About Local Clay

Local Clay is an independent nonprofit organization of potters from the southern Willamette Valley, the central Oregon coast, Roseburg and vicinity. We are a diverse group, interested in many facets of ceramics and at varying levels of ability. We have serious amateurs and professionals, potters and educators; people working in functional ware, art pieces, sculpture, jewelry, tile. We fire all types of kilns : gas, electric, raku, wood, pitfire. Local Clay meets bi-monthly to share information, participate in mini-workshops and plan community events and projects. Our activities include educational outreach, workshops, a hunger relief project, and a major clay-only show and sale.

This page provides a brief description of Local Clay's activities. The links to left will provide you with more details.

It started with a picnic ...

The Oregon Potters Association (OPA) sponsored a potluck for its Eugene members. The people present enjoyed themselves so much that they decided to keep meeting and form a local club, perhaps a chapter of the OPA.

As the meetings continued, the network grew, and the dreams got bigger ... workshops, a show like the OPA's Ceramic Showcase. Eventually these dreams became reality : Local Clay, a thriving independent ceramics organization with links to the OPA.

Clay in Education

Through Clay in Education, we strive to convey the love of clay to students of all ages. Local Clay sponsors our artists as they go out into the community, teaching clay through demonstrations, workshops and projects in schools and other venues. Potters can also provide workshops for teachers, so that they are better able to teach clay in their classrooms. Teachers, home schooling parents or organizations wanting more information about the Clay in Education program are encouraged to contact us.

Empty Bowls

The Empty Bowls Project was begun over 10 years ago by pottery students in Michigan; today groups all over the world participate in this cooperative effort to end hunger. Local Clay first joined Food For Lane County in hosting an Annual Empty Bowls Project sale in the 1999. Since then our committment has grown, our 2003 Empty Bowls sale raised over $23,000 for local hunger relief. Local Clay members also coordinate an Empty Bowls project in Roseburg, as well as participating in the OPA's Empty Bowls sale in Portland. Our hope is that each bowl will be used daily and appreciated for its aesthetic and functional value, yet serve as a reminder that we still live in a world where people go hungry.

Workshops

Local Clay hosts one and two-day Workshops where potters and ceramic enthusiasts can get together and learn from noted and inspiring clay artists. We learn new tricks, cool tools, and new ways to look at clay. In addition, each Local Clay meeting ends with a mini-workshop presented by one of our members. Topics have ranged from surface decoration to tools and equipment to trading information about the business of pottery.

Clay Fest

One of the goals of Local Clay is to gain respect for clay as a medium for art or fine crafts. To that end, we produce Clay Fest, a two-day clay-only show and sale, held each October at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene. Clay Fest features individual booths of participating members work, a large central gallery of "best" work, and centralized holding and sales areas. It also includes a hands-on children's clay play area, flower arranging demonstrations with pottery, and clay work demonstrations by our members.

Membership

Membership in Local Clay is open to any artist/potter creating original works in clay. Dues are $15 per calendar year, and are not prorated. Members receive discounts on workshops, and are eligible to participate in Clay Fest and to apply for Art in Education funds.

Meetings

Local Clay Meets 6 times per year. Meetings begin at 6:30PM, and include a business session, refreshments and social break, and mini-workshop. The August meeting is generally a picnic at a member's home. Guests are always welcome.

To see when meetings are scheduled, check the Calendar.