A link on the exhibition page will allow you to visit virtually. More . . .

Fragile Bodies: The Figure in Glass and Clay. "Illustrate[s] the human form’s powerful symbolic potential to embody an idea, to express an ideal, or to embrace that which is vulnerable and human." Flint Institute of Arts. Now–June 30, 2024. More . . .

From Earth to Sky: Ancient Art of the Americas. Ancient ceramic sculptures from Mexico and Costa Rica (200 BCE–200 CE) offer a glimpse into the lives of people more than 2,000 years ago. Flint Institute of Arts. May 11–August 25, 2024. More . . .

Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting. Paintings of elaborate feasts, sumptuous vessels for food and drink, and historical cookbooks. Detroit Institute of Arts. September 22, 2024–January 5, 2025. More . . .

Spotlight—Toshiko Takaezu: Worlds Within. Chronological retrospective for "one of the most accomplished artists to work with clay in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries." Cranbrook Art Museum. September 27, 2024January 12, 2025. More...

Pottery perspectives

Opportunities to expand your knowledge of ceramics past and present.

John Williamssurgeon, potter, philanthropist. What does this doctor do to relieve the stress of his demanding career as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon? He makes pottery, of course. More . . .

Being a Pottery Apprentice in Japan. An account of potter Suzanne Wang's one-year apprenticeship with master potter Ken Matsuzaki in Mashiko, Japan. You might call it a trial by fire. More . . .

The March unforgettable dinnerware on-line lecture from the International Museum of Dinnerware Design is now available as a video: Mid-Century Hostess Carafes: My Accidental Collection with Scott Hamblen. More . . .

And three from Colossal:

Surface decoration with typewriter keys by Laura C. Hewitt. More . . .

Ceramic sculptures elevate disposable containers by Yoonmi Nam.

More . . .

Surreal ceramics relate making and meaning by Anastassia Zamaraeva. More . . .

Other events

Plate by Howard Kottler

Howard Kottler:

The Iconoclast Troublemaker

In the April International Museum of Dinnerware Design on-line lecture, Judith S. Schwartz, Professor Emeritus of Art, New York University, explores the art and career of Howard Kottler, "one of the most highly regarded artists and teachers of ceramic art in the United Stateslong venerated among the ceramic intelligentsia."

Wednesday, April 10, 6:30 pm

Details here.

Spring Front Porch Sale

Front Porch Spring Sale

Participants will include studio instructors Darcy Bowden and Nancy Bulkley, as well as local artists in other mediums. This is a juried sale where you can meet the artists in a studio setting that is a work of art in itself.

Friends at Front Porch

Spring Sale

Saturday, April 27, 10 am-5 pm

Sunday, April 28, 11 am-4 pm

1219 Traver Street, Ann Arbor

MCAA 2024 Exhibition and Competition poster

Celebrate Michigan Ceramics 2024 at its biennial juried exhibition and competition, which features work submitted by MCAA members and Michigan-related ceramicists. Entries will be judged by noted ceramic artist George Rodriguez and are due on July 1. If you are interested in submitting your ceramic art, see the event page for full details.

Michigan Ceramics 2024

September 27-October 31

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center

Suzanne Stephenson sculptural vessel

An exhibition of early works by renown ceramicist Susanne Stephenson that represent her "exploration depicting the landscape on three-dimensional forms." Hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 11 am-4 pm, or by appointment. An Outdoor Sculpture Party will take place on April 19 and 20, from 1-4 pm. More information here.

Sculptural Paintings

in Porcelain

Through April 27

Stephenson Ceramic Studio

4380 Waters Road

Ann Arbor

Resources for potters

Got new plants?

Then you'll need some pots for them.

Watch as the Ondo potter creates a decorative ceramic pot for his new spring plants.

Video about throwing a plant pot on the wheel

Or see how potter Lori Phillips hand builds a hanging planter with a drainage catch for her new plants.

Video on hand building a hanging planter

Visit a gallery of Lori Phillips's work here.

Studio and Gallery hours

Here are our open studio hours for 2024:

  • Tuesday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Friday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Saturday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Sunday, 4:00-8:00 pm

There are no open studio hours on Thursday. Saturday open studio hours begin at noon with the exception of one Saturday a month, when the Try It Once on the Wheel class meets from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Check our class schedule for the date for this class.

Please remember to sign in when you arrive for open studio and sign out when you leave. And make sure to clean your work area thoroughly before leaving.

To help us keep our studio safe and healthy for all students and members, keep track of current advisories on COVID transmission risk and hospitalization numbers in Washtenaw county at this link:

Washtenaw County Health Department page

We have curbside delivery of clay, tools, and pottery during our regular hours. If you have a specific need, please call us at the studio, during regular hours, at 734-662-4914.

Yourist Studio Gallery

6087 Jackson Road

Ann Arbor, MI 48103

734-662-4914 | Instagram

•Classes and workshops

•Community studio workspace

•Pottery tools for sale

•Exhibit gallery