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VCPG Newsletter

VCPG February 2024 Newsletter
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VCPG February 2024 Newsletter

Members' Meeting : Monday February 26th • info below

For Your Calendar:​

February 2nd ……...........Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

February 8th ……...…......Gallery Committee Meeting @ 3:30pm

February 12th …….…......Happy Hour 5-7

February 26th …….....…..Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

March 1st ……........…......Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

March 25th ……..........…..Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

April 5th ……..........…......Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

April 11th ……...…...........Gallery Committee Meeting @3:30pm

April 15th ……........…......Gallery Artists Meeting @ 7:00pm

April 22nd ……...........…..Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

May 3rd ……..........…......Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

May 19th ……..........…....Pitfire in Arroyo Verde Park

May 20th ……............…..Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

June 7th …….........…......Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

June 13th ……...…..........Gallery Committee Meeting @3:30pm

June 24th ……...........…..Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

July ……...…...................No Board meeting

July 15th ……..................Gallery Artists Meeting @ 7:00pm

July 22nd ……...........…..Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

August 2nd ……..........…Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

August 8th ……...…........Gallery Committee Meeting @3:30pm

August 26th …….............Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

September 6th …….........Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

September 23rd …….......Members Meeting on Zoom; 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

October 4th ……..........…Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

October 10th ……...........Gallery Committee Meeting @3:30pm

October 21st ……..…......Gallery Artists Meeting @ 7:00pm

October 28th ……...........Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

November 1st ……..........Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

November 25th ……........Members Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

December 6th ……..........Board Meeting @ 4:00pm

December 12th ...............Gallery Committee Meeting @3:30pm

December........................VCPG Holiday Get Together

All Board meetings have the same Zoom link

All Members meetings have the same Zoom link

All Galley Committee have the same Zoom link

All Gallery Artists meetings have the same Zoom link

A Message from Your Board President • February 2024

Greetings VCPG Members – We Hear You!

The Board is committed to getting feedback from Guild members and doing what we can to be responsive. One example is the recent update of the Guild’s web home: ( Home ).

If you haven’t been there recently, take a look. Things have changed - we think for the better.

Some members found navigating the drop-down menus across the top of the homepage inconvenient for finding what they needed. So the Technology Committee – Wyn Matthews, Terry Wilson and Foz (WTF) worked for months to develop a more convenient interface with

buttons that will take you directly to the most used pages. (The drop-down menus are still there too). 

They also created “The Kiln Post” highlighting information about current (and past) Guild activities in photos and sound bites. “The Kiln Post” appears on the homepages for both the public and members.

Now that the update has been live for a while, we’ve learned that it works better on some devices and browsers than others. You can help us troubleshoot! If you have problems viewing the new homepages, please send an email to with a description of the problem, what type of device you are using (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) and what browser you are using (Google Chrome, Safari, Foxfire, etc.). Sometimes clearing your cache fixes the problem (I didn’t know how to do that either, but your kids probably do).

Take a look at the “What’s New” email sent out by Wyn Matthews on February 9th for more details about this and other recent updates to I personally want to thank the team for their hard work.

One update to that is still in the works is replacing the “Create With Us” banner that appears at the bottom of every page with a banner highlighting a rotating “Featured Artist”. When implemented, clicking on this banner will take the public and members to a page with the featured artist’s statement, photographs of their work, and links to the artist’s online sites and stores. While the team is still working out the details, one requirement to be a “Featured Artist” will be to have an existing Online Portfolio on 

The online Portfolio, which is viewable to members and the public, is a benefit available to Plus Tier members as a way to get their work out into the world. Take a look at the artists who have already posted their portfolios here: Member Portfolios. There’s plenty of time to create your Online Portfolio so you can be a Featured Artist. (And because it’s a really great thing to do.) If you need help with your portfolio, just click on the handy, new Tutorials button on the top of the member home page. If you’re not yet a Plus Tier member, you can always upgrade. 

Another thing we have heard consistently from our members is the desire to have more opportunities for in-person events. Again, we hear you! 

Last month I listed some upcoming opportunities to get together and hinted that something new was in the works! Now we can announce a new VCPG Program – Pottery Jams! Pottery Jams can be a wide range of informal gatherings in members’ studios or homes. Please see the article in this newsletter providing more details about what a Pottery Jam is and can be, as well as information about our first Jam on March 16th at my studio in Oxnard. Space may be limited for the Pottery Jams, including on the 16th, so don’t hesitate to register for a Jam you want to attend. 

We think this is a new, fun, low-key way for us to socialize, meet new and old friends, and share our experiences in clay and ceramics. Thank you Foz and the Program Team!

Last but not least, I want to remind all our juried members that if you haven’t already, you must renew your membership by February 29th to sustain your juried status. This has been a Guild policy for many years. To keep your juried status, you can renew at any tier for which you are eligible– Regular, Plus, Student (must be enrolled in 10 or more units).

