About

We are a student-run organization at Stanford University that offers hands-on experience with ceramics to Stanford students. We offer beginning- and intermediate-level classes to the Stanford community each quarter as well as studio membership for enrolled Stanford students.

We have 13 electric wheels, two handbuilding tables, a slab roller, an extruder, and an electric kiln. We fire to cone 6. Currently, our studio uses Sculpture Raku, B-mix, Navajo Wheel, and Icelia clay. For more information about our clays, see the links posted below. We sell bags of each type of clay at a discounted rate to studio members and students.

Location

The Stanford Ceramics Studio is generously hosted by Stanford R&DE in the Elliott Program Center. The studio faces the dry (or sometimes green!) lake bed of Lake Lagunita:

Get involved

Classes (preference given to Stanford students; open to all Stanford affiliates)
We offer beginning and intermediate classes in handbuilding and wheel-throwing. For more information about our classes, click the link on the top panel.

Membership (Stanford students only)
Membership entitles students to unlimited studio use, private shelf space, and an exciting community of ceramics enthusiasts. Members may use the studio's glazes and tools, and their work is fired about once a week in the studio kilns. Membership is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis; interested parties should expect to get on a waiting list. Check out our membership page for more info.

Studio Helpers (Stanford affiliates only)
Studio helpers are Stanford affiliates (postdocs, staff, and faculty) who help us to run the Stanford ceramics studio in exchange for unlimited studio access and self space. Helpers commit to different levels of involvement in accordance with the studio's needs. If you are a Stanford affiliate and would like to join us in creating a rich experience with ceramics for Stanford students, please visit the helpers tab to apply!

Instructors (ceramics teaching experience required)
If you have experience teaching ceramics and are interested in supporting the Stanford Ceramics Studio, please reach out to our ceramic managers at ceramics-managers@list.stanford.edu. We offer our instructors a small stipend and unlimited studio access. Many of our teachers have worked with our management team for years and help to form the backbone of our community.

Classes

For fall 2020, we will be offering a 7-week hand-building workshop series over Zoom to the Stanford community (sign up through this form). They will be held once a week on Thursdays 6:30-8PM Pacific Time, from October 1st to November 12th. Lessons cover a variety of techniques: from making teapots and whistles, to understanding different firing methods, to decorating with bubble patterns.

We will not be charging a fee to attend these workshops! However, participants will need to procure their own materials and tools (est ~$40). You must be a Stanford affiliate to participate.

Deadline to sign up is Monday, September 21, 2020.

Instructors

Thursday - Joan, Pajnucci, and Susan

About our Instructors

Deardra Fuzzell
Deardra Fuzzell is the Cartographic Technology Specialist for Stanford University Libaries. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art with a focus on Sculpture and Ceramics from The College of Wooster, in Northeast Ohio. Deardra has been making ceramic work for 12 years and has been teaching techniques in clay for 7 years. She lives in Palo Alto.

Mark Piercy
I've been working with ceramics for about 12 years and always enjoy teaching others what I have learned. I make functional and sculptural ceramics. I've held several positions at Stanford in research software development and IT administration.

Susan Witebsky
Susan Witebsky fell in love with creating pottery when she took her first class over 20 years ago. She is skilled in both wheel and hand-building techniques and specializes in utilitarian pieces. She works on the staff of the Environmental Protection Department at Stanford's SLAC National Accelerator Lab. She has been teaching ceramics classes at Stanford since 2010.

Vicky D'Urso
I have been involved in ceramics for the past 20 years. I started taking pottery classes in college and was completely captivated. The passion grew to more than a hobby. I have a Ph.D. in Economics, and when I taught at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, I enrolled in their arts program and took two years of Studio Arts, Concentration in Ceramics courses. Working in the studio there taught me so much about being an artist and about myself. Wherever I go, I find a ceramics studio to teach and work in so I can share my love of ceramics art making.

Membership

Studio membership offers passionate and involved potters and ceramic artists an opportunity to immerse themselves in ceramic art at Stanford. Studio members have their own reserved shelf space and 24-hour access to the studio. Studio members also participate in operating our completely student-run studio space. Studio membership is strictly limited to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. If you are a Stanford affiliate who is interested in becoming part of the studio community, check out our classes and studio helper positions.

