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News, Events, Inspiration ◊ February 2023

Inside this issue: 2nd-term class lineup. Another new class with Darcy Bowden. Studio news. Transferring designs to clay with Gelli Arts plates. Clay lover's events galore. Inlaying a plate with a lotus root design, including recipe for stir-fried lotus root! And making a butterfly puddler.

Hand builders at work

Hand builders concentrating

intently on their creations

Light your creative fire... our 2nd-term pottery classes. For your convenience we've scheduled 10 Introductory and Continuing Wheel classes this term. Choose the day and time that suit you best. We're also offering three hand-building classes, and we've designed an exciting and challenging new class for both experienced hand builders and wheel throwers. Be an Early Bird and register now to receive our tuition discount.

But the 1st-term isn't over yet! We still have good things to come. Our Design Your Clay Surface class with Darcy Bowden starts on February 20, and we have a Try It Once on the Wheel class with Laila Chalati lined up for February 18.

Here's our schedule of classes for the 2nd-term:

Introductory and Continuing Wheel

  • Mon, Feb 27- Apr 3, 4:00-6:00 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Mon, Feb 27- Apr 3, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Wed, Mar 1-Apr 5, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Kay Yourist
  • Thurs, Mar 2-Apr 6, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thurs, Mar 2-Apr 6, 12:30-2:30 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thurs, Mar 2-Apr 6, 4:30-6:30 pm, with Kay Yourist
  • Thurs, Mar 2-Apr 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Nick Glynos
  • Sat, Mar 4-Apr 8, 9:30-11:30 am, with Laila Chalati
  • Sun, Mar 5-Apr 9, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, with David Timm
  • Sun, Mar 5-Apr 9, 1:30-3:30 pm, with David Timm

Early Bird Discount valid through February 10.

Coffee and Clay (In studio or via Zoom)

  • Wed, Mar 1-Apr 5, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Sat, Mar 4-Apr 8, 9:30-11:30 am, with Nancy Bulkley

Early Bird Discount valid through February 10.

Hand Building

  • Thurs, Mar 2-Apr 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Meg Gizzi

Early Bird Discount valid through February 10.

New! Inquire / Draw / Design / Build

  • Thurs, Mar 9-Apr 27, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, with Darcy Bowden

Early Bird Discount valid through February 22.

Enroll here.

Upcoming class with Darcy Bowden

About our new class

Let past ceramic works...

...inspire your new work in this multifaceted, 8-week class, Inquire / Draw / Design / Build, led by ceramic artist Darcy Bowden. The class will meet on Thursday, March 9 through April 27, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The first two class sessions will take place at University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) on State St., where you will explore historical ceramic artifacts by observing, sketching, researching, and learning about the works you find compelling. 

The remaining six sessions will be held at Yourist Studio Gallery where you will continue to research, plan, design, and then create the work informed and inspired by your visits to UMMA. 

Come with an open mind to see where your inquiry will lead you. Previous drawing experience is not necessary; however, previous experience with hand building or wheel throwing is.

Register now. The Early Bird Discount for this class is available through February 22.

But wait. There's more!

Make your pottery...

...stand out from the crowd with engaging surface design. There's still time to register for our Design Your Clay Surface class. Learn and practice a host of surface design techniques, from slip transfer mono-printing and sgrafitto, to majolica (in-glaze painting). The class will also work with stencils, create designs with wax and latex, and more, as time allows. Take advantage of this special opportunity to learn with ceramic artist and printmaker Darcy Bowden.

Design Your Clay Surface 

  • Mon, Feb 20-Apr 24, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Darcy Bowden

Sign up today.

Do you believe... love at first encounter? Our February Try It Once on the Wheel class might just convince you that it can happen when you get your hands on clay.

Try It Once on the Wheel

  • Sat, Feb 18, 1:00-2:30 pm, with Laila Chalati

Enroll now.

Studio life

Holiday spirit at the YSG Holiday Show and Sale

From happy pottery lovers to a jolly snow family,

the holiday spirit reigned over our 2022 Show and Sale

What a wonderful Holiday Show and Sale celebration we had in December—seeing friends, selling our works, and winding down 2022. We send many thanks to our new and long-time loyal customers for your inspiring and ongoing support. Thanks also go out to our talented, hard-working artists and studio members who pitched in to make this festive occasion possible.