More next month. Take care and make stuff.

Stacy Rowe

VCPG Board President

Members Program Meeting • February 26th

Slabs and GR Forms – Presented by Jeff Rottman

The ultimate nexxus of hand-building and throwing – Jeff will demo the use of slabs in combination with GR Forms to easily create plates and bowls on a wheel. 

(Zoom link below and for each monthly meeting can always be found in the calendar on the Guild’s Home Page/website.)

6:30 PM Gathering Time • 7 PM Meeting Start 

Zoom Link 

VCPG is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: VCPG Monthly Member Meetings

Time: 6:30 PM- Gathering Time, 7 PM- Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 2758 8377

Passcode: 893843

One tap mobile

+16699006833,,88027588377#,,,,*893843# US (San Jose)

+16694449171,,88027588377#,,,,*893843# US

Find your local number:

The Guild has adopted a new jury process

Please check the website after 1/22/24

The new procedure will take place in two steps; first step will take place in the week of 1/26/24 and the second step will take place in the week of 4/19/24. 

Locations, times and other details will be on the website starting 1/22/24 Member > Jury

More info to come.

VCPG School Outreach Pilot Update

Create the future as a VCPG Mentor Artist! Teachers from eight Ventura County schools are eager to participate with VCPG Mentor Artists in our pilot outreach project. 

On-site interviews with participating teachers revealed their interest in classroom demonstrations, wheel-throwing, glazes, sgraffito, kiln maintenance, ceramics classroom organization, new project ideas, air dry clay projects for student wellness, materials selection, entrepreneurship and more.

All teachers are looking forward to joining the VCPG community. 

Thanks to Gayle Bentley Swanson, John Grisafe and Genie Thomsen for being our first

Mentor Artists and to Shawn Felts for providing kiln assessments when needed.

Sign Up Now: Opportunities for Mentor Artists are posted on the VCPG

website under “Team Service Sign Up” in the “Outreach” column on page 2.

Pilot schools are: Balboa Middle School, Cabrillo Middle School, Buena High,

Pacific High and Ventura High all in Ventura, plus Moorpark High, Nordhoff High

and Thousand Oaks High Schools. (Moorpark and Nordhoff High Schools will

be posted on our website soon.)

VCPG Mentor Artists are asked to contribute up to 10 hours of support per

semester depending on the priorities of the teachers and the expertise of the

artists. Jennifer Robles will be serving as the Outreach lead for this project.

Drew Lurie at Ova Arts Gallery

Guild member Drew Lurie will be playing music at Ova Arts gallery Feb. 16 for their third Friday event. 

He will be playing the handpan, a percussion instrument akin to the steel drum from 5-7 p.m. and it promises to be a lovely social evening. 

Ova arts in Ojai is a gallery of local artists and there are several guild members who show their ceramics there, it’s a great community resource so if you’ve never been come check it out and say hi to Drew! 

Gallery located at 238 E. Ojai ave. Ojai

Pottery Jam sessions

New In-person events for VCPG members

The VCPG Board of Directors has heard you! 

At the February Board meeting a pilot project - Pottery Jam Sessions- was approved for 2024. 


POTTERY JAM SESSION is an informal gathering of a small group of ceramic artists who get together to hangout, exchange information and on occasion, host a guest artist to share a bit about their personal journey with clay and their area of expertise.


Jam Sessions are hosted by a Guild member in their home or studio. The cost of attending the Jam Session will cover only the out-of-pocket expenses for the Jam, including any fees for guest artists. 


During 2024 we hope to work with members to host up to six unique Jam Session for our Guild members. 

Any Guild member who has an idea for a Pottery Jam Session and/or is willing to open their space to host a POTTERY JAM SESSION should send an email to You will be contacted to discuss the details and scheduling. 

Hosting a Jam Session would meet a Plus Tier member’s Team Service Commitment.

Our Guild’s first Pottery Jam Session will be held on 

Saturday, March 16 10 AM–5 PM 

at the Oxnard studio of our Guild President, Stacy Rowe

We have invited Kathleen Royster, a ceramic artist from Helper, Utah. She is passing through the area. 

During the Pottery Jam Session Kathleen will do some throwing and demo her Mishima technique. More info on Kathleen can be found under the Calendar event listing.

Please be aware, this is not a workshop. It is simply a group of like-minded people spending time together and learning some new techniques in an informal setting. 

Relax, be prepared to engage and come hang with us.


Participant Info:

·      The March 16th PJ Jam Session is open to 15 practiced Guild members.  You must register for this event. If you are interested in attending, do not delay. Half of the spots were filled after the Programs and Workshops Announcement.

·      There will be a potluck lunch provided by registrants. 

·      The cost for this JAM SESSION is $35 per member and a dish for the potluck. The $35 covers the guest artist’s fee.  Beverages and paper goods will be provided.

·      Specific location details will be provided to those registered for the event.

