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The Mud Room

The Mud Room is driven by the philosophy that all of us harbor creative impulses.  If we act on those impulses and actually make something, especially on a regular basis, we exercise and stretch our creative muscles and foster a greater capacity for creativity in all aspects of our lives.  We start with clay because it is so tactile and easy to work with.  Being creative doesn't have to stop there....

What we offer:

A Ceramics Studio in your workplace to serve as a permanent staff perk that fosters staff creativity, rejuvenation and balance to their workday. 

 

Georgia has over 20 years experience as a working artist, teaching ceramics and ceramic art studio management, and directing and curating an art gallery for emerging artists.  Her knowledge of clay, the arts, and the creative process is well-rounded and thorough.  She has excellent communication and organization skills.  Georgia and her staff will provide instruction in all aspects of working in clay, studio management, firing and glaze techniques.  The studio will provide an atmosphere that is fun, relaxing, breezy, calming, inspiring, and open all day, everyday.  Visiting artists and in-house art shows are included in the program.

 

Why clay?

Clay is like clean mud.  It is extremely tactile, non-toxic and fun.  It's responsive to manipulation and seductive in its nature.  In holding it, wedging it, sculpting it, turning a pot on the wheel, it easily transports one's mind to a serene place.  Clay is irresistible to pinch, squeeze and knead and in doing so, it stretches the fingers, the forearms, the shoulders and the back.   It is inexpensive, easy to recycle and reuse.  Once clay is fired in the kiln, one has created a durable, functional piece of pottery or sculpture.  The physicality of clay serves as a therapeutic antidote to the limited range of motion resulting from keyboard and mouse ergonomics. 

Benefits of creative outlets and creative expression to the work place.

Most everyone reaches a place where they are "hitting a wall" and in need of a recharge.  In cultivating a relaxed state of mind, solutions occur.  There is value in giving ourselves a chance to recharge and relax in the workplace in order to exercise our imaginations.  This different environment plays a key role in creativity.  

The Mud Room in your workplace can provide that different place.   A more relaxed atmosphere helps employees find solutions to their problems.  Lots of hard work, focus and persistence, coupled with improvisation and letting yourself go, is a big part of the creative process.   Learning about how to relax within the work day gives us a greater capacity to be more productive and happy. 

Flexibility and spontaneity:

The Mud Room will provide an inviting, vibrant and creative atmosphere so that your employees can drop in at their convenience, or participate in a scheduled instructional class. 

Clay lends itself to flexibility and spontaneity.   One can throw a cup one day, and come back to it 6 hours later or one or two days later.   One  can work on a sculpture for 15 minutes or 2 hours (or longer).  With a clay project it's easy to "come back to it later."   Participation in The Mud Room can blend easily into the workday and offer productive distraction.

Space requirements & equipment:

Depending upon anticipated participation, roughly 450 square feet will house 4-6 electric potters wheels, work benches and stools, shelving, the glazing area and electric kilns.  This would accommodate 10-15 people at a time comfortably.  The Studio is best located in an area that is visible to the workplace, has some exposure to natural light, and is enclosed to contain dust.   A space with direct outdoor access is ideal, but not crucial.  Considerations include adequate venting for the kilns, and sufficient amperage and voltage to meet electrical requirements of kilns and potter's wheels and a nearby water source.  We can provide layout and specifications, and will set up the equipment and space. 

Instruction:

Classes provide structured, technical guidance, creative challenges and one on one support with professional, working artists.  Course instruction can vary and be customized to meet the interests of your employees or business emphasis. 

Instruction will include all aspects of working with clay, including but not limited to:

  • Introduction to pottery on the wheel.
  • Intermediate throwing techniques. 
  • Hand building techniques for both functional pots and sculpture
  • Slip decoration including scraffito and wax resist techniques
  • Working with clay slabs.
  • How to make nesting bowls. 
  • Making teapots. 
  • Sketching/drawing for sculpture.
  • Making plates using press molds.
  • Tile making.
  • Coil Building for large sculpture. 
  • Creative challenges and artistic discussions.
  • In-house "art shows" or art parties to exhibit finished work and foster community.

Professional artists:

All staff involved in The Mud Room are professional, established working artists, not only skilled in teaching and working with clay, but with a creative voice of their own.  Part of their role is to create their own work to inspire and broaden our understanding of what's possible. 

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A typical day in the studio:

A typical day in The Mud Room might include a morning and afternoon instructional class, with the studio open all day for drop in, staffed to provide additional support and guidance.  Scheduling will accommodate the needs of your employees and can be geared to best suit your business environment.

 

As much or as little as your business needs:

Depending on your level of interest or commitment, this program can be implemented so that a vibrant, working studio is active 1 day per week or 24/7.   Equipment can be purchased outright or leased on a monthly basis.

 

For more information, please email Georgia Hodges.