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News, Events, Inspiration ◊ July/August, 2022

Early registration...

Cup by Darcy Bowden

New class for fall:

"Design Your Clay Surface"

with Darcy Bowden now open for fall classes. Yes, we have a whole summer ahead of us to enjoy, but our classes fill up fast so now's the time to reserve your place in our fall classes, avoid the last minute scramble, and receive an Early Bird Discount on tuition. This promises to be an exciting fall, with a new surface design class and new instructors to share their knowledge.

Remember, you can enroll online for classes here. Sign up for fall classes now.

Here's our lineup of fall classes:

Introductory and Continuing Wheel

  • Mon, Sep 12-Oct 17, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Wed, Sep 14-Oct 19, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Steve Olszewski
  • Thurs, Sep 8-Oct 13, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thurs, Sep 8-Oct 13, 12:30-2:30 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thurs, Sep 8-Oct 13, 4:30-6:30 pm, with Kay Yourist
  • Thurs, Sep 8-Oct 13, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Kay Yourist
  • Sat, Sep 10-Oct 15, 9:30-11:30 am, with Laila Chalati

Early Bird Discount valid through August 7.

Introductory / Continuing Wheel Fridays

  • Fri, Sep 9-Oct 14, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Nick Glynos

Early Bird Discount valid through August 7.

Introductory Wheel Sundays

  • Sun, Sep 11-Oct 16, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, with Maxwell Davis

Early Bird Discount valid through August 7.

Continuing Wheel Sundays

  • Sun, Sep 11-Oct 16, 1:30-3:30 pm, with Maxwell Davis

Early Bird Discount valid through August 7.

Coffee and Clay (In studio or via Zoom)

  • Wed, Sep 7-Oct 12, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Sat, Sep 10-Oct 15, 9:30 am-11:30 am, with Nancy Bulkley

Early Bird Discount valid through July 15.

Hand Building

  • Thurs, Sep 8-Oct 13, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Meg Gizzi

Early Bird Discount valid through August 7.

Advanced and Intermediate Clay

  • Wed, Aug 31-Nov 30, 6:30-9:00 pm, with Maxwell Davis

Early Bird Discount valid through July 15.

Design your clay surface New!

  • Mon, Sep 19-Nov 21, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Darcy Bowden

Early Bird Discount valid through July 15.

Reserve your seat today.


Here's your opportunity to get acquainted with the pottery wheel in our Try It Once on the Wheel class:

Try It Once on the Wheel

  • Sat, Jul 16, 1:00-2:30 pm, with YSG Team

Enroll here.

August break

Our studio doors will be closed during most of August while we take a break to recharge our creative batteries and do our summer studio cleanup. Our annual summer cleaning includes removing all clay left behind by students. Students, please take your clay home if you plan to keep it.

Here is our August schedule:

  • August 1-5: Closed
  • August 6: Open 12 noon to 6 pm for pottery pickup, glazing, and other student needs
  • August 7-30: Closed
  • August 31: Open in the evening for the Advanced and Intermediate Clay class
  • September 1: Regular hours resume

All Terra Cotta, Stoneware, and Porcelain members will have access to the studio in August. Terra Cotta and Stoneware members, please see Kay in July to get a studio key for the month of August only.

New class!

Tray by Darcy Bowden

Tray by Darcy Bowden

Do you want to enrich your surface treatment skills and make your pots look more colorful, painterly, textured or patterned? Ceramic artist and printmaker Darcy Bowden is a highly experienced surface designer and teacher who will share her vast knowledge with you in this upcoming 10-week ceramic surface treatment class.

Class content. Working with colored slips and mainly terra cotta clay, you'll learn various techniques to create dynamic pattern and color surface design on your clay pieces. Techniques will include slip transfer mono-printing, sgrafitto, and majolica (in-glaze painting). You will also work with stencils, create designs with wax and latex, and more, as time allows. You'll practice these techniques on simple hand-built forms and tiles made in and out of class.

