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VCPG Newsletter

VCPG April 2024 Newsletter
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VCPG April 2024 Newsletter

Members' Meeting : Monday April 22nd • info below

For Your Calendar:​

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 20th ……..........…....See May 19th Pitfire in lieu of regular program

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

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

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

Clay Challenge – Teapots!

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

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

July 22nd ……...........…..No Program meeting this month

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

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

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

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

September 23rd …….......Program 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 ……...........VCPG Annual Meeting @ 6:30pm Gathering, 7pm Meeting

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

November 25th ……........Program 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 VCPG Board President • April 2024

A potential opportunity to expand our gallery and possible create an adjacent studio/class room

Greetings VCPG Members –

As you know, the Guild has been interested in finding a space to expand our Gallery and perhaps even create a workspace to offer classes and studio memberships. Members of the Board have looked at a couple of spaces at the Harbor and elsewhere, but they just didn’t fit our needs.

Well, we just looked at another space in the Harbor and it has real potential!

The space is across from the dive shop, where the marine biology lab was (they moved upstairs). You can see it from in front of our current Gallery door. The interior space goes all the way across to the parking lot between Brophy’s and Andria’s; and window space and an entrance could be created off the parking lot (and next to Brophy’s).

The entire space available is 1,800 sq. ft. (Our Gallery is currently 700 sq. ft.) We have the option of taking just 1,200 sq. ft. to enlarge our gallery; or, the entire 1,800 sq. ft. which would give us room to put in a studio!

There are a lot of positives staying in the Harbor, including parking, our customers know we are there, foot traffic and the rent is comparable to other, less desirable, locations. But can our Guild take this on? Well, that depends on you, the membership. The Board is currently running some preliminary numbers – and the cash flow looks pretty good once we get up and running to capacity in both the Gallery and the Studio; but that will take 12-24 months. We do not currently have the cash on hand to create an operating reserve to get us through that initial time period, nor to make the tenant improvements and purchase the equipment needed for either the expanded Gallery or the additional Studio. In order to make this happen, we will need our Guild to come together to help raise funds, participate in planning for the new space, help create new policies and procedures, help with the move and setting up the new space, and participate in the new Gallery and/or Studio as donors, members, volunteers and instructors. There will be lots to do, but fortunately if we decide to move forward I, for one, am certain we have the talent, energy and commitment to make this happen.

So what happens next? There are still a lot of numbers to be crunched and questions to be answered before we can talk about specifics as a group. But as soon as we can, we will make information available to our members for evaluation and feedback. In the meantime, we may be sending out surveys to our members to judge folks’ interest and opinions. Bear with us, you may think we already asked you these questions during the application/renewal process. We did, and we have gone through your responses and noted your interests and skills – it was very encouraging. But now we’re going to get more specific – we will be looking for folks to commit to filling specific roles in the project. We’d like you to really think about how you feel, what you want, and how you personally can contribute to this effort should we move forward. And if you’re not interested, we need to know that too. The information and requests for feedback will likely come out in chunks – not all at one time. And circumstances may change as we hear from you and explore all options available to our Guild. So again, bear with us and please watch your inbox for updates and opportunities for feedback. And remember to check your Junk Mail or Spam from time to time just in case.

Should we move forward this will be a complicated and challenging process. But if the Guild members want to enlarge the Gallery and perhaps create a Studio, this may be our best opportunity. Rest assured, we WON’T do it without significant buy-in from you, our members; and we CAN’T do it without specific commitment and support from you.

That’s it for now! More next month (if not sooner).

Take care and make stuff.

Stacy Rowe

VCPG Board President

Program Meeting • April 22nd

Guild member Kim Clarke will be sharing her time at 2024 NCECA which will include a special behind the scenes look at the responsibilities of a volunteer supporting the event.

From Kim: "Being a volunteer at the National Conference of the Education of Ceramic Art is an amazing experience! This year, I found myself navigating enthusiastic attendees as a bus guide, ensuring everyone arrived at the different galleries throughout the Richmond area. In the Makers Room, the energy was electric as artists of all skill levels experimented with new techniques. As well as a needed pottery break. A personal highlight was assisting with the indigenous clay-making where I learned about the rich history and cultural significance of ceramics from a whole new perspective. I’m looking forward to sharing some of it with you!

(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:

Pottery Market is available online from April 15th through May 15th

Pottery Jams

Come, hang out with your friends share your knowledge and learn from each other.

