Clay on Main is Berks County’s one-stop rural arts center, giving residents a place to explore making arts and crafts, hear live music, and view carefully curated art exhibits. While they continue to offer regular classes in ceramics to adults and children, they also seek out new partnerships and innovative programming. This year, they are working with local food producers to add some flavor to their workshop series; workshops are one-time events lasting two or three hours. Clay on Main’s instructors will lead “Decorate your own Fermentation Crock,” on November 3, which will be followed up by one led by Oley Valley Organics and The Cottage Kitchen on December 4. There, students will learn to make sauerkraut and other tangy and healthy ferments, possibly using their own handmade crock. Clay on Main is also partnering with Valley Milk House in the winter, and The Oley Baker in the new year. “I am a big supporter of Clay on Main, and I am so excited to see the ways they are helping to connect the dots in our local artisan community. People want to be more involved in the way their food makes it to the table, and these local partnerships help support that mission,” explains Stephanie Angstadt of Valley Milkhouse. In addition to crafts and food, workshops will explore botany and mason bee habitats. All workshops are family-friendly, with a discounted student rate in place to ensure affordability. Visit Clay on Main’s website or facebook page for a full schedule.
In addition to their ongoing weekly classes and the workshop series, Clay on Main is also offering three four-class series this year, which meet once a week. Creating with Felt runs from September 12 – October 3; All About Glaze from October 20 – November 10, and Birdhouses from March 9-30. They are also welcoming groups who might want to celebrate together by making crafts. “We know that people are busier and busier, and our mission is to give people a place to make art – so we wanted to create a way for even time-stretched people to get together and explore their creative side. Plus, it’s fun for us to come up with projects that are accessible and also high-quality,” explains Liz Wheeler, Clay on Main’s Managing Director.
Clay on Main’s regularly scheduled ceramics classes give students truly personalized instruction, with dedicated and knowledgeable teachers leading each artist through skill-building exercises and facilitating the realization of each person’s unique vision. The studio’s extensive collection of materials and equipment is complemented by an informal and welcoming atmosphere; visitors will often find themselves sipping freshly brewed tea in the kitchen or on the back patio. The community is supportive, with students and co-op members sharing ideas, tools, and stories.
Clay on Main is a non-profit artists’ cooperative, located at 313 Main St in the historic village of Oley. The studio offers art instruction and gallery space for local artists, as well as live music and more. Clay on Main houses a complete clay studio, a slumped and fused glass studio, a live performance venue, and a yoga room, in addition to the co-op and gallery. Clay on Main is open to the public on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10-2, Wednesdays from 10-5, and Sundays from 1-4.