I started making pottery while studying for my PhD in gerontology. For me it was “musty dug up earth, quiet morning, wheel turning, anticipation,” a peaceful feeling of being in the right place. Today I feel fortunate to spend most of my time in the studio making pottery, and teaching the diverse people who sign up for our classes and share their creative energy with us. One of my goals is to combine my background in gerontology and love of ceramics by offering “Creative Adventures Close To Home” for Boomers and recent retirees. I hope my own pottery reflects what I learned from my teachers, who made/make thoughtful work primarily intended for every day use. I enjoy making things that highlight the natural plasticity and texture of clay, a humble, common material transformed by the heat of the kiln.
As a licensed clinical psychologist, I’ve utilized clay, clay-like material and other media for the past 15 years in a variety of settings including nursing homes and social service agencies, and with individuals and groups. More recently I expanded my clay therapy practice to Full-Circle Pottery. My intent is to encourage participants to express and understand emotions through the creative process. I hope others will discover the therapeutic nature of clay, benefits of which may include reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as self-discovery, personal fulfiillment, empowerment, relaxation, and tranquility. Personally I find the non-verbal, intuitive and soothing aspects of clay essential and enjoyable. My own work is playful and often reflects my practice
Cullen is a founding member of Full-Circle Pottery and leads the “Sunday Members” sessions. Cullen’s much admired hand built slab work is sleek and modern, and he shares his approach in workshops at the studio.
Claudia is a founding member of Full-Circle Pottery and leads the Monday evening Adult Studio Session for members. Claudia’s primary forming method is the pottery wheel. A biologist and translator, her ceramic work is elegant, with an eye towards color and pattern.
Michelle is a high school ceramics teacher at Marina High School and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). A dedicated ceramicist, Michelle’s work is both hand built and thrown, and focuses on color and surface design. She has been teaching adult hand building classes and workshops, and Clay Kids classes and summer camps at Full-Circle Pottery since the studio opened in 2013.
Ron started throwing clay at Full-Circle Pottery in 2016 and hasn’t stopped making ever bigger, taller pots, vases and lidded jars. He leads the Thursday evening “Adult Studio Session.”
Pam Stanley is a founding member of Full-Circle Pottery and teaches the studio’s structured private classes on Sundays and Mondays. Pam’s work is personal and creative, with richly textured and adorned surfaces. In addition to her pottery practice, Pam is a talented gourd artist.
Clay and earth provide us with a vital connection to our planet and to ourselves. I love to absorb all that clay has to teach us, and still find things to learn even after over 20 years. My approach to teaching has come to include a dialogue of what the clay makes us feel, and recognizing a change in us as we are working with it. Trying new things and stretching our minds and bodies is just what we need as a human culture. Learning from clay offers this.
During my classes at Full-Circle Pottery, students are taught in the traditional methods of throwing, trimming and glazing, creating a sense of finished product. Over time these methods have changed, but I like to start with a tradition. I find that it provides a reflective space to compare to where we are currently as a culture. Plus clay is the new plastic. How can we go wrong with it? It’s benefits are immense!
As for me, I have an MFA in ceramics. My own ever evolving work has centered on people’s perceptions of past, present and future spaces.
Leigh Anne is a Full-Circle Potter and volunteers to keep the studio looking sharp. Her pottery is often playful and reflects her work as a researcher in biology and zoology.
Henry, a sculptor of faces, is the studio’s first intern. He will be opening the doors for the 4-7 Sunday Members session; you will meet him as a student and potter in classes, workshops and Adult Studio Sessions; and he will be helping keep the studio running behind the scenes.