City Clay News

Potter Spotlight, by Jane Gilstad August 23, 2016 17:33


Her advice is to explore all pottery options and don’t limit yourself to one avenue of expression until you have a good foundation of all the options and techniques.


Summer Classes May 31, 2016 18:01

ADULTS: In addition to our Summer Camp Membership for Adults, we have a number of beginning and multi-level classes running for 8 weeks in July and August. All adult classes come with Open Studio time so you can get in as much time as your schedule permits. You can also sit in on a comparable class if you miss one of our own.

WORKSHOPS: If a class just won't work for you this summer we have weekend workshops for beginners and those with some experience that might

You can see all of our classes and workshops under classes in our drop down menu or click

DOWN the RABBIT HOLE May 31, 2016 15:18

New Sculptural Ceramics by Steve Palmer

June 3- June 26

Please join us for the OPENING on

Friday, June 3, 2016


Artist' talk at 6:00

Summer Camp Membership for Adults May 31, 2016 14:38

NEW for this SUMMER 2016

Because summer schedules are often complicated, many people can't take a regular class in the summer, so we are offering Summer Camp Memberships for Open Studio time and Workshops. City Clay students who have had at least two regular classes with us or those who are qualified potters or sculptors are eligible for Summer Camp. You can work during our daytime hours, seven days a week, and Monday through Thursday nights. You can even plan time to work together with your previous classmates. 

WORKSHOPS—are available for anyone, but if you are a summer Camp member you will receive discount on each one you take.

Having a flexible studio schedule can be a big help but the most exciting part of camp is immersing your-self in a workshop. A two or three day workshop is the equivalent of a regular class, but with more focus and fewer interruptions. You will be there to catch your pot or sculpture at just the right moment to trim, attach a handle, carve, or decorate. You will be able to get lost in thought as you detach from your regular responsibilities, and focus on your ideas with abandon. This may sound exhausting for some, but most people find it exhilarating. 

Dates: Summer Camp Membership dates—July 5-August 29

Cost: Camp $200.00 for two months, plus a $40.00 discount for each workshop you take.  

Cost: Camp without a workshop,  $240.00 for two months 

Registration:  Please call or stop by to register for camp membership



The 21st Annual Artisan Studio Tour October 19, 2015 02:00

We are pleased to announce our participation in the 21st Annual Artisan Studio Tour on November 7th and 8th from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Nan Rothwell and Randy Bill will have their work on display in the Main Studio along with demonstrations by City Clay potters on the potter's wheel, in handbuilding, and with surface design. As always we will have lots of refreshments including coffee and tea served in our handmade mugs and SPUDNUTS of course.

Nan Rothwell: From the pottery down the gravel road to ... September 03, 2015 09:57

From the pottery down the gravel road to a national network:

Nellysford being somewhat isolated, Nan Rothwell Pottery Washstand Setcredits the emergence of the Internet with expanding her artistic influence. Starting in the mid-1990s she increased her involvement with various national groups such as the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and won election to the Potters Council Board. Her board membership led to participation at national and regional conferences, in turn sparking an ambition to do more teaching, especially workshops where she feels the learning flows two ways.

On teaching

Her own introduction to clay certainly informs her approach to teaching: Nan loves sharing what she’s learned and encouraging new potters. As she says so well, “I had some wonderful teachers when I was first learning to pot, and teaching allows me to pass the favor on.” She honors especially Rosemary Zorza, Mick Casson, and Walter Keller.

Although she’s cRothwell Pottery Sushi Setlosed her own studio & school in Nellysford, she now teaches classes and specialized workshops at City Clay in Charlottesville. This fall she will teach a beginners and a multi-level wheel class, both on Tuesdays. In addition, she continues to teach workshops at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Shenandoah Potters School and at the Bay School in Matthews, VA. She’s also accessible through her instructional videos, which focus on throwing as well as glazing and decorating.