This class is designed for continuing, intermediate, and advanced students. Basic experience with creating simple hand-built forms is required.

Darcy's artistic process. Inspired by Mark Pharis's use of 3D modeling software to design his imaginative, complicated forms, Darcy set out to learn Rhino 3D, studying with a UM architectural school professor. Darcy creates forms as 3D models, then commands the software to unroll the form to produce flat pattern pieces that can be cut and assembled from a clay slab.

Surface treatments on the tray shown above include terra sigillata colored slips that appear to ooze out of the construction seams and the majolica glazing technique. The clay body is terra cotta fired to cone 04.

Register now.

Studio life

Art Hop

The Clay Crew at Art Hop

The Clay Crew at Art Hop

June 11-12, 2022

We're delighted by the number of studio members who participated in the Westside Art Hop this year. How many studio members can you identify in this Clay Crew photo? See the who's who below. Studio member Savanah Conrad also exhibited at the Art Hop.

Teacher Nancy Bulkley is a veteran Art Hop participant. Here she is with her sale partner, Kirsten Elling, who is an artist in multiple mediums. Nancy reports that this June's Art Hop was the best ever.

Nancy Bulkley and Kirsten Elling at Art Hop

Nancy Bulkley and Kirsten Elling, all smiles, at the Art Hop

Who's who in the Clay Crew photo

Top row, left to right: Rose Gomez, Deb Wood, Josette Steele, Averi Phan, Elan Lange.

Bottom row, left to right: Tempest NeuCollins, Laila Chailati.

In brief...

Gas kiln firing

We're firing the gas kiln early this month. Stay tuned and watch for our results.

Pit firing

Teacher Nancy Bulkley informs us that the pit firing went well, with banana peels, fertilizer, seaweed, and copper wire added to the firing to vary the effect. The pit-fired pieces are now available for pickup at the studio. Wax is available for polishing the pieces to bring out the burnishing.

Fundraising sale update

Irina Bondarenko, one of the organizers of the sale to raise funds for Ukrainian children victimized by the war, reports that the sale was a smashing success. More than $11K was raised and will support 1) the Nizhyn orphanage for children with special needs and 2) an art therapy program for displaced children in Lviv, Ukraine. Donations are still coming in, and a donor has been found to match the proceeds of the sale.

Good neighbor policy

We share our main entrance with another business and, as good neighbors, we want to keep this area clean and tidy at all times. So we're asking studio users not to rub their pots on the sidewalk outside the entrance. Thank you.

Keep sidewalks clean

Uh-oh, no-no

Job opportunities


Yourist Studio Gallery is seeking experienced ceramics instructors for our fall and winter semesters. We are looking for a combination of class instructors to help enhance the skills of our student population. We have openings for

  • ceramicists to teach hand-building techniques to beginning and advanced level students;
  • potters to teach introductory wheel;
  • advanced class instructors who incorporate multiple building and finishing techniques in their syllabus.

If you have experience and are interested in working with the students and staff at the new Yourist Studio Gallery facility, please submit your resume and a collection of 5-10 images of your work to Kay Yourist.

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. Please send a letter of interest, including your pottery studio experience, to Kay Yourist.

The time has come... remove any of your June bisque or glaze ware that's still on our shelves. On July 31, we must free our shelves of all the bisque and glaze ware that has accumulated there in June.

  • 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 that date must be discarded to open up space for new work.

Masking update

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that COVID cases have begun rising again after five weeks of decline. Please check the following links for current 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
Making animal pinch pots

Q. I love the pinch-pot animals I see on the Wall of Flame at the studio, and my nieces and nephews want me to make some animal friends for them. But my pinch-pot animals end up looking like more like roadkill than recognizable animals. What do you suggest?

A. We suggest watching this video from pottery teacher Miss Linnea Lark, who goes through the whole process of making a pinch-pot animalin this case a flyfrom planning through slow drying. She also shares examples of her students' work and the following good advice:

"Remember, you are the master of the clay.

