Our Gallery Shop is always open. Pay us a visit!

It's time to sign up for spring classes   

Spring class calendar
Can you believe it's already April? Here is the calendar of our spring class start dates. Registrations through April 4 are eligible for our Early Bird Tuition Discount, so enroll now to take advantage of this discount.

Why take studio classes?

Can't I just learn everything I need to know about making pottery by watching videos on the Web? Readers of our newsletter know that we love videos because they can certainly complement what you learn in a studio class. But if you rely solely on videos, you forgo these significant advantages of taking studio classes:

  1. Engaging in active involvement and learning by doing. Instead of passively watching, you're actually getting your hands on clay and working with it as you learn.
  2. Having expert direction at your side. You can't ask questions of a video, but you can get answers on the spot from your experienced Yourist Studio Gallery instructor. Your instructor will also observe you and guide you with advice and suggestions as necessary. And your instructor will cheer you on enthusiastically as you make progress.
  3. Benefiting from your interaction with classmates. Besides learning from your teacher, you also learn from and share with your classmates. As you interact, you bounce ideas off each other, see a variety of approaches to clay, and pick up plenty of useful tips.
  4. Meeting great people and having fun. In addition to getting to know your classmates, you'll also meet our studio monitors and our regulars, the Yourist Studio Gallery Resident Artists. You'll not only learn from your association with these generous people, they'll welcome you warmly into the Yourist Studio Gallery family.

So, enroll in our spring classes today and enjoy some relief from this "taxing" time of year. 

Calendar icon
Studio calendar

Remember to pick up your bisqueware!
Bisqueware left over from March will be discarded on April 30. To keep our shelves free for new work, we regularly discard unclaimed bisqueware at the end of the month following the month in which the bisqueware was fired. Be sure to claim your bisqueware promptly.

Ready, load, fire 
We'll soon be loading the gas kiln for our next firing, so please start glazing your pieces now. Here's the tentative schedule for the next firing:

Wednesday, April 19
Firing: Friday, April 21
Unloading: Monday, April 24

Be aware that this schedule could change depending on the amount of work that's ready for firing. 
Tool time demo 
Vases for summer bouquets. Sunday, April 23, 4:30 pm. Having a few beautiful ceramic vases is a must for displaying summer flowers. Let Kay show you how to throw shapely, well-proportioned vases. This demonstration is free and open to the public. No registration necessary. Just drop by the studio at demo time.

Got an idea for a demo you'd like to see Kay present? Let us know. We're interested in hearing from you.

Upcoming classes
Our spring pottery classes start this month. The Early Bird Enrollment Discount for our 6-week and 14-week classes is good through April 4, so  book your class now.

Coffee and Clay

Saturdays, Apr 22 through May 27, 9:30-11:30 am, with Nancy Bulkley.  

Introductory and Continuing Wheel
Mondays, Apr 24 through Jun 05, 7:00-9:00 pm, with Kevan O. Wilson.
Thursdays, Apr 27 through Jun 01, 12:30 to 2:30 pm, with Nancy Bulkley.
Thursdays, Apr 27 through Jun 01, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, with Kay Yourist.
Note: These classes are designed for adult participation. Please call before registering students 13 and under

Advanced / Intermediate Independent Studies
Tuesdays, Apr 25 through Jul 25, 6:30-9:00 pm, with Kay Yourist.
Try It Once on the Wheel
Saturday, Apr 8, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm with Nancy Bulkley.

Coming soon!
Kids' Clay Mornings   
Monday, June 19, through Friday, June 23, 9:30-11:30 am, with Nancy Bulkley.

Potter's pipeline
Potter's quick tip
Making mug rims round again

When I add handles to my mugs, the rims go out of round and become oval. What can I do about this?
A. Potter Bill van Gilder solves this problem with a nifty tool he calls a "rounder," which is essentially a cone of clay that he threw on the wheel and bisque fired. Van Gilder explains how to make a rounder and shows how to use it. He also talks about his process for making and attaching handles. A key piece of advice from van Gilder: keep your hands clean.

At one point in the video van Gilder describes his clay as being "short." No, it doesn't mean small in stature. Here's a definition from Ceramic Arts Daily:

"Short: Clays and clay bodies lacking plasticity. A coil rolled or extruded from a short clay, when bent sharply or tied in a knot, will show signs of tearing and cracking."