On a different level, she also originated “Clay Camp,” an occasional gathering of fellow potters to exchange ideas and techniques, share good food, and just enjoy the rich exchange among artists. Regular participants include well known Central Virginia potters Kevin Crowe, Nancy Ross, Becky Garrity, Elizabeth Krome, and Rothwell Pottery Teapotmost recently Randy Bill. The first camp, a multi-day potting event, was with Jim Lane. Nan traces some of her techniques to these Clay Camp experiences. And, of course, the bonds of friendship endure.

Last spring’s camp inspired Nan to put out a teapot challenge to a small group of colleagues and students at City Clay: looking for a different approach to lid-making on altered teapots, she challenged the group members to create a teapot a week for the gathering. Critiques were insightful and encouraging. This challenge now completed, City Clay members are already talking about organizing another informal exchange along the same lines.

Future plans:

The very immediate future is her upcoming exhibit opening Sept. 8 at City Clay with reception and artist’s talk on Friday, Sept. 11. It will features works just coming out of her stoneware kiln.

As a Juried Artisan and member of the Virginia Artisan Trail Network, Nan will participate in the Artisans Studio Tour the weekend of November 7 and 8, this year sharing space at City Clay with Randy Bill. As already noted, she continues to teach and inspire new students.

Reflecting on the past year when she moved to Charlottesville and left behind her solo studio, she recalls that she briefly contemplated giving up pottery after almost 50 years. Barely settled in Charlottesville though, she was seeking studio space. Fortunately, she’s found a home at City Clay.

What else lies ahead? Come to her opening reception and talk on Friday, Sept. 11 to find out.

Rothwell Stoneware JarRothwell Stoneware Bowls   





Meet Nan Rothwell and Celebrate the Everyday Pot (Sept. 8-Oct. 3, Opening Sept. 11) August 30, 2015 16:39

Nan Rothwell:  the back story to Nellysford and Charlottesville via England and Crozet

(First in a series leading up to Nan's show, "Celebrating the Everday Pot", opening Sept. 8, 2015 at City Clay.)

Nan Rothwell, potter and teacher, describes herself as a good starter. That’s a modest statement from someone who plunged into pottery intensively by spending three years in England learning and practicing her craft in both private studios and at the Harrow School of Art. It’s also modest in light of her forty+ year career, which includes building kilns, launching and maintaining a gallery, starting a collaborative studio in Crozet, and establishing her own studio and classroom in Nellysford.

Her story is inspiring to others; her instruction gentle and encouraging.

At nineteen Nan took off to backpack in England. Along the way, she met and lived with potter Rosemary Zorza, spending six months with her. This was followed by two years of study at the Harrow School of the Arts in a specialized program designed to teach not only the skills of creating beautiful pottery but of managing a business, kiln construction and glaze creation – the full gamut to establish a pottery studio. Breaks from school were spent in production studios gaining more experience. After three years Nan returned to the States intent on finding a location to establish her own studio and possibly a cooperative with other artists.

She looked from New England south to the Blue Ridge of Virginia. New England, Sandwich MA in particular, looked enticing until she asked a fellow potter what the tall red flags outside his kiln shed were for. When he responded that they helped him find the kiln after winter snowstorms, she turned south, past her original home in Washington, D.C. Visiting the Albemarle County area to interview with the Innisfree Village, she found a place to call home upon meeting fellow potters, making friends and initially putting down roots in Crozet.

In Crozet she purchased a house to serve as both home and studio. There she built her first kiln based on her one-time experience at school in England and on a book she bought. Substituting the available 8-lb. bricks for the 1-lb. called for in the book didn’t go well, to say the least. But Nan is comfortable taking on challenges and figuring out how to make things work. For the magic and joy of clay, the lessons were worth it.

As Crozet began to grow, she and her husband Carter opted for a more rural life, buying land in Nellysford near friend and fellow potter Kevin Crowe. In fact, the two families interwove their lives in many ways, each bringing separate skills to house and studio construction, kiln building, pottery, and family life overall.

