Clayworkers' Guild of Illinois A dedicated group of ceramic clay artists and artisans.



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NEW 2017 CALENDAR (4).pdf


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Ongoing now through September 2017

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We have entered the Illinois Clayworkers' Guild into a charity event for the Old Courthouse Art Center on the Woodstock Square. We will be making dessert plates

for the Friends of the Old Courthouse's Murder Mystery Dinner that they are holding 10/28/17 . The Guild will be donating our services as a way of giving back to the community that supports us, If you wish to use Guild clay, talk to Trish and you will be able to pick it up at MCC. You may use your own clay, too. We may have a day set aside to throw or build at MCC. They have estimated that there will be 200 people in attendance. Giving the patrons a dessert on one of our lovely handmade plates as a gift will be the highlight of the evening. The desserts may be eaten there or taken home. They want a plate 4 inches to 8 inches in diameter, hand-built or thrown and one that will hold a cupcake and something that they can just cover with plastic wrap  without having to wash individual plates at the event. 


Trish has 23 members who have indicated that they are willing to make plates for the above event.   Please contact Trish if you want to join us in making plates and have not contacted her.  The more people who get involved, the less each of us will have to make.  They are asking for about 200 plates. at present, so that would mean about 10 plates per person, give or take a few.   Again, the size should be 4” to 8” and one that could hold a cupcake.  Any shape, color, design or clay is all up to you.  Our Facebook page shows a video of handbuilt plates that makes a wonderful, easy plate.    The guild will have a label to add on the bottom of the plates indicating that they have been donated by our organization.  You may put your own signature on one corner, plus you should have a business card attached to your pieces as well.   This is an opportunity to make our annual sale, held November  through January,  ramp up with people who see our work at this event and patronize our sale!

We are asking for everyone to have their plates completed by the end of Sept. so if we need to make more plates we can do so and have them done and donated by the Oct. 28th deadline if not preferably before then. 

Dates and events in orange have expired:

FEBRUARY : February 24, 25, 26 - All 3 says 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. EMPTY BOWLS – Throwing days 24th and 25th Trimming day on the 26th  
So, come throw as many bowls as you can or come and trim the bowls or help s do both!  If you can’t make these dates and still would like to make bowls on your own, in your own studio, that would be great, too.  Simply make sure that the clay you are throwing with is compatible with Cone 10, if you want MCC to fire them. If you want MCC to glaze and fire them for you, we will. You certainly can throw, fire and glaze them yourself in your studio and donate them. If you do, mark the bottom of your bowls with “MTB--CWG”. They should hold 12-16 oz and be at least 7” wide x 3” deep . No coiled bowls please. 
For those who do not know what the Empty Bowls project is, here is an explanation: Empty Bowls” is an international project to fight hunger, personalized by artists and art organizations on a community level. Participating artists and groups create and donate bowls, then serve a simple meal. MCC makes the bowls and then donates them to the people who serve the meal. Guests choose a bowl to use that day as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. In exchange for the meal, and the bowl, guests contribute a suggested minimum donation. One hundred percent of each meal's proceeds are devoted to local hunger-fighting organizations, such as food banks, soup kitchens or to national or international charitable groups.  
The Guild has been a part of this fight by throwing bowls and donating them for over 22 yrs. Some of the places we have donate to are to organizations in Wisconsin, the College of Lake County, and Harvard High School (who donates to the local community).  

MARCH : March 22th - 6:00 p.m.  BUSINESS MEETING -  This meeting will be in the room adjacent to the MCC Pottery Studio, across from the art office. It will be followed by a possible “Social Event”. We are still working on the social events and sorting them out, but we will update you ahead of time so you will know what we are doing. 
APRIL : TBA  Our RAKU FIRING/GUILD PICNIC— Once again Tim Pfiffner from Great Lakes Clay has offered to host a Raku Firing at his house in Marengo, Il. tim has a wood fired Pizza Oven. We all combine our own fillings on the pizza dough and Tim fies them for us while we wait for our raku pieces to heat up. More details about the event will be sent out when all is confirmed. NOTE: you should be making your pieces now so they will be ready for the Raku firing! If you are Rakuing your pieces Tim suggests using “MCL331 Smooth Raku “ clay, which you can get from Great Lakes Clay. He has indicated there would be less breakage, but if you are putting on Horse Hair you can still use the Raku Porcelain clay, which is what many of us used last year and that will work, too.  
You should be able to put in at least 4 pieces each in the firings, depending on how many attend. 
Room adjacent to MCC Pottery Studio Meeting will be followed by a possible “Social Event”. As said before, we are still working on the social events after our meetings, but will up date you ahead of time so you will know what we are doing. 
A second event is in the planning for May:  The Self-funded Field Trip: May 12-14, for the Minnesota Pottery Tour has been OK'd by MCC .  If you are a student, you may ride the MCC bus.  For those of you who are mot students, you may drive together and meet the MCC bus at the motel/hotel that has been chosen.  Contact Tom or Trish A.S.A.P..

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Saturday June 24th, 2017

 (Rain Date: Sunday June 25th or possibly holding the event indoors with the barn or garage used for plaster event)

 10am- when you want to leave

At Mary Lou Mateja’s house in Woodstock.  Direction given closer to the date.
What will be provided:   Smoked pulled pork (smoked for 14 hours!!!!) and some chicken and hot dogs for those who do not eat pork... sauces,  condiments, soft drinks, tables,  some chairs, utensils, napkins,  tent, 6 bags of plaster, mixing receptacles.  BYOB.