Please register for those in which you would like to participate by clicking on event listing found on the Home Page Calendar ( or by clicking GUILD on the menu bar and selecting Calendar from the drop down menu. These Jams will fill so do not wait to register.


Pottery Jam #2 - BYOLV (Bring Your Own Lidded Vessel)

Saturday, May 4 – 2 PM – 6 PM or so….    

This no cost Pottery Jam will be an opportunity to learn about the techniques Master Potter and Guild past President, Wyn Matthews uses to create lids that fit properly.

Wyn will look at your pots and demo some of his considerations when adding a lid to a vessel. 

Bring snacks and nibbles that can be enjoyed while hanging out.


Location will be in Oxnard. Directions and additional details will be sent to registrants. 11 spots available.



Pit Fire and Potlucks (Breakfast and Lunch)

Sunday, May 19, 7:30 AM – 3:30-4 PM

Our annual pit fire and potluck event at Arroyo Verde Park in Ventura. Get your bisque ware ready!

No registration cap.

Pottery Jam #3 – Sgraiffto Sharing

Sunday, July 21 – 11:30 – 3PM

Genie Thomsen is opening her Ventura studio for a Jam on Sgraffito. Bring any completed sgraffito work. Bring your tools. Come prepared to share your knowledge, expertise, questions. This no cost Jam is targeted to include novices and experts.

Let’s visit and share what we know with each other. Potluck lunch will kick the Jam off. 

Additional details will be sent to registrants. 15 spots available.

Mothers Day Market at the Gallery

Sales Opportunity:

Juried plus members and gallery consignment members are invited to display their work outside the gallery on May 11 and 12, from 11-6.

You may participate one day or both days.

You will need to be present to set up and break down the show, as well as be there to visit with customers and help with sales in the gallery.

The gallery will take 20% and all sales will be conducted inside the gallery.

Please contact Jody Cooper, 805-701-7797 or, to sign up or with questions.

PitfireSunday, May 19th in Arroyo Verde Park. 

Register now and get this event on your calendar. 

We are just about one month away from this wonderful event.

Just checking, have you made your piece? Is it bisque fired? Will it be ready for one of our Saturday prep sessions on Saturday, May 18?

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 (under Members), you can see pictures of us having fun (click on square collage of images on R sidebar) and some of the stunning work that came from the firing. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)

We are looking for mini-workshop leads teach us. Let us know by contacting Foz or

 A quick trick or simple project – what can you share?

 Lori Lester will be doing ceramic fortune cookies

 Terry and Stacy will have the photo booth at the ready so you can capture images of your work for posting on the Online Store or in your personal online portfolio

Maybe you want to offer to be a helper at the pitfire or just come to hang with your potting community. – ALL are invited. Please register so we know you are coming.

For those planning on participating in the pit fire please consider registering for one of the pit fire prep sessions on Saturday, May 18.


We will have a space set up where we hope members will bring samples of “feet” that were inspired by our January Program when Wyn shared his thoughts and demo techniques for creating/trimming the foot of a pot. It would be wonderful to see your feet!


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

Team Service opportunities are available to help offer this event.

Calling all artists for submissions!

Professional, college and HS students!

Democratic Club of Ventura (DCV) presents

Paint It Blue

Sun 19 May, Marriott Ventura Beach

Invite works of all mediums, 11x14, 12x16, 16x20, small sculptures, ceramics, textiles, photography and political cartoons.

Please register before FRI, APRIL 19. 

All submissions due by FRI, MAY 3.

Proceeds from each sale benefit both DCV and the submitting artist. 


🔹Register now. Please include full name, email, phone, title of work, size and medium (charcoal, pencil, pen & ink, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, oil, sculpture, ceramic, textile, photography, political cartoon).

🔹Deliver later. Along with the entry, please submit two photos: the artist and the work. We’ll schedule a pick up or delivery for that weekend, May 3-5.

TICKETS & Event Info:

Calling all Juried Plus Members - Registration for the 2024 Ojai

The 2024 Ojai Pottery Market will be held at Libbey Park on June 8th from 10am to 6pm and June 9th from 10am to 5pm. All juried Plus members are welcome to participate in the Guild’s premier outdoor sale. This is a great sales opportunity for returning and new artists alike. Sales are made under the Guild’s seller’s permit and the central cashier processes all payments and

collects and pays sales tax and credit card fees. We do the paperwork for you!

And, we plan to have volunteers on hand to help with booth setup and breakdown. 

