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News, Events, Inspiration ◊ July-August 2024

Inside this issue: Fall classes open for enrollment. Two new classes. Summer break schedule. Class tuition announcement. Meet Walt Richardson. Plus more exhibitions, events, and informative videos.

Becky Nistel and Andy Comai putting wadding on a bowl for the soda kiln

Becky Nistel and Andy Comai put wadding

on a bowl for the soda kiln

Do your fall plans...

...include continuing, renewing, or beginning your engagement with clay? Take a look at our extensive fall schedule. It is filled with classes that will help you achieve your pottery-making goals, no matter what your current level of skill is.

Fall term highlights

We're offering two new classes: Atmospheric Soda Firing and Glaze Formulation Understood.

Students in our Advanced and Intermediate Clay class will have the opportunity to take part in a soda kiln firing during the semester.

So book your class today, receive an Early Bird tuition discount—in effect for most classes through August 4—then relax and enjoy the rest of summer, knowing you're all set for class in the fall. We look forward to seeing you in September.

Classes running this fall include

Introductory and Continuing Wheel

  • Mon, Sep 9-Oct 14, 3:30-5:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Mon, Sep 9-Oct 14, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Wed, Sep 4-Oct 9, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser
  • Thu, Sep 5-Ocr 10, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thu, Sep 5-Oct 10, 4:00-6:00 pm, with Savannah Conrad
  • Thu, Sep 5-Oct 10, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Nick Glynos
  • Sat. Sep 7-Oct 12, 9:45 am-11:45 pm, with Laila Chalati
  • Sun, Sep 8-Oct 13, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

Early Bird discount effective through Aug 4.

Intermediate Wheel Throwing

  • Thu, Sep 5-Oct 10, 12:30-2:30 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Sun, Sep 8-Oct 13,1:00-3:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

Early Bird discount effective through Aug 4.

Coffee and Clay (In studio or via Zoom)

  • Wed, Sep 4-Oct 9, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Sat, Sep 7-Oct 12, 9:30-11:30 am, with Nancy Bulkley

Early Bird discount effective through Aug 4.

Hand Building

  • Thu, Sep 5-Oct 10, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Elliott Kayser

Early Bird discount effective through Aug 4.

Advanced and Intermediate Clay

  • Tue, Sep 3-Dec 3, 6:30-9:00 pm, with Elliott Kayser

Early Bird discount effective through Aug 4.

Advanced / Intermediate Independent Study

  • Wed, Sep 4-Dec 4, 6:30-9:00 pm, with Rose Gomez

Early Bird discount effective through Aug 4.

New! Atmospheric Soda Firing

  • Tue, Sep 3-Nov 5, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

New! Glaze Formulation Understood

  • Fri, Sep 6-Oct 11, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Elliott Kayser

Reserve your seat now.

Our fall lineup..

...includes two new classes on soda firing and on making your own glazes that we're thrilled to be able to offer you. These classes begin right after we return from summer break, so we suggest you register now to be ready to go when the fall class term starts.

Learn how to soda fire

New! Atmospheric Soda Firing

  • Tue, Sep 3-Nov 5, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

In this class we will explore multiple surface treatment techniques to prepare our pots for a trip through the soda firing kiln. We will then study our results and prepare more pots for a second firing.

Soda fired pots

This 10-week class, which is open only to students with an advanced to intermediate skill level, includes time for making works on the wheel or at the table.

Get details and sign up here.

Learn how to make glazes

New! Glaze Formulation Understood

  • Fri, Sep 6-Oct 11, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Elliott Kayser

When you think about making glazes, do you visualize three chanting witches stirring a bubbling cauldron filled with eye of newt and wing of bat? We can assure you that making glazes is not witchcraft, it's chemistry! And you can do it.

Studio glaze lab

In this six-week classtechnical but designed for artists and visual learnerswe will take a deep dive into understanding glaze recipe formulation and the ingredients that we use in ceramics.

The prerequisite for taking this class is a minimum of one full class semester in clay.

Learn more and enroll here.

Our studio doors will be closed from August 1 through September 2 while we take a break to recharge our creative batteries and do our summer studio cleanup so we can be off to a fast start in the fall.

Our annual summer cleaning includes removing all clay left behind by students. Students, please take your clay home if you plan to keep it. Otherwise, we'll recycle it for new uses. We will also clear the shelves of all student bisque and glazed ware, so be sure to pick up your pieces.

Here is our summer break schedule:

  • August 1-2: Closed
  • August 3: Open 12:00 to 5:00 pm for pottery pickup
  • August 4-September 2: Closed
  • September 3: Studio reopens and classes resume


During the break, the studio will be open to Porcelain members and students enrolled in the Summer Studio Practice.

Summer Studio Practice

You still have time to register for this 7-week Summer Studio Practice from July 20 to September 7 for intermediate and advanced students. As a participant, you will have access to work in the studio 24/7, spending as much time as you like honing the skills you've learned in classes. It's your opportunity to keep working with clay between our summer and fall terms.