Job opportunity

Studio intern

We're interviewing potential studio interns for winter and spring 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. Please send a letter of interest, including your pottery studio experience, to Kay Yourist.

January is now... the rearview mirror, so it's time to clear our shelves to make way for new work in progress. On February 28, we will remove all bisque ware and glaze ware that has collected on the shelves in January.

  • 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 February 28 must be discarded to make room for new work.

Masking update

Before coming to the studio, please check the following links for current advisories on COVID transmission risk and case numbers in Washtenaw county:

CDC COVID Community Levels page.

Washtenaw County Health Department page

CDC currently updates its advisory every Thursday at 8 pm ET.

The studio will operate in accordance with the latest CDC advisories. Thank you for helping us keep our studio safe and healthy for all students and members.

Potters quick tip

Q. I've heard that Gelli Arts® plates are very popular for print making. Can they be used for transferring designs to clay?

A. As soon as a new technique for design transfer appears, you can be sure an enterprising potter will give it a try on clay. This video from EZScreenPrint shows how to use their silk screens and Gelli Arts® plates to neatly transfer designs to clay. The great feature of this technique is that it works well on pieces that are not flat. Note the use of baby powder to make the underglaze adhere to the Gelli plate without beading up.

For more information, here's a video from potter Shawna Pincus demonstrating her technique for using silk screens and Gelli plates for design transfer, as well as an article by her from Ceramic Arts Network. Ann Ruel also gets in on the act with a video showing her solution to the underglaze beading problem and alternative ideas for transferring designs with Gelli plates.

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

Clay lover's events

"I guess it does really take some part of you,

of your heart and soul when you make a pot."

Acoma Pueblo potter Robert Patricio

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 pandemic precautions.

Around the World in Blue and White. Selections from the William C. Weese Collection of Chinese Ceramics. University of Michigan Museum of Art. Ongoing. More . . .

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

Walk on the Wild Side: Animals in three-dimensional works of various time periods in stone, ceramic, and glass. Flint Institute of Art. Now-February 5. More . . .

Matt Wedel: Phenomenal Debris. Wedel's work represents "the phenomenal debris that is shed from being human." Toledo Museum of Art. Now-April 2. More . . .

Clay as Soft Power: Shigaraki Ware in Postwar America and Japan. How pottery transformed global relations. University of Michigan Museum of Art. Now-May 7. More . . .

Dopamine Dressing. Colorful, textured clay and metal sculptures by YehRim Lee. University of Michigan Museum of Art. Now-August. More . . .

Explorations in Brown Clay. Julie Schnell Madden. Gifts of Art Gallery, Taubman Health Center. Now-March 3. (Note: this exhibition is limited to Michigan Medicine patients and their visitors. A link on the exhibition page will allow you to visit virtually.) More . . .

Everlasting Exuberance. Alexander M. Clinthorne. Gifts of Art Gallery, Taubman Health Center. Now-March 3. (Note: this exhibition is limited to Michigan Medicine patients and their visitors. A link on the exhibition page will allow you to visit virtually.) More . . .

Broken Pieces Made Whole: Mosaics. Sue Majewski. Gifts of Art Gallery, Rogel Cancer Center. Now-March 3. (Note: this exhibition is limited to Michigan Medicine patients and their visitors. A link on the exhibition page will allow you to visit virtually.) More . . .

Motawi Tileworks: A Celebration of 30 Years. Gifts of Art Gallery, Rogel Cancer Center. Now-December. (Note: this exhibition is limited to Michigan Medicine patients and their visitors. A link on the exhibition page will allow you to visit virtually.) More . . .

Expressions in Paper and Clay. Juxtaposes contemporary Japanese prints with contemporary Japanese ceramics. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Now-May 14. More . . .

The Art of Refreshment. Illustrates the wide variety of materials, styles, and uses of drink and dinnerware from ancient times to current day. Flint Institute of Arts. February 25, 2023-August 27. More . . .

Underneath Everything: Humility and Grandeur in Contemporary Ceramics. "Clay is the humblest of materials, often overlooked and more readily associated with a morning cup of coffee than with the international art world. But it is underneath everything." Theaster Gates. Grand Rapids Art Museum. Oct 7, 2023-Jan 13, 2024. More . . .

