October Members Meeting

Glazes of the Arts and Crafts Movement - An Introduction - by James Haggerty

The Ventura County Potters' Guild was pleased to welcome James Haggerty for a historical talk about the Glazes of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Haggerty discussed important potters from the beginning of the Arts and Crafts Movement including Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Frederick Hurten Rhead and Hugh Cornwall Robertson. Haggerty had samples of pottery on display that he discussed. James and Linda Haggerty have moved their studio and gallery to Ventura's Bell Arts Factory. Their was a brief discussion of lusters, a glaze that Haggerty is known for.

September 23rd Members Meeting

The Ventura County Potters' Guild is pleased to host pottery artist and world traveler Sue Nelson.

Nelson graduated in 1990 with a MFA degree from Otis/Parsons with a major in ceramics after being a studio potter for 20 years.

She has visited countless countries in Asia, Europe, and South America with a focus on local ceramics giving her access to rural and urban studios throughout the world.

At the VCPG meeting Nelson will share images she has collected giving an overview of Cuba through clay from the Taino Indians (15th century) to the present highlighting hand-built, thrown and sculptural works.

Members Meeting March 25, 2019

Once again our esteemed president Genie Thomsen is filling in as a last minute presenter for our March meeting. The program this time will be about neriage. Creating a block of clay with a colored pattern going through it. This will be a hands on presentation where you will make a small design to take home and play with. Bring about 5# of a white clay, a rolling pin or pony roller and a wire tool for cutting. Genie will provide the colored clay. Come and have some fun.

February 2019


The Ventura County Potters' Guild was happy to have Rhonda Kap, a metal sculpture artist as February's speaker. Kap who taught Art at the Braille Institute shared her experiences including a powerpoint program of how she taught the visually impaired and some of their ceramic finished pieces.

Rhonda was born in Toronto, Canada to parents who loved to draw and paint. The act of creating was valued in her home and so she considered herself an artist all her life. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was five years old after her father passed.

In 1971 Rhonda meet her mentor Helen Burke who introduced her to metal sculpture.

“From the moment I lit the torch the medium took over my life.”

Her creativity lead her to San Francisco Art Institute where she obtained a BFA with a focus in metal sculpture. All of her professional endeavors have centered around her art.

In 2017 Rhonda retired from working part-time teaching art to visually impaired at the Braille Institute of Los Angeles.

January 2019

Ojai Studio Artist and Sculptor Valerie Freeman,  presented an insightful presentation of her life of art and sculpture. Freeman  explored the influences of her life experiences through art and the development and experimentation of her ceramic one-fire sculptures and luster glazes.

Freeman graduated from Pratt Institute on scholarship and is a recipient of several prestigious awards and grants including first place at Ventura County Fair, Ojai Museum, Ojai Arts Commission and Ford Foundation. Her works are shown and collected internationally and she teaches sculpture workshops. Freeman has a solo exhibit February 1-28, at Ojai Art Center with a Live Art Auction fundraiser on Feb. 23 from 2-4pm, to raise funds for non-profit charities. Freeman’s sculpture may also be seen at the upcoming ceramic exhibit at Ojai Art Museum, curated by Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, Director Kevin Wallace and artist Richard Flores.




 November 26th


Ventura County Potters' guild member Marilee Stockman presented a PowerPoint program and talk about Southwest American Artist Roxanne Swentzell. Swentzell is from the Santa Clara Indian Pueblo and comes from a family of renowned potters and sculptors. As a child she learned to articulate emotion through her small clay sculptures. Her first was a dog at age 4. She is known for her figurative sculptures that have captured the hearts of people all over the world. The figures represent a full range of emotions and irrepressible moods. Swentzell focuses a lot on interpretative female portraits attempting to bring back the balance of power between the male and female, inherently recognized in her own culture. She uses the coil method to create her expressive figures. Stockman participated in a five day workshop with her and will be telling about that amazing workshop.

Students and the public were welcomed to attend. Free


September 24, 2018


Jenchi Wu, head of the Ventura College Ceramics and Sculpture Department will gave a demonstration of different surface designs and treatments.