What is expected of our members each quarter?
Responsiveness to club emails
Quarterly membership fee ($50), paid on time
90 minutes of cleanup per quarter
Active use of the studio!

Membership requirements
Members must be currently enrolled Stanford students at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Members must also attend a safety training session (typically 30 mins).

Membership is ideal for people who are enthusiastic about being a part of a ceramic community and have a known passion for making things out of clay. If you have never been in a ceramic studio before, or if you haven't been in one in awhile, we strongly recommend taking one of our classes first to learn more about the studio and to get comfortable in the workspace. Most of our members have taken at least one class at our studio and have been very invested in the class. Since we understand that Stanford students are rarely swimming in leisure time, we don't expect our members to live, eat and breathe ceramics (especially since eating and breathing clay is not healthy). However, we do hope our members think of pursuing ceramics as something worth making time for.

Because of the physical size of our studio and kiln space, and because of the limited number of volunteer hours we have available to run the studio, we are limited to 45 members at a time. Because we have so few members, the waiting list tends to move very slowly. It is often faster to enroll in a class than to pursue membership.

New members are accepted at the beginning of every academic quarter. New members must attend a 1-hour safety training session before being granted access to the studio. All members are responsible for the quarterly membership tasks to which they are assigned (typically one week is given to complete these tasks) and for notifying the club management via e-mail if an extension is required. (We are happy to give extensions, but we need to know when we can expect tasks to get done--and we also need to know that you are still involved in the club!) Members are dropped if they fail to respond to the quarterly membership emails.

Let us know you're interested in becoming a member by filling out this this form! Please note that the form is not used to evaluate the case for student membership. We make offers for membership entirely on a first-come-first-served basis. There's currently a long waitlist to become a member. It may take up to 2-5 quarters after you fill out the form to become a member.

People

Managers
Heejung Chung - Co-President
Anuj Amin - Co-President
Vy Vivian Nguyen - Finanical Officer
Megan Garland - Kiln Manager
Aaron Altman - Inventory Manager
Nalin Ratnayeke - Cleanup Manager
Mark Piercy - Website Manager

Club Members: Looking for an e-mail address? Find your work group manager's e-mail in the work group Google doc.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to use the studio. Where do I start?
We recommend starting by enrolling in one of our classes and getting to know the space, though you can also add your name directly to the waiting list for membership.

I want to use the studio for a short-term art project. Can I do that?
If you're a current member or a ceramics class student, go right ahead! Unfortunately, we don't offer one-time access to the general community.

Who can be a studio member? Who can enroll in the classes?
Current undergraduate and graduate Stanford students are eligible to be studio members. Classes are open to all Stanford affiliates, but we reserve some slots in the class specifically for Stanford students.

When can I sign up for classes?
The same day that Stanford courses open for course enrollment for the corresponding quarter. Please read our classes tab.

When can I sign up to be a member?
You can get on our membership wait list at any time, though it can take quite a while to be offered membership. Please check out our membership tab to learn more about becoming a member.

I'm a Stanford affiliate. Can I be involved with the studio?
Yes! In two ways:

    A) You can sign up for a class. After initial enrollment, we fill slots left open by Stanford students from the waiting list of affiliates. It frequently happens that Stanford students' schedules change and they drop their ceramics course, so you can gain access to our studio via that route.

    B) You can also apply to be a 'studio helper.' Helpers are Stanford affiliates who are involved in the studio at a level comparable to that of our studio members and managers. On occasion, we are also in need of studio instructors.

Where does the studio get its clay?
We order clay at a bulk discount from Clay Planet and offer a variety of Clay Planet and Laguna clays to our members and students. The prices of the clays we have for sale in the studio are rounded up or down to the nearest dollar. As a student or member, you must buy your clay from the studio.

What chemicals are in the glaze? What are the safety concerns associated with being in the studio?
The biggest concern is controlling clay dust, which contains silica. There are trace amounts of transition metals in most of the colored glazes, which are usually trapped once the piece is fired. Please email concerns to ceramics-managers@list.stanford.edu and a manager will respond promptly with more detailed and specific answers.

The wait is awfully long. Where else can I learn ceramics?
There are a variety of wonderful ceramics spaces in the Bay Area, many of them geared towards beginning instruction.

Have more questions?
Carefully read all the faqs and other information and if you still have questions, email ceramics-managers@list.stanford.edu and a manager will get back to you shortly.