I've been making handcrafted pots for over two decades. Skill and competence at the potter's wheel, in glazing, decoration, and firing were early goals and continue to be primary goals even today. My search now is about bringing these elements into a cohesive whole. Slowly, day-by-day, my work continues to evolve and progress. The daily, monthly, yearly, cycle of studio pottery is what sustains me as an artist.
Willi Eggerman is a visiting instructor who also teaches at the Boulder Potter's Guild. Her career in ceramics began in 1986 and expanded into sculpture in the past decade. Willi studies painting and drawing and incorporates unique decorative techniques into her pieces. She teaches workshops and classes at her professional studio gallery, which you can also visit by appointment.
Chris has been a part-time pottery and ceramicist for 25 years in the Boulder / Denver area. Chris has worked with the City of Boulder’s Pottery Lab and the Potter’s Guild as a clay maker, glaze tech and pottery instructor for the past 15 years. Most recently, he has worked at the Pottery Lab as a teacher; he created a clay recycling program for the Pottery Lab that has been very successful.
Since graduating with an MFA from the University of Oregon, I have taught ceramics at many places in Colorado and other western states. I believe art is a visual language of personal symbols and my work is a rough sketch or diary of my life. The collection of individual events and the emotional ebb and flow of everyday life eventually stream into a coherent current through my work.
Kathryn has been teaching the beginning pottery classes at the Boulder Pottery Lab for the past year and, prior to that, she was a teaching assistant for 9 years. She loves the enthusiasm and eagerness of beginning students and finds it very rewarding to see their skills and knowledge about the clay process grow. Her own work is primarily functional yet she is always searching for a way to embellish the ordinary and bring beauty into everyday life.
My first experience with clay was in the Pottery Lab's beginner class 12 years ago. I was immediately hooked. I mostly do wheel-thrown functional ware, and my focus is on surfaces, using sgraffito and other texturing techniques.
It all started with playing mud pies at my Grandfather’s ranch in Texas. The opportunity to continue that love affair presented itself when I moved to Boulder and took a class from Betty Woodman at the Boulder Pottery Lab. The rest is history. I sandwiched in classes whenever possible and returned enthusiastically after retiring. I love throwing and hand building and combining the two. I also love teaching others about the magic of clay.
Aaron earned a master's degree in printmaking but at the end of his studies he began to practice a Japanese tradition of throwing porcelain. He was invited to visit Living National Treasure, Inoue Manji in Japan. After moving to San Diego, Aaron worked in industrial design creating unique service pieces in porcelain and learned studio operations and how clay shapes those that choose to collaborate with it. He has been teaching at the Boulder Pottery Lab for nearly 10 years, practicing and learning.
I studied Ceramics at Penn State University. During my first clay class, I knew I had found my medium. This moment changed my life direction, no looking back. The clay continues to spin me around and re-find my center. My work is a reflection of flow and connection. I work a lot with texture and subtlety of form and invite both depth and whimsy into my pieces. I currently teach at the Pottery Lab, New Vista High School, and have a studio at Centercraft.
Back in 2013, Katie took her first class at the Pottery Lab and fell in love with clay. She has happily been playing with clay at the Pottery Lab since and assists with the Tuesday night and Thursday night classes. She spends most of her time with clay at the wheel, and is still searching for the "perfect mug shape"... if it exists. When not at the lab, she can be found gardening or hiking with her dog Sophie. Katie is Studio Arts Boulder's Outreach Instructor.
Jana Smith & Dakko Maurice
Jana and Dakko's goal is for the children to have fun together with clay. For being with clay, they say, "The rules, the tools, and the skills combine to meet the challenge of creativity and imagination." Through pinch, slab, and coil, Jana and Dakko teach through an approach that fosters self-directed individual exploration within the group. They have instructed the children’s pottery classes and the children’s summer and spring break camps, and are full of a unique passion and love for arts education. Positive feedback from students and parents encourage Jana and Dakko in their own exploration with clay at the Boulder Pottery Lab.
Judi has been a Pottery Lab enthusiast for over 15 years as a student and assistant, then as Child/Parent class instructor for the past five years. Clay has been a passion of hers throughout her life. After receiving a BA in Studio Arts, she continued studying with many clay artists throughout the country.
“My work primarily took the form of functional clay until 2003, when I studied sculpture at the Pottery Lab and realized just how much I had to express about myself as a woman, what is important to me, and what I wish to communicate to others. It reflects my life as a female, growing up outside the U.S. and travelling extensively, experiencing many cultures, religions and their arts. I remember standing in awe, as a child, at the foot of the Christo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro. My hope is to share a little of that awe through my own creations.”
After an early career as a chef, Curtis tried an entirely different artistic endeavor by enrolling in classes at the Pottery Lab. He was hired as a studio assistant at the Lab in 2015 and has excelled in ceramics in a very short period of time. He teaches a pre-teen wheel-throwing class as well as the pre-teen hand-building class and is excited about pursuing a new career in education.
After college, Hannah worked in Spain as an elementary and high school teacher before earning her Masters of Education in Arts in Education. She has taught art classes in various settings, including schools in Boston, Peru, and Panamá. She is passionate about the arts as a form of social change and works to create a welcoming and creative environment.
Studio Arts Boulder Staff Spotlight!
Friday, April 13th: Jana Smith
Jana has been an important part of the Lab for many years and has brought exciting ideas into SAB's work.
"While earning my B.F.A. in Art Education at V.C.U. in Richmond, VA, I had my first ceramics class. Since then the ancient practice of forming objects with clay has been a part of my being. The last decade I have been working at the Pottery Lab both as a student developing my skills and instructing in the children’s program.
I am an explorer of forms hand built and wheel thrown, drawn to atmospheric firings with soda, salt, and wood. Through the layering of stains and glazes with random swipes and marks, I embrace the unpredicted."
Thursday, April 5th: Katie Koch
Q: How did you first get involved in ceramics? What interested you in this art form?
A: The first time I tried pottery was in college at Bucknell University. We were lucky enough to have an “art room” with pottery wheels that you could use for free. A good friend of mine already knew how to use the wheel so we spent a lot of time playing around with clay. I was instantly in love.
Q: Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: Rockport, MA. It’s a tiny historic beach town with a huge community of artists. They also have the best clam chowder in the world.
Q: What do you do when you’re not spending time at the Pottery Lab?
A: Slinging coffee at Ozo Coffee Co, out hiking with my dog Sophie, or experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.
Q: How did end up at the Pottery Lab? How long have you been here?
A: When I moved to Boulder, I just googled “Pottery Studios in Boulder” and this one came up. I signed up for a class and have been hooked ever since. I’ve been taking classes/ involved with the lab for 4.5 years.
Q: What are some “ceramics failures” that you’ve had over the years?
A: Pretty much every dinner-sized plate I’ve ever tried to make. I stay away from plates now for the most part.