On July 14, Auburn residents were able to watch pottery being made and try out pottery themselves during Dean Road Ceramics Studio’s 9th annual Day in Clay.
“It is our annual open house,” said Cari Cleckler, Art Education Specialist for Auburn Parks and Recreation. “I get so many emails throughout the year that just kind of see us on Facebook or the city’s website and want to know what we are.”
Day in Clay went from 1-4 p.m. at the studio’s home, the Dean Road Recreation Center. Displays of pieces made by members of the studio were on display around the central room, and several members of the studio were working on pieces at workstations scattered around the central room.
“If you’ve been kind of on the fence about clay, here’s your chance to get your hands in because this is the only one-day thing that we do this,” Cleckler said.
A quick class was held at 2 p.m., where attendees made their own clay creations. Children who came made “tuck-it-in-texture pockets” and adults made dessert plates. Since clay takes time to dry and must be heated, the pieces were left at the studio to be processed and can be picked up in August.
“I’ve never done (clay) before,” said Ann Waid, a Day in Clay participant. “I’ve painted with Hugh Williams for 14 years and am an artist, but I’m interested in doing clay and I wanted to see what they had to offer."
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One of the studio members who was throwing or rotating the clay piece for attendees to see was Nic Koziolek. Koziolek said he had taken a class a few years while living in Chicago, but after moving to Auburn, his wife and he have decided to get more involved with the ceramics studio.
“It’s just so cheap to take classes and be a member here, and so there was no way I could say no,” Koziolek said. “It’s hard to do it on your own like kilning and so having a place like this where we can come and get in and throw and have our stuff fired is pretty amazing”
Cleckler said that the studio was introduced by the city 12 years ago. The studio itself is in one of the rooms at the recreation center and looks like a high school chemistry lab with metal tables, sinks and various mixing components stacked on wire shelves. The studio has plenty of turntables for artisans to use and kilns or the stoves used for drying the clay.
“I don’t consider myself an artist in any way whatsoever, I make mugs and bowls and then I use them at home or give them away to people,” Koziolek said. “It’s really fun to do, and you can do cool stuff even if you don’t think of yourself as being creative.”
The studio holds classes for all ages, and classes vary for each quarter of the year. One class being held this fall is the Mommy and Me Christmas Ornament Workshop, where a parent and child will work together to build Christmas ornaments.
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