Virtual tours and videos

Here's a selection of pottery events, exhibitions, and museum tours that you can visit and enjoy online. Lots of tasty ceramic eye candy!

Robert Patricio's Acoma Pottery. What's more appropriate for February than a love story? Acoma Pottery Robert Patricio tells the story of his love for pottery, family, and tradition. More . . .

Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art. The Hayward Gallery in London. Clay taken to "weird and wonderful places." More . . .

2021 Jingdezhen Intl Ceramic Art Biennale. The Spirit of Ceramics. Jingdezhen Ceramic University and Taoxichan Art Museums. More . . .

Two Unforgettable Dinnerware online lectures from The International Museum of Dinnerware Design are now available as videos: Unforgettable Dinnerware: Saenger Porcelain and How "Dish Night" at the Movies Giveaways Saved Hollywood with Kathy Fuller-Seeley.

And three from Colossal:

Lush vessels with delicate spikes and petals by Avital Avital. More . . .

Colorful, fragmented steampunk sculptures by Tomàs Barceló. More . . .

Tiny, adorably spirited ceramic ghosts by Lisa Agnetun. More . . .

Other events

Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists

Authors donald a clark and Chotsani Dean discuss their new book Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists, which they wrote to give these artists the recognition long due them.

Wednesday, February 8, 6:30 p.m.

This presentation is the first in the Spring 2023

Unforgettable Dinnerware on-line Lecture Series.

Check out the book here.

Mugs by Rich Brown

Dining on Modernism

IMODD at Palm Springs Modernisn Show

A special exhibition by the International Museum of Dinnerware Design at


February 17-20, 2023

Palm Springs Convention Center, CA

But if you'll still be stuck in the snows of Michigan on those dates, the exhibition will be available on-line beginning February 17. More here.

Dish Night at the Movies

A special exhibition at the Michigan Theater

Now through February 24.

The giveaway of of inexpensive dinnerware was a big movie theater event during the Great Depression 19292-c.1939). See examples of the dishware your family might have received during that harsh period of history.

Get details here.

Free Movie Night dish

NCECA 2023

2023 NCECA poster

"Current can be a flow of electrons, a force of water, a moment in time. Current invites us to consider how working with clay leads us to engage in worlds of continuity and continual change. . .Ceramic artworks embody currents that carry diverse traditions of invention and renewal."


NCECA’s 57th Annual Conference

Current, Cincinnati, Ohio

March 15-18, 2023

Find out more here.

Michigan Mud

MCAA Michigan Mud 2023

Traverse City, Northwestern Michigan College

June 16-17, 2023

Bede Clark, Keynote speaker

The Michigan Ceramic Art Association's biennial conference showcasing the excellence of Michigan and regional ceramic art in its diversity of techniques. Vessel by Bede Clark.

Further information here.

Vessal by Bede Clark

Resources for potters

Inlay decorating...

...a plate with a lotus root design. Practice the clay inlay skills you're learning in hand building class by making this striking lotus root plate. Then stir-fry up a batch of lotus root to serve in it. Yum. Here's an easy recipe.

Is it too early... start getting ready for spring? Not by my calendar. And I'm going to begin by making some beautiful ceramic additions to my garden, like a butterfly puddler. We'll get into the details of butterfly puddlers in the bonus video below, but your first step is to make a good-sized, fairly shallow platter. You could just use a plastic platter, of course, but don't your garden and butterflies deserve the best?

In this video, learn from Danielle McDaniel, the Clay Lady, how to make a platter on the wheel from a slab of clay. During her demonstration, McDaniel gives several advantages of using this method to make a platter.

How to lure...

...more butterflies to your garden. An attractive butterfly puddler is sure to draw them in. And puddlers are easy to assemble, as Dave the Butterfly Guy explains. All it takes is a pretty (ceramic!) platter, some sand, some rocks, a little epsom salts, some composted manure (don't judge, butterflies love it), even some over-ripe fruit. Dave will tell you why puddlers are essential for butterflies.

Studio and Gallery hours

Here are our open studio hours for the rest of 2022 and for 2023:

  • 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 and sign out when you leave. And make sure to clean your work area thoroughly before leaving.

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 |

•Classes and workshops
•Community studio workspace
•Pottery tools for sale
•Exhibit gallery