Learn more from Ceramic Arts Daily about clay body plasticity
here . 

Readers, if you have a burning pottery question for Kay,
ask away . We'd like to know what you want to know.  

Events to know about 
Brief notices
Clay community digest
What will the functional ceramics of the future be? See what "artists from a variety of backgrounds" think in this exhibition at Pewabic.  The works shown "represent many takes on the notion of what makes functional ceramics." Get details here

Dates: Now-May 14, 2017
10125, E. Jefferson Ave
Detroit, MI 48214
Blossom by Blossom:
Elvish Ceramics
Ceramic artist Gabrielle Soltis makes these porcelain blossoms, which she painstakingly assembles petal by petal, in the tradition of the Gyldenstjerne Porcelain Company. Find out more about this exhibition and the enchanting story of the Gyldenstjerne Porcelain Company here

Dates: Now-June 11, 2017
Gifts of Art Gallery, Taubman Health Center
South Lobby, Floor 1
1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Pot by Maija Grotell 
Finland 100:
The Cranbrook Connection
This exhibition examines the "profound influence" Finland "has had on the development of the arts in America." Of particular interest to potters are the works of Maija Grotell, former visiting artist and head of ceramics at Cranbrook. John Glick reminisces here about his days as a student of Grotell.

Visitors to this exhibition will also see treasures by Eliel Saarinen, his wife Loja, and his children, Eero and Pipsan, as well as other Finnish artists associated with Cranbrook. Get more information about the exhibition here.      
Dates: Now-January 14, 2018
Cranbrook Art Museum
deSalle Gallery
39221 Woodward Ave Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
Ceramics by Hailey Banda
Hailey Banda at May RNR Workshop
Get ready to join R NR Ceramics on Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, for a "hands-on adventure in clay."

This 5th workshop from R NR Ceramics features up-and-coming potter Hailey Banda, who will show you how to incorporate captivating textures in your work.

In her artist's statement, Banda says " I create stylized utilitarian work to enhance an individual's day and to create a connection between the handmade object and the user." Learn more and register here.

Open to the public: While the workshop is limited to registrants, this event offers something for everyone interested in ceramics. The public is invited to attend the reception, gallery sale, and artist's talk at trustArt Studios on Friday, May 5, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.

Dates: May 6-7, 2017. Registrants only.
Public reception, gallery sale, and artist's talk: Friday, May 5, 6:30 to 9:00 pm
trustArt Studios
7885 Jackson Road, Suite 1
Ann Arbor, MI

Stop, look, listen . . . and learn
Building and firing a termite clay kiln

Using termite clay
Primitive Technology is a series of videos that have become a YouTube sensation. They are filmed by an unidentified man, whom we will refer to as The Man, who pursues his hobby of making "things in the wild completely from scratch" in Far North Queensland, Australia.

In the course of this 11-1/2 minute video, The Man builds a kiln with clay taken from termite mounds, makes several pots and tiles from the same clay, and then fires his wares in his new kiln. He does all this using no modern tools or materials, even down to making fire for the kiln with a fire stick! Fascinating.

Read more about The Man, his termite clay, and his other primitive technology projects here.

Thank you to Linda Haffey for suggesting this video.

Share what you know

Do you know of resources or upcoming events of interest to the clay community? We invite you to pass the information along to us so we can feature it here.

Just for fun
Kicking it old school

Potter Joel Cherrico attempts to break the Guinness World Record of 150 pots thrown in a hour by an individual . . . and he throws on a kick wheel!

Does Cherrico succeed? See what happens in this short video that runs under 3-1/2 minutes.

You can learn more about Cherrico and his practice of throwing on a kick wheel here.

And The Great Pottery Throw Down continues

In Episode 3, which potters survive the challenge of throwing 10 identical long-neck vases and raku firing five of them? Watch to find out.

Binge-watcher? Here are links to the earlier episodes:

Episode 1, Episode 2

Yourist Studio Gallery | 1133 Broadway, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-662-4914 | www.youristpottery.com

Inspiring classes and workshops for new and experienced students | Bright, modern, fully equipped community studio workspace | Comprehensive selection of pottery tools for sale | Gallery exhibiting the works of celebrated artists | Online gallery shop for the purchase of ceramic art