In 1976, Clayfolk began when a small group of potters came together to share ideas, experiences, and potluck dinners. Today the membership represents a cross-section of ceramic artists in Oregon and northern California, ranging from well-known professional potters and sculptors to talented amateurs. They share one common interest: a love of working in clay. Clayfolk is a non-profit educational organization made up of volunteers. The group sponsors a scholarship, the Ellice T. Johnston Scholarship for the Ceramic Arts. This $1000 annual award is for college or art school students. In 1985, Clayfolk members created the award in honor of Ellice, a founding member and guiding light of Clayfolk. Each year, Clayfolkalso sponsors workshops for both its members and the general public. Recent ones featured Canadian potter Cathi Jefferson, who taught hand-building techniques, and Tea Duong, who taught wheel throwing large forms. Most workshops meet at local schools or private studios. We have enjoyed sessions with Australian artist Ian Currie, Karen Karnes, Adrian Arleo, Hank Murrow, Maria Simon, Ellen Currans, Wesley Anderegg, Craig Martell, Steven Hill, and Linda Owen. In furthering its educational mission, Clayfolk annually donates many ceramic books, magazines, and videos to the libraries in Jackson and Josephine Counties.
Clayfolk artists also donate pottery to the Empty Bowls programs in Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas counties to help alleviate hunger for those less fortunate. The big event for our group, however, is the annual Clayfolk Show and Sale—always the weekend before Thanksgiving. The show features an impressive variety of work in clay and provides an educational opportunity for both those of us who work in clay and for our patrons. Membership in Clayfolk is open to anyone interested in the ceramic arts. Yearly dues and proceeds from the annual Pottery Show and Sale fund all of our activities.
Clayfolk Mission Statement
Clayfolk is registered with the state of Oregon as a nonprofit corporation (not a 501c) Registration number 130554-13. Clayfolk is an all-volunteer organization whose main purpose is education, scholarships, workshops, demonstrations, donations to the library and local Empty Bowl projects. The Ellice T. Johnston Scholarship for the Ceramics Arts is one of Clayfolk’s most notable functions. This $1000 award is given annually to a ceramic student at a college or art school to further his or her studies. The group also sponsors several workshops each year with internationally known clay artists. Furthering its educational mission, Clayfolk donates ceramic books and videos to the Jackson and Josephine County library systems. Clayfolk’s primary fundraiser is the member’s Clayfolk Show and Sale which is held the weekend before Thanksgiving each year.