Image 1. Louis Reilly talking with some students in one of the throwing classrooms.
I attended a soda fire workshop by Louis Reilly, one of the leadership of Kansas City Clay Guild.
KC Clay Guild is a wonderful space for community making, and also hosts a few resident artist workspaces for full time artists.
Throughout the year there are workshops, as well as ongoing classes, and reduced cost “open workshop” where one can pay a nominal fee – something like $5 – to work in the space for a few hours. Making and firing work is relatively inexpensive, as are the classes which range in the $2-300 range and go on for some months. For more info you can view their website.
There is a small retail space connected to the clay guild which functions as the storefront for a small gallery, as well as provides ancillary services like the ability to purchase small amounts of clay to work with, and rental of clay tools if an individual just wants to “drop in” for a few classes.
The front desk is staffed by a clay guild member that can assist with orienting you to the space as well as getting you checked in or a tool rental, however instruction and demonstrations are only provided during class times.
Image 2. A cup in the gallery.
So far I’ve found Kansas City to be a wonderful space for ceramic – much more welcoming than Phoenix, where I’m from. The home of Kansas City Art Institute has blossomed into a ceramic hub that features many great organizations including community art spaces like Belger Crane Yard, KC Clay Guild, as well as several independent studios.