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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.

Patricia Rist...

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 in attitude.

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.




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