Clay Bodies Pottery
The pottery was founded in 2002 when four
potters formed the company and rented an unfinished space in Branford,
CT. After several months of re-wiring and putting in new
floors, walls and a staircase, we opened for business unaware of
the steep learning curve involved in the nuts and bolts of
running a pottery studio.
Over the years three of the members have either retired or
moved on to other interests leaving just me, Pat Rist, as the
only surviving member. In late 2018, the studio was moved from
Branford to the basement of my home in Westbrook, CT.
It’s all my husband’s fault.
If his new job hadn’t required moving to Connecticut, I
would still be teaching in and running chemistry labs at Drew
University in New Jersey during the day and serving on 3 boards
of education in my “spare” time.
Our youngest son was still in high school and after
soccer season ended he suddenly had many empty hours. I signed
up both of us for a ceramics course at the Guilford Handcraft
Center. He never
went back after the first session, but I did. The clay really
grabbed me. I never wanted to stop.
Eventually I met other like minded people through the
courses and together we formed the Clay Bodies Pottery in
rented space in Branford.
That was more than 16 years ago now.
I love working with clay. Sometimes I am fascinated with way
the clay “memorizes” the impressions of other materials. I
use old pieces of embroidery, tatting and crochet to create
patterns in the clay before I build dishes or containers from
the slabs…and I love having permanent versions of the fiber
arts my grandmother and great-aunts created. Their originals are
now stained and mended, but that doesn’t show on my pots!
At other times, working with clay feels more like cartooning
in 3-D (especially when I am making salt and pepper animals or
larger critters or gnomes.)
A little tweak here and there can make a big difference
Recently I have found other ways to combine the fiber and
clay: using micro-macramé to create necklaces with ceramic
pendants and as embellishments on jars and vases.