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  • Sue Stelzmann

Tallahassee Clay Classes?

We had a great meeting to start out the New Year. Twenty members followed the signs down to the basement of FSU’s Fine Arts building and found the ceramics department’s studio space. After a brief go around of “reports” about our Dirty Dozen show last month, everyone was asked to write down one question regarding ceramics. These questions written on an index card, were passed around the room for anyone to answer. Well, of course no one wanted to write their answers, but instead lively conversation sprang up. Discussions on how to apply glaze, when should handles be applied, jokes about the silly question games and advice on inspiration were some of the many side discussion that erupted.

Alas, as the meeting minder, I had to bring the group back to the main topic for discussion: What should Tallahassee Clay Arts do next? With all the talent and experience in the room, there is a great desire to work with each other. Meeting are ok… but learning new things about clay would be better. So, after some discussion, it looks like this group is interested in workshops that members give, road trips to workshops outside of Tallahassee and possibly hosting national artists.

So yes, the next step will be organizing clay classes. Getting our members to host a class seems to be an idea that appeals to everyone. For instance, Rusty Miller volunteered to host a wheel throwing workshop and barbeque! I offered to help with web page development and photography session (which I may give during one of the Ceraminole meetings.) Mary Donohue is already offering a class through Osher Learning Center (FSU) in May and she is certainly willing to do one with our group. In fact, at our next meeting we may be able to host a visiting artist coming to FSU to give us a mini workshop.

Soon you will see these workshops offered through Tallahassee Clay Arts and announcements will be forthcoming. There will be fees for the event and all proceeds will go to the artist hosting the event. These will be affordable but should also be enough to make the effort worthwhile. Also, if you want to give a workshop, please contact me and we can figure out a way to have one soon. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something each month to do?

Not sure exactly how to organize road trips but to get the ball rolling, IF YOU ARE GOING TO A WORKSHOP – POST IT ON FACEBOOK. At the very least, you can offer to share rides to the event.


That’s about it for the upshot of our meeting. And as a special bonus, FSU had about 100 + bats to give away to anyone who wanted them…. SCORE!

Finally a few newsy items to pass along:

  • Lafayette is working on getting a GAS cone 10 kiln build on site with raku and pit firing capabilities. Who wants a workshop with reductions firing…. Sign me up!

  • LeMoyne is getting a new kiln shed and kiln after these were destroyed by a falling tree last month. They are doing a fund raising to help with the costs. Looks like they will continue to have a vibrant ceramics program.

  • Julie Guyot has opened up a new studio and shop in the cottages at Lake Ella. Join her for her open house February 6th (first Friday) and celebrate this exciting development.

  • Empty Bowls is still planned for March. Keep on throwing.

  • My next project is to write a comprehensive business plan to develop a clay arts co-op here in Tallahassee. I have asked the group for guidance and assistance. Specifically I need help connecting with commercial real estate expertise, contacts for interviews with clay centers in comparable cities and ideas from artists that would be interested in a co-op space here. Debbie Lightsey offered contacts and good suggestions, Hope Johnson offered marketing advice, and Holly Hannesian gave me the nod to help with contacts in clay centers in other cities. Soon I will follow up with these as the plan gets started. Other offers and ideas welcome.

Stay tuned for a calendar of events soon.

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