About Wheelhouse Clay Center
Co-owners Shari Zabriskie and Teta Hilsdon have decades of experience between them working in clay, teaching, and managing a studio. Wheelhouse Clay Center offers a variety of engagement for adults and teens in clay arts!
Production Space Rentals for Production and Hobby Potters
Let's say you're a hobby potter, you've even begun selling what you make, or you're already a full-on professional. But you aren't about to invest in setting up your own studio. Pottery is an equipment-intensive art, and you just don't want to deal with kilns, ventilation, wheels, slab rollers, extruders, glaze mixing, shelving, and waterproof floors. Perfect!... we've done all that so you can come rent from us in a community of other potters. Rent common space for $100/month, or rent your own private 8x12 workspace for $200/month. You'll have access to all the equipment you need.
We fire only electric kilns, usually to cone 6, and we have a full array of glazes for you to play with. Electric firing is reliable and relatively economical so we can keep our prices affordable without any sacrifice to beautiful, durable results.
Classroom Rentals for Professional Potters
You're a professional potter from nearby or afar. You've got something to teach and you want to offer a class, but you don't have space to invite 6-12 people into your studio. Not a problem! Contract with Wheelhouse and pay 35% of your earnings to us. We'll co-market your classes, give you access to all our clay and equipment, run the kilns for you, and reclaim all the clay if you choose.
Classes Taught by Experienced Potters
We offer a full spectrum of classes! Not too sure about clay? Start with Clay Play at a drop-in price of $20 for a first Friday evening of playful learning. Eager to get your hands into clay? Sign up for our Introduction to Wheel Throwing or Hand Building classes. Already have some skill and want to get deeper in? Our next step classes are for you. Pro Workshops are specialized short classes with visiting artists, for professionals clay workers.
The Shop at Wheelhouse
We sell our members' work in our gallery, open Wednesday through Saturday, 12-6pm.
We also host the work of guest artists.
We're open until 8:30pm on first Friday evenings as part of Brattleboro's Gallery Walk. Visit the Gallery, get a tour, or enjoy one of our Clay Play activities! We also have special sales, open houses, and visiting artist lectures as scheduled.
Co-Owner and Classroom Manager
Shari started working with clay at Brattleboro Clayworks around 1997 as a curious renter and went on to become a member of the collective in 2007. Since then she has taken on roles of rental coordinator, officer, teacher and more. Within the walls of BCI Shari was given the freedom to explore her own voice in clay while sharing tips and tools of the trade with the creative community of clay artists around her.
For the past 10 years, Shari has found her calling working as a full-time potter. Inspired by serene woodland settings, bizarre sea-creatures and intriguing textures found out and about, she strives to take some of that interest and funnel it into her work. With a focus on form, function, balance and unique design, her hope is that her finished pots resonate with a distinctive sense of spirit.
Now, committed to creating a vibrant, welcoming and inspired studio, you will find Shari most days at Wheelhouse.
Visit her Facebook page: Shari Zabriskie Pottery to view her work.
Co-Owner and Rental Manager
Teta Hilsdon started pottery in 1977 and has kept her hands in clay ever since. She was one of eight co-founders of Brattleboro Clayworks Inc. in 1983 and remained there as a member until 2002. In 2008 she co-founded Cherry Street Artisans, a collective holiday event where she sold her wares through 2014.
In 2018, Teta and Shari partnered to create Wheelhouse Clay Center.
Teta makes graceful, functional pottery for the table and kitchen. She specializes in custom dinnerware sets.
Teta splits her time between making and teaching pottery, co-managing Wheelhouse, teaching yoga, property managing, and playing with her baby grandson Kestrel.
Teta's husband, Stephen Procter, is also a potter, with a studio across town.
Find out more about Teta at www.tetahilsdon.com.
Emily grew up taking pottery classes at Creating with Clay, Bonnie Stearns' clay school for youth in Brattleboro. Emily went on to earn a BFA in ceramics from Alfred University in 2017. She now lives and works in Brattleboro.
After being a studio tech at Alfred and working full-time in ceramics for Laura Zindel, Emily's ease and knowledge of studio procedures is substantial. Wheelhouse is pleased to bring Emily on board with all her energy, passion, talent, work ethic, and community spirit.
Emily will be teaching hand building classes at Wheelhouse.
Emily's work focuses on using familiar pottery forms to explore questions about how craft and art fit a into a modern world.
See Emily's work and process on Instagram @wright_works as well as at the Gallery at Wheelhouse.
Emily Bourne is a ceramic artist, born and raised in the Brattleboro area. As a child she was lucky enough to frequent the Brattleboro Clayworks, where she first fell in love the magical process of pottery. She proceeded to learn wheel throwing and hand building techniques with Bonnie Stearns, in addition to exploring different art mediums at the River Gallery School.
Emily earned a BFA in Ceramics from the Maine College of Art, where she concentrated on the craft, chemistry, and historical significance of ceramics on a global scale. She developed multiple decorating techniques through experimentation and reverse-engineering historical artifacts. After graduating, Emily returned to Vermont to work for Laura Zindel at her production studio, where she continues to assist in the development and creation of elaborately decorated wares.
From a young age Emily has been inspired by Chinese pottery from the Song and Tang Dynasties, as well as Pre-Columbian American funerary art. These objects provide a tangible link to the past, the fingerprints of potters are embedded within every piece. Pots are objects that will outlive all of us. They reflect who we are, our values, our customs, and our desires.
Emily’s work runs the gamut from her graceful yet wildly moody functional pots and paintings, to sweetly whimsical sculptures and illustrations. Clay is a medium you can pour your heart and soul into without reservation, and through the firing process we make fleeting moments last for an eternity.
As a member of the Wheelhouse community, Emily brings over two decades of technical knowledge and enthusiasm to the table! She will be assisting in glaze development and provide support to fellow members and students.
Her work is on Instagram @emilyrosebourne, and you can purchase her art at the Wheelhouse Gallery.