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
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.
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.
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.
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 three-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
Membership in Local Clay is open to any artist/potter, generally residing in Oregon, 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.
Local Clay Meets 4 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 or other location. Guests are always welcome.
To see when meetings are scheduled, check the Calendar.