"My work is an ongoing exploration into the perception of ceramics as functional objects, coupled with the divergence of ideas of the traditional and contemporary aspects of clay. This includes a continuing examination into how manipulation, physical force, spacial relationships, environment, gravity and nature affect my work."

Jenchi Wu's ceramics have been exhibited throughout Southern California, including the noted American Museum of Ceramic Art. Sher and her work have been featured on KCET, Los Angeles public television.

April 2018

My Time With Maria" (presented at NCECA 2018)

Rebecca Catterall  shared memories, photos and examples of her 2 week workshop in Idyllwild and her visit to the home of Maria Martinez in her San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico in 1976.

This talk honored the experimentation and timeless curiosity of how Maria, her husband and archeologist Dr. Edgar Hewett re-discovered the almost forgotten Pueblo Style and the traditional Black on Black pottery of their ancestors at the Frijoles Canyon excavation in 1908.

Rebecca  documented with photos each step of the creation of Maria's Black on Black Pottery from formation of the pots to the cow-dung firings. Maria, thought to be 98 at the time and was assisted by family members for the workshop.

Catterall has worked with clay for over forty years and has participated in numerous workshops. However, the early ones were the most influential. Her interest in alternative firing techniques began with Maria Martinez and continues today with other workshops and studio practice. Examples were on display.

May 2017

Kim Clark, South Africa

Kim shared her crazy, fun and amazing trip through South Africa!!

She had us venturing through delicious food venues, safaris, the Indian Ocean, a visit to a village school, all with a focus on the ceramic art throughout Cape Town.

April 2017

Genie Thomsen Demonstration

Using Colored Clays to Build Layered Patterns

Our plan for the April program was for Sheldon Kaganoff and Will Simonds to come from San Francisco to talk about contemporary ceramics in California from the mid-50's forward. They called at 5pm from the airport to say their flight had been cancelled. True to her nature, Genie Thomsen, with only two hours’ notice, stepped forward and presented a demonstration on the use of colored clays to build layered patterns.

Genie used three colors of clay “out the bag” for her demonstration and described how to create your own colored clay using white clay and Mason stains. She then created five different patterns by layering different slabs of colored clay: checker board, “bacon,” love knots, stripes and, from the cast off pieces, a swirling abstract pattern. Then she showed us how she uses these blocks, with a self-made tool, to slice very thin wafers of pattern off the blocks – kind of like a clay mandolin from the kitchen. She created an image on a slab then further changed the images by rolling them into the clay from different directions. Lastly she took the slab and pressed it into a plate and bowl mold.

The reaction to Genie’s program was very positive. We had a visiting ceramic artist who indicated she had been looking for a new technique to add to her work, and she had just witnessed it. Another great program from talented artist and teacher.

March 2017

Barbara Loebman and Bob McGuire, Demonstration of Various Styles and Ways to Attach Handles to Functional and Decorative Clay 

Barbara Loebman and Bob McGuire, both long-time teachers at The Center for Lifelong Learning (formerly called Adult Education) in Santa Barbara, demonstrated various styles and ways to attach handles to functional and decorative clay pieces.

Barbara is an experienced potter, operating a studio in Santa Barbara since 1972 with a specialty in porcelain. Bob has been making pottery since high school and teaching at Continuing Education since 2000. He has a studio and showroom in the mountains of Santa Barbara. Both ceramists have regularly shown their work at the Guild's Ojai Sale in Libbey Park.

To see photos:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/vcpg_history/albums/72157681280622966

February 2017

Kevin Wallace, Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts

Kevin Wallace, Director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, offered a presentation on developing a career as a ceramic artist - including creating an artistic identity, working with galleries, photography, pricing and promotion. He demystified the art world by sharing his experience in managing galleries, working with museums and running an art center. Kevin also answered questions about our members' show at BWCA in May.

Some additional topics covered were how to price items, pricing items when the market changes, the importance of personal promotion of gallery shows, setting up your website, and the value of writing an Artist Statement.


Members Swap Meet

Members brought clay related items to sell and swap--tools, equipment, books. We also had old books from our library that members took home. 


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