Don't be bossed around by some dirt.

You are in control."

By the way, this video is an excellent tutorial for anyone who might need to refresh their pot pinching skills.

This video is part of our continuing series for beginners at all levels.

Clay lover's events

Ceramic artist George Rodriguez talks about his work

Ceramic artist George Rodriguez creates

"highly ornamented figurative ceramic sculptures"

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 temporary closures due to COVID-19 and for masking and other requirements.

Ceramics: Slip Cast & Hand Built Forms. Deb Saravolatz. Covers two different stages of Deb Saravolatz’s ceramics. Gifts of Art Gallery, Taubman Health Center. June 13-August 26. (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 . . .

Animal/Vegetable/Mineral: Ceramics. Susan Crowell. Applies the science and aesthetics of botany and beekeeping in creating ceramic sculpture. Gifts of Art Gallery, Taubman Health Center. June 13-August 26. (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 . . .

Restrained/Unrestrained. Flint Institute of Art. Now-July 17. Works made to enclose and hold materials. More . . .

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 . . .

Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands. Toledo Museum of Art. April 23-July 17. Includes an array of historically significant ceramics. More . . .

Walk on the Wild Side: Animals in three-dimensional works of various time periods in stone, ceramic, and glass. Flint Institute of Art. August 6, 2022- February 5, 2023. More . . .

Clay as Soft Power: Shigaraki Ware in Postwar America and Japan. How pottery transformed global relations. University of Michigan Museum of Art. November 12, 2022-May 7, 2023. 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!

George Rodriguez, A Life in Art. Seattle sculptor Rodriguez addresses "his identity and community" in his sculptures. More . . .

Member Showcase - Ali Tomlin. From graphic designer to ceramic artist. Society of Designer Craftsmen. More . . .

Masterclass: Chris Bramble and Freya Bramble-Carter. Father and daughter ceramic artists join creative forces. Ceramic Review. More . . .

And three from Colossal:

Expressing the sovereignty of Black women by Simone Leigh. More . . . Ceramic and bronze sculpture for the 2022 Venice Biennale.

A historical collection of ceramic mosaic tiles, Tajimi Mosaic Tile Museum. More . . .

Sleeping children dream in ceramic plates by Lena Guberman. More . . .

Other events

Unforgettable Dinnerware On-Line Lecture Series

Did you miss any episodes of this International Museum of Dinnerware Design event:

  • IMODD tour with Margaret Carney.
  • Eva Zeisel's unforgettable designs.
  • Julia Galloway's unforgettable dinnerware.
  • Tablecloths by modern women textile designers.

Catch up here.

IMODD tablecloth seminar

Call for entries

Entomophagous Dining
That's a fancy term for "eating insects," the theme of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design's call for entries for its Fifth Biennial Juried Exhibition. The entry deadline is January 31, 2023, so you have plenty to time to get ready.

Grasshopper plate

Resources for potters

Try-it: Ring vases

Take the ring vase challenge with these video demonstrations from Ondo Studio. The first video shows you how to hand build a muscular, organic ring vase and the second how to throw a sleek, stylish ring vase.

 Hand built

Hand building a ring vase

Wheel thrown

Wheel throwing a ring vase

Teapot effect?

Study of the teapot effect

Are you bedeviled by drippy teapot spouts? Believe it or not, this problem, known as the "teapot effect," has attracted years of serious consideration and research from mathematicians and fluid mechanics scientists.

David Jones of Jones the Pots is a potter and mathematician who has written "Pours for Thought," an article explaining in lay terms why this problem is of interest to scientists as well as potters and what the solution might be. The brief video was made by scientists studying the teapot effect.

Studio and Gallery hours
Here are our current open studio hours for 2022:

  • Tuesday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 12:00-9:00 pm
  • Friday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Saturday, 12:00-6:00 pm

We are now open until 9:00 pm on Wednesdays through July. 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