Summer Studio Practice

  • Daily, Jul 20-Sep 7, 24 hours, 7 days a week, with YSG Team

Learn more and register here.

Studio life

Slight increase in class prices

Hail to the king

Walt Richardson and his colorfully glazed bowls

Walt Richardson,

King of Chattering

Walt Richardson has come a long way since he started taking beginning throwing at the old Broadway Street studio. In fact, he has taken clay chattering to such a high level that he's earned the title of King of Chattering around the studio. While you won't see his chattering skills reflected in these two bowls just out of the kiln, you will see that he also has impressive glazing talent.

Here's the definition of chattering from Ceramic Arts Network: "When a pottery trimming tool skips rhythmically over the surface of a pot that is being trimmed on the potter's wheel, leaving a rippled texture instead of a smooth clean cut."

Pottery pickup reminder

We're giving the studio a thorough cleaning over the summer break, so we must remove all bisque and glaze pieces that have accumulated on the shelves in June and July.

  • 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.

The last day for pickup in July is Wednesday the 31st. Although the studio will be closed as of August 1, we have scheduled a grace day for pickup from 12:00 to 5:00 pm on August 3. Regrettably, any unclaimed bisque ware and glazed pieces remaining after August 3 must be discarded.

And don't forget to take your unused clay home if you wish to keep it. Otherwise, we will recycle it for future use.

Job opportunity

Studio intern

We're interviewing potential studio interns for fall and winter 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

Glazing tip from Daria Paik

Q. I'm not happy with my glazing results. They didn't turn out the way I'd hoped. Is there anything I can do to fix them?

A. You may want to give Ann Arbor potter Daria Paik's secret technique for reglaze firing a try. It involves using the thick glaze that often accumulates on the sides of the glaze containers. Important caution: As Daria explains, you should only use this technique on the inside of your pieces because the thick glaze will run.

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

Clay lover's events

War Tablets by Thomas Orr

Thomas Orr's 'War Tablets'

And The Art Of Healing

(an emotionally intense video)

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 . . .

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 Asia to the World: Ancient to Contemporary Art. Display includes blue-and-white porcelain, celadon, and enamel ceramics from China, Korea, and Japan. Toledo Museum of Art. NowJune 29, 2025. More . . .

New! Ceramics Soul Lab by Cristina Joya. A self-discovery journey with clay. Michigan Medicine Gifts of Art. Taubman Health Center, Now–August 23, 2024. Viewable oMore . . .

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. Now–August 25, 2024. More . . .

The Art of Dining: Food Culture in the Islamic World. 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.

Thomas Orr's 'War Tablets' And The Art Of Healing. How working with clay has helped ceramic artist Thomas Orr deal with his experiences in Vietnam. This is an emotionally intense video. More . . .

What Is Clay? | Science for Pottery. Is clay the source of all life on earth? Find out why Ben Shane of Tinker & Think believes it might be. More . . .

Visit a British bottle-fired pottery museum. It's one of the last examples of this kind of pottery in Britain, and you may just recognize it. More . . .

And three from Colossal:

Clay Vessels or Corrugated Cardboard? by Jacques Monneraud. More . . .

Bold, Spirited Clay Masks by Karolina Romanowska. More . . .

Vessels With Coiled, Undulating Handles by Kassandra Guzman. More . . .

Other events

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, and judged by noted ceramic artist George Rodriguez. Check the MCAA website for full details of the program, coming soon.

Michigan Ceramics 2024

September 27-October 31

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center

Resources for potters

Florian Gadsby makes pottery using the Fibonacci sequence

Fibonacci what?

Here's Florian Gadsby explaining how he uses the Fibonacci sequence to throw a set of bud vases. Gadsby calls this technique, which he learned during his training as a potter, "a great way of scaling pots up and down whilst retaining a beautiful progression in size between them."

So what's the Fibonacci sequence? Just in case you were snoozing (as I was) when it was introduced in math class, here's a quick primer to get you up to speed. I don't mean to worry you, but this sequence surrounds you.

The Ondo Potter makes a stacked cup

A stacked cup

Learn from the Ondo Studio potter how to make this dainty, two-color stacked cup, a project that involves both hand building and work on the wheel. You will see how to mix your colored clay, assemble your cup, and trim it on wheel. Be sure to wear a respirator when working with dry stains. And you may want to consider wearing nitrile gloves when doing the mixing.

Studio, Gallery, and Shop hours

Here are our open studio, gallery, and shop 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.

We welcome all ceramics lovers and all area potters to shop with us for their pottery needs during our open studio hours. Students may purchase tools as needed during their classes as well.

To help us keep our studio safe and healthy for all students and members, please keep track of current advisories on the transmission risk and hospitalization numbers for COVID and other communicable respiratory diseases 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