Things to bring:  Your significant other, a lawn chair, a dish to pass, 2-3 objects to make  into a plaster mold (no undercuts allowed), Pam pan greaser or other lubricant to spray on the pieces going into the plaster and an apron if you’re messy (LOL)

Here is the information sent via MaryLou:
The CWG Family Picnic and plaster mold making event.
Date:  June 24th, 2017  rain date the 25th unless held indoors.  TBA as the weather is known,
Time: 10:00 a.m. until you want to leave.

The plaster supplies will be furnished by the Guild.  It is up to you to you to bring a few pieces to mold.  Depending upon how many attend, you might be able to make 2 or 3 pieces.  Make sure that the pieces that you choose do not have undercut edges.  If they do, you will not be able to unmold them.  One fun and useful thing we have made in the past, is an elongated clay reclaiming platter for use in your own studio.  A box used to hold four six pack of pop or beer is a great mold, lined with plastic.  A larger wok  will be available, too, for casting and several other bowls and dishes.

MaryLou and her husband, Bob, have a large, very deep fish pond.  You may bring you poles, artificial bait and worms, but they prefer no minnows, as some minnows are scavenger fish and might escape the hook.  The pond is stocked with crappies, bluegills, sunfish, bass (many well over 12 inches) and catfish.   They catch a lot of fish on canned corn on a hook (really!).  Bring a bucket and take your fish home.  Whatever you catch you keep.  You can clean them there with their knives and they can be frozen or refrigerated until you leave.  There is a fire pit and mosquito pots to keep the pests away.   If it rains, we may still have the party indoors.  Mold making would be in the pole barn or garage, but a rain date might be implemented.. 
Horseshoes and some other games will be available.  The main course of incredible 14 hour slow smoked, pulled pork (and some chicken and hot dogs for those who don't eat pork) and some drinks will be supplied, such as pop, water and lemonade and/or ice tea.  BYOB and a dish to pass.   Ice and refrigeration will be available, too.   They have tables, sun umbrellas and a lot of chairs, but if you wish, bring your own to make sure you have a seat.   Hope to see you there!  PLEASE   R.S.V.P. when asked.  



Saturday July 8th, 10am-2pm 
Tom Vician will photo shoot your pieces of pottery 1 to 6 pieces per person and bring a flash drive and he will down load it onto that.  Then you will have professional looking pictures to submit for entries into shows.
You must RSVP to Michelle Artner by July 6th, 2017, in an email  if you plan to attend this event & receive your time slot.  RSVP is REQUIRED for this event; if not enough people sign up, it will be canceled



August 30th at MCC

6 PM

Annual Fall Workshop

September 29 and 30th, 2017 at MCC 

Time: TBA

If you want, bring a snack to share.

A hands-on event with Annie Crietzberg

Workshop Artist Reception/Pot Luck: 

Thursday September 28th at MaryLou’s house

Time: TBA


Held at the Old Courthouse Arts Center on the Square in Woodstock, IL
Our show will coincide with another 2-D art group, although not with E-Group as we have for the last several years.  Contact Susan Clough for more information.
Terms of entry: $10.00 entry fee (total, NOT each, but for all your pieces entered, combined) plus an additional 20% commission to the gallery on each piece sold with up to 5 pieces being submitted into the show.   
           Drop off: October 1st & 2nd, 

           Time:  TBD        

           Show Begins: Thursday, October 5th

           Show Reception: Monday, October 9th, 

           Time: 6:30pm  with awards given out to our members for:  

                 BEST OF SHOW

                 MOST FUNCTIONAL

                 MOST CREATIVE

                 BEST SCULPTURAL

                 BEST CRAFTSMANSHIP


                 PEER CHOICE

Our Judge this year is:   CJ Niehaus


Cj's Bio:
CJ Niehaus received her Masters of Fine Arts in ceramics from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIUC) and her BA in Art Therapy from Xavier University in Cincinnati.   Cj was awarded a residency at Paducah School of Art and Design and she taught college level ceramics and art history classes along with studio assisting and pursuing her own work.   CJ has also taught college level ceramics at SIUC and Elgin Community College along with classes at McHenry County College, at present.
Recently she was awarded the Lillian Thomas Distinguished Fellowship at Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences and the IA O’Shaughnessy Foundation Scholarship at Penland School of Crafts.
Juried into exhibitions at Northern Clay Center, Baltimore Clay, the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, NCECA Expo, and others, CJ maintains an active show schedule across the country.  She is represented by several galleries, including the Charlie Cummings Gallery and In Tandem Gallery.

Believing that art offers creative problem solving skills, CJ values teaching critical thinking as well as technical proficiency in ceramics courses.

November 1st at MCC

6 PM



November. 2017 through the first week of January, 2018

Contact Trish for the latest information; rooms still under negotiation  This is open to all members of the Guild who wish to participate.  This sale is not funded by the Guild but we use the Guild name to promote it. 
Members pay for their space and are required to work a certain amount of days (this has been about 3 to 6 days in the past few years) determined by how many members are in the sale.  This is a great opportunity for members to sell their pieces of pottery (only pottery items are allowed).  There are a few built in shelving units at the gallery if you do not have a shelving unit, you can also use tables in some cases, and/or borrow from someone who does have a shelving unit.  For more detailed information about this sale you can contact  (Trish Vollkommer).  The start up cost for your space is $100 and again this may go down depending on how many members want to join in on this sale.  


Saturday, 12/2/17

 Tom Vician has volunteered to host the Christmas Party if his house renovations are completed.  Significant others are invited.  Michelle Artner has volunteered to be a back up host if Tom is not ready.  If anyone else is interested in hosting the party this year please contact Trish and names will be drawn from a hat to determine the host.  We all bring a dish to pass.   We may do a gift exchange, too.
All upcoming and current events are also available on Facebook and are emailed out to members.