·      Register using the link in the Calendar/March 16 - found on the Guild’s website Home Page.

·      Questions: Contact

Summer Residency Program

The Ventura County Potters Guild is offering Summer Residency Programs with the Stacy Rowe Pottery Studio in Oxnard, and at the Clay Studio in Goleta. 

We are inviting artists passionate about ceramics to apply for this year’s programs. Previous participants have found it to be invaluable in developing their portfolio. 

Additional details on the program and instructions on how to apply are on the VCPG website. 

Please review the Residency Information found on our website under Residency and apply before midnight on April 30, 2024.

 For question or any inquiry contact Lou Ann Smith at

Pitfire – Sunday, May 19th in Arroyo Verde Park. 

Register now and get this event on your calendar. 

Members attending the event in 2023 raved about how much fun they had and if you look at the Clay Challenge page on the website, you can see some of the stunning work that came from the firing. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)

Check the Calendar listing for more information and to register separately for the event, prep on Saturday (Ojai or Ventura (10 AM) or Ventura (11 AM)) and the actual firing on Sunday

Team Service opportunities are available to help offer this event.

It’s coming! Beatrice Wood Center Show

Our annual show at the Beatrice Wood Center is scheduled for September 28 - November 16. The theme this year is “Non Traditional Teapots”

Let your imagination go wild, from fantasy to abstract. Have fun with this challenge. 

It is open to all guild members and you can enter up to three pieces.

Thanks to Eco Shumaker for creating the graphic!

The VCPG Library

VCPG’s Library offers members invaluable practical information as well as being a great source

of artistic inspiration. You will want to take advantage of this excellent resource!

Browse the collection by visiting the Library page under the Member Menu on Click

on Check Out Item to complete the checkout request form. Items will be shipped at no cost to

you. You can return items via mail (at your cost) or to the gallery.

VCPG Library Book Review

The Anatomy of a Good Pot: Secrets to Successful Pottery by Ryan Coppage, PhD

In an effort to determine the difference between producing ‘adequate’ and ‘superb’ functional pottery, the Ryan Coppage meticulously studied the work of highly-recognized contemporary ceramic artists. By comparing numerous images of their artwork, Coppage found that there were aesthetic commonalities from which he was able to derive a design element checklist.

Throughout the book, detailed color photos are used to illustrate the author’s checklist for successful pottery, which include the opening, contour, elevation, visual cues, and balance. A chapter on how these rules can be broken examines how certain artists have intentionally deviated from these aesthetic standards. Coppage encourages readers to closely examine their own work, push their boundaries, and develop their personal voice. Those who are seeking to elevate their current work through self-critique will find this book extremely useful.

VCPG members should be aware that although this book is not currently available in the VCPG library it can be purchased online. One caveat: an extremely weak binding.

Program & Workshop Team seeking members

Do you want to be part of identifying, selecting and introducing programs for our monthly meetings? 

Maybe you have an interest in being on the Workshop planning team??? 

A few creative and enthusiastic members are being sought to join the effort of bringing great program offerings to our members. 

We try to meet once a month until the year’s program and workshop calendar is scheduled. Then, in small groups or individually, members shepherd their program or workshop. 

If you are interested in joining this team, please email to share your interest. 

Plus Tier Members

It is not too early to begin to think about how you will be completing your 2024 service commitment to the Guild. Please take time to review the variety of Team Service opportunities that exist. As you may all know, the Guild currently does not have a “number of service hours” commitment,” you are simply asked to find a service opportunity that works within your skills wheelhouse and at a time and place that works for you. Check out the opportunities at this link:

Questions can be addressed to Judy Winard, Membership/Team Service Chair at

37th California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts

Sacramento • April 12 -13, 2024

Visit South Korea with Patrick Crabb

ANNYEONGHASEYO (HELLO in Korean) ...After working on this year's international tour for some 5 months, we (ESCAPES UNLIMITED TRAVEL) now have an incredible adventure to offer you. For 13 incredible days, South Korea can be yours to enjoy this mid-September. The focus will be on the arts & crafts, sights, temples, and more. 

For pottery lovers, this tour will take us from ancient to contemporary kiln villages and to include a workshop demo by a master potter. 


Korean Airlines will be our flight of choice out of LAX. Great tiered land pricing: $ 4340/person dbl occ (15+ travelers) or $3899/person dbl occ (18+ travelers). Our Japan tour sold out in 48 hours. Your $500/person deposit holds your spot. Please sign on early. This adventure will be an indelible addition to 2024. Please email with any inquiries to

For Sale

Tent; 10X10, perfect condition, alum. Frame 

4 zippered sides with wheels storing and carrying a case. 


Victoria Littlejohn, 805/448/1869

Also, assorted tools; 3 , 3 shelf rolling carts.

2 small 2' X 3' work tables with 1 drawer ea. 

2 ,4 shelf free standing, 1 folding director chair

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