Watch for the next chapter about Nan, including her work and influences, teaching, and future plans.

Studio closed for summer break August 21, 2015 11:30

City Clay will be closed for a summer break from Monday August 24- through Monday, September 7, 2015. The studio will re-open for the fall schedule on Tuesday, September 8.

Class registration is open, so sign up today for your fall class!


September 8 - October 3, 2015: Celebrating the Every Day Pot August 20, 2015 11:30

Nan Rothwell

Opening Reception and Artist Talk, Friday, September 11, 5:30-7:00

Nan Rothwell makes functional stoneware and salt glazed pottery in her City Clay studio and then fires her work at her former studio in Nelson County.  Nan has been potting and teaching clay classes and workshops in Virginia since 1973.  She got her initial training in clay working in private studios and studying at the Harrow School of Art in England.  
This show features new work including lamps and decorative pieces, plus a number of small pieces made for everyday use.  Nan has always loved the connection between maker and user inherent in functional pots. Pots are personal.  When we use tableware made by hand, we connect with the original maker.  
People have been making pottery since before recorded history.  The ancient process of transforming clay into hardened vessels and forms is universal.  As modern potters, we connect with that deeply human endeavor.  

July 4 Opening, 5:30 - 7:00: Comics and Characters June 30, 2015 10:40

ElliottTank  Doerr-Dodo


Kathy Doerr and Tom Elliott

Opening: July 4th, 5:30 - 7:00

Show: July 4 - July 31


Summer classes & workshops May 25, 2015 08:56

Check out the fabulous offerings of summer classes and workshops for adults. (Note that workshops now have a registration deadline. Don't miss out: register early by phone at 434.293.0808 or by email at

Forms & Texture in Black & White April 01, 2015 17:44

Ted Sutherland, April 28 - May 31, 2015


Out of the Heart and Into the Fire March 01, 2015 17:41

Kevin Crowe Exhibit, March 31 - April 26, 2015

Kevin Crowe Exhibit, March 31 - April 26, 2015


Open Studio Hours (for currently enrolled students) January 21, 2015 10:02

Open Studio hours for students enrolled in Spring 2015 classes: April - May 2015 Monday night 6:30-9:00 Tuesday 12:00-9:00 Wednesday 12:00-9:00 Thursday 12:00-9:00 Friday 12:00-6:00 Saturday 10:00-6:00 Sunday 12:00-5:00

Steve Palmer, October 2014 October 01, 2014 17:00


The Journey

Gallery exhibition: October 10-November 2, 2014

Join us for an opening on October 10* from 5:00-7:00 pm with a lantern exhibit to follow on the deck.

*Please note, this is not a normal First Fridays opening.

Summer Kids Camp August 20, 2014 08:18

Summer kids classes have now wrapped up for the season but take a look at what you missed this summer: Summer Kids Camp schedule.
The fall schedule will be posted in mid-August.

Judd Jarvis: Opening, March 13 and Exhibit, March 13 - 29, 2015 March 01, 2014 17:36

Jarvisbottle1  Jarvispitcher JarvisThrowing

March 13:  Exhibit opening, 5 to 7 pm Artist's talk, approximately 6:30 pm March 13 - 29:  Exhibit & sale

Judd Jarvis -- potter, teacher, and glaze master opens his show at City Clay Gallery on Friday, March 13th, with a talk and reception, 5 pm to 7 pm. Jarvis focuses on function:  the balance, heft, beginnings, endings, and proportions of each pot.  He combines wheel throwing and hand-building techniques to create his unique salt-fired work. 


Judd states, "Each firing is a little different. Each time I learn a little more. Each unloading stokes the fire to keep working and looking for that balance."  For more on Jarvis and an online gallery of his work, visit Jarvis Ceramics.


Garden Inspired, April 2013 April 01, 2013 17:30

Kevin's final

Fresh new local pots and sculptures, inspired by or for the garden, from City Clay artists and friends.