Just sign on to and click the Sell at Ojai button. Then review the Guidelines for the 2024 Ojai Pottery Market, the site map, and register and pay the participant fee. If you have any questions, please contact There will be a Zoom training for participating artists in May. 

The fee for a 10’x10” booth is $60 plus 20% commission on all sales. If you are interested in selling at the 2024 Ojai Pottery Market but you’re not sure you have enough inventory, consider reaching out to your juried friends in the Guild to share a booth. NEW THIS YEAR: Artists sharing a booth will only pay one $60 booth fee (not $60 per artist). We heard you! There is a limit of three artists per booth.

The Ojai Pottery Market is a wonderful opportunity to provide service to the guild. Sale proceeds support Guild program member benefits and outreach during the year. Please consider lending a hand in making the sale a success.

This event provides Plus members a date certain for you to complete your Team Service to the Guild during 2024. Click on the Team Service button on the member Home Page and you will see the opportunities available (the OPM is on page 2). There will be a Zoom training for Cashiers the first week of June.


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.

A reminder about upcoming clay order

As announced in last month’s Newsletter, we are going to start collecting the appropriate State of California Sales Tax on all purchases. If you don’t have a CA Seller’s Permit you will be taxed for all clay order purchases at the Ventura rate – 7.75%. Even with the sales tax, you should still achieve significant savings by ordering through the Guild due to the shared shipping

costs and volume and distributor discounts available through the Guild and

Clay Gurus.

If you have a CA Seller’s Permit, you can use the Resale Certificate attached to the newsletter, fill it out and send it to Shawn at TODAY. You can also find the certificate here:

Please note that Shawn/Clay Gurus needs the completed Resale Certificate BEFORE an order is placed. You need only file the Resale Certificate once, Shawn will keep it on file for future orders.

With a Resale Certificate on file, you will not be taxed on clay, glazes, underglazes and raw materials, but you will be taxed on equipment and tools. You must file a CA Sales and Use Tax Return to report and pay the sales tax you collected.

If you don’t have a CA Seller’s Permit, it is very easy to get one. Click on the link below and fill out the form. It is free and approval is usually very quick, within a day or two. Once you have that, you can download and complete the Resale Certificate to submit to Shawn/Clay Gurus by AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Once you have the Seller’s Permit, you can complete a separate Resale Certificate for other vendors to purchase materials without paying sales tax (as long as you collect sales tax from your customers and meet the other requirements from the State).

Here is the link for the CA Seller’s Permit: and-fees/sutprograms.htm

Look for more specific information about the Spring Clay Order towards the

end of April.

CA Resale Certificate.pdf and Discounts March 2024.pdf

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 Residenc, attend an orientation zoom meeting and apply before midnight on April 30, 2024.

 For question or any inquiry contact Lou Ann Smith at

Program and 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.

Teaching opportunity

A start Up program in Santa Barbara is looking for a ceramic artist that likes to work with elementary aged kids. They have a digital electric kiln. Please contact me for more information.

Rebecca Russell or text 805-708-1637.

Ojai Pottery and Clay School is seeking an instructor for an intermediate to advanced throwing class beginning July 1.

Prior teaching experience is required. Instructors are expected to demo each project and to show a finished piece.

Trimming and glazing lessons should also be included in the 10-week class.

Interested instructors please contact Carole Paddock at 805/ 798-3603 or Bette Schneider at 805/745-5657.

The VCPG Library

Looking for artistic inspiration, or trying to solve a glazing or firing issue? VCPG’s Library offers members an abundance of practical information, as well as being a great source of artistic inspiration. Our collection currently contains 42 DVDs and over 140 books. There is something for everyone, so please take advantage of this amazing resource!

Browse the collection by visiting the Library page under the Member Menu on Click on Check Out Item to complete the check out 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

Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques by James C. Watkins and Paul Andrew Wandless explores a number of fast-firing methods. Detailed instructions are included for raku, low-temperature salt, saggar, pit, and barrel firing. The inclusion of photographs, illustrations and step-by-step instructions allow the reader to visualize each step, from materials preparation to firing and post-firing processes. In addition, thorough coverage is given for the construction of simple, yet effective kilns for each type of firing.

Throughout the book, the authors encourage artistic experimentation, emphasizing that alternative firing techniques should be used to foster exploration. Gallery works by dozens of ceramic artists are used to highlight the possibilities of self-expression inherent within each method. Readers interested in alternative firing will find inspiration in this valuable resource.

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