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 often playful and humorous.
Basak teaches adult introductory wheel and Clay Kids classes at the studio. As Studio Tech she assists with operations that keep the studio running smoothly. In her classes, Basak’s students explore the intersection of craft and self-expression, and experience the meditative qualities of working with clay. When she’s not at Full-Circle Pottery, you can find Basak doing production work and small batch functional pottery for everyday use. “When it comes to making pots, for me it is all about functionality and the process.,” says Basak. “It is fascinating to start with a lump of clay and shape it with a technique that I have been trying to perfect for some time, a technique that has a long historyand has been done by many human hands before mine. “
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.
Leigh Anne is a Full-Circle Potter and keeps our glazes in tip top shape. Her sculptures, which reflect her work as a researcher in biology and zoology, are inspired by the natural world and the species found in it.
Lauren E lder is a ceramic artist based in Los Angeles. She explores various hand building techniques to create both sculptural and functional forms. Elder approaches each piece as a blank canvas, incorporating surface treatments like illustrative paintings and etching. She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute, with a focus on sculpture and ceramics. Lauren teaches “Beginning Hand Building” at the studio.
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 has shared her passion for ceramics with students taking her semi-private classes and workshops. 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.
Cyrus Valenza has been making pottery for more than two years, first at Santa Monica High School and then as an intern at Full-Circle Pottery. Passionate about his art and craft, Cyrus is continuing his ceramics education at Santa Monica College and, in addition to working at Color Me Mine, leads the Sunday evening Adult Studio Session at Full-Circle Pottery.
Bianca Bazyler is a senior at Santa Monica High School. She has been doing pottery since her very first art class in middle school. She enjoys the freedom of expression that clay offers, and how it allows potters to make just about anything they can imagine.
Sierra Dodge is a junior at LACES and has been taking pottery classes since freshman year. She has been at Full-Circle Pottery since December 2022, and enjoys the environment it gives her to grow and work on her skills.