April 5-May 12th

Please join us for a First Friday Reception

April 5  •   5 – 7:30 pm

Pure Madi at City Clay, February 2013 January 20, 2013 17:28

Gallery exhibit open: Jan 25-Feb 1

First Friday reception: Feb 1, 5:00-7:00

City Clay is pleased to host an exhibit by the non-profit Charlottesville-based organization PureMadi for their new and exciting development in water purification. The MadiDrop is a small ceramic disk that when dropped into a water container, passively purifies the water. It is small, inexpensive, and easily transported. The use of these discs has far reaching implications for everything from disaster relief to water challenged communities. PureMadi efforts are currently directed to rural South Africa, where there is an unfortunate confluence of low-quality water and high rates of HIV infection. The organization is working to train local South African potters to fabricate these water filters and purifiers to stimulate local enterprise and provide a sustainable, community-based solution to regional water quality problems. PureMadi will host its one-year anniversary celebration and auction at Alumni Hall on Friday, February 8th. Tickets are available at

'Tis The Season Holiday Shop December 2012 December 02, 2012 00:00

You've seen the mugs, but you haven't seen everything else. Our Holiday Shop has expanded and new items are arriving weekly - just as quickly as we can get the kilns fired! Stop back frequently to check out all the new ceramic gifts available, and...

Join us for a First Friday Opening Work by local potters, wheel demonstrations and food–of course!  Fri, Dec 7 5:00-7:30

Mug Up, November 2012 October 25, 2012 15:30

October 30 through November 25

First Friday: Friday, November 2nd from 5-7:30 pm

A show and sale of affordable cups, mugs, teapots, and domestic ware by guest and City Clay potters. Find the perfect, made-in-Virginia gift for a friend or yourself. Don't miss our special First Friday Opening with the 18th Annual Artisans Studio Tour Kick Off Reception. Join our Facebook Page to get updates on this special event and all the other exciting happenings at City Clay.

Global Color, October 2012 October 01, 2012 00:00

A Year of Solo Travel


An installation and talk about people, clothing, and travel by annie temmink

October 5 – 31, 2012

Join us for a First Friday opening reception

Oct. 5 » 5 to 7:30 pm » artist talk at 6 pm

Weaving demonstration and sale of work by the International Rescue Committee's Women's Cooperative With a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Annie spent the last 12 months making bark cloth, pummeling roots and sewing with tailors to study ancient and modern fashion in some of the world’s most spectacular places. Contact Annie at

One Year, September 2012 September 01, 2012 00:00

Come Join Us In Celebrating Our First Anniversary

New work on display from our teachers, members,  advanced students, and special guest artists*

September 4 - September 30

Please join us for a First Friday Reception

September 7  •   5 - 7:30 pm


*If you are interested in submitting work for possible inclusion into the show, please email Randy at All art must be at the studio no later than Sunday, September 2. Restrictions apply:

  • Work must have been made at City Clay during the last year.
  • Work should not have been displayed in any other show at City Clay.
  • Final inclusion of all work is at the discretion of City Clay Staff.

Joy - A Clay Spectrum - Members Show and Sale, June 2012 June 01, 2012 00:00

May 29 - June 24

Please join us for a First Friday Reception June 1, 5 - 7:30 pm


The creative process is both exhilarating and at times terrifying.  The feeling of clay in your hands, endless discoveries, the gradual mastery of a process, time and space for a completed thought, the physical realization of an idea—such wonder and deep satisfaction. But what should I make, I’m not creative, what if it’s not good, I can’t even draw a straight line, what will I do with all these bowls. There are so many questions and insecurities that keep people from pursuing and enjoying their creative impulses. People with some previous, even professional clay experience, and others without any clay experience created the work in this show; all of them have responded to a deep call to create. Their work is inspired and born of many failed attempts, disappointing lessons, and triumphant successes—there is great JOY and celebration in this collection of work.