ACGA NEWS2022-12-07T19:51:55-08:00

Open Studio

Jan Schachter will be hosting 5 artists for her open Studio on May 6-7 in her garden at 190 Golden Hills Drive, Portola Valley CA 94028 10am-5 pm

Sally Jackson, Jane Peterman, Lindsay Marx, Peggy Forman, and Nina Else.

We will also have a table of donated work that will be sold to benefit CERF+

By |March 27th, 2023|Categories: ACGA News|

New Soda Kiln at Stanford

by Sally Jackson

One bright spot in February’s gray weather was the completion of a soda kiln in the courtyard of Stanford University’s Product Realization Lab (PRL). Spearheaded by Applied Physics professor and ceramic artist Hideo Mabuchi, and funded by the new cross-disciplinary initiative Making@Stanford (, the kiln will enable more students to work with clay and more Stanford faculty to incorporate ceramics into their classes. These new opportunities will be organized around courses, workshops, and maker/artist residencies. One of the main goals is to connect ceramics, with its traditions and material culture, with contemporary engineering and materials science as well as computer science, art practice, and the performing arts.

Construction was led by kiln-builder Ted Neal, who is also a faculty member in ceramics at Ball State University in Indiana. I was among several helpers who jumped on board to help. The project involved a lot of steel L-angle, many pallets of bricks, mortar, a MIG welding rig, and a couple of serious power saws. After Ted welded a low, table-like metal frame, we stacked hard and soft bricks to create the floor, walls, chimney, and ceiling arch. Ted then reinforced the kiln with a metal frame and added a hinged door. As final steps we insulated the top of the kiln chamber and mounted a metal roof overhead. Having never built a kiln before, I gained huge appreciation for the precision, expertise, and teamwork that such a project involves. And I truly enjoyed working with Ted, Hedeo, and helpers Christopher Watt and Nicholas Robles. Craig Milroy, Co-Director of the PRL, provided invaluable logistical support throughout the project.

Ceramics are popular with Stanford students, but studio space is limited. The Making@Stanford initiative will connect a wider community of makers and mentors throughout campus. Hideo, for example, co-teaches a class called Japanese Functional Objects, which combines woodworking, ceramics, readings, and lectures to introduce students to the tools and traditions associated with the Japanese tea ceremony. He looks forward to firing work in the soda kiln for this course and many others.  For more photos of the construction, visit

By |March 13th, 2023|Categories: ACGA News|

Cracked Pot, Memoir by Vince Montague: Highlights of Book Tour

Cracked Pot by Vince Montague

When Vince Montague’s wife perishes in a tragic car accident, he is plunged into a world of grief. After weeks of loneliness and despair, he begins to explore his wife’s pottery studio in the wild hills of Northern California, teaching himself to mix clay, throw a pot, fire a kiln, trim and glaze. Just as his grief is ebbing and his future in clay is looking bright, a wildfire advances upon his studio and threatens to destroy everything he has created.

Cracked Pot is a singular book: a story of love lost and the labyrinthine path through grief, a meditation on the craft of pottery and its power to inspire and restore; a rumination on the life of a writer and the refuge of words; an examination of how generational family trauma can shape an artist. Montague’s haunting memoir is a kaleidoscopic and redemptive reading experience, one that serves to remind its readers about the cracks and the light.

Praise for Cracked Pot

Cracked Pot is a soul-baring memoir of love, creativity, loss, grief, and creativity again. Sentence by beautifully wrought, thoughtful sentence, Vince Montague narrates the premature death of his wife, Julia, and how he was able to rebuild his life by way of the clay and kilns and inspiration she left behind for him.” — Benjamen Dreyer, New York Times bestselling author of Dreyer’s English

“Vince Montague’s Cracked Pot is a wondrous memoir of personal reinvention and the transformative power of art….This volume, like finely wrought ceramics, is something beautiful you can hold in hand and treasure always.” — Roy Parvin, author of In the Show Forest and The Lonelist Road in America

Cracked Pot resonates with its multiple meanings and meditates on love and death from title to the last word. This is raw life, raw materials, raw feelings, salvaged by the silken slip of clay, the discovery of thinking with your hands.” — Maw Shein Win, author of Storage Unit for the Spirit House

Event Schedule

03/23  Books Inc, Berkeley, 1491 Shattuck at 6pm. I’ll be in conversation with Nancy Servis.
03/25  Red Brick Ceramics, 2111 Mission Street, 3rd Floor, 5pm.  I’ll be in conversation with poet Maw Shein Win
04/06  Sonoma Readers’ Bookstore, 130 E Napa Street, Sonoma, CA  I”ll be in conversation with Kala Stein
2 Artist Demonstrations
03/25  Red Brick Ceramics 2111 Mission Street, 3rd Floor, 12-2pm.
04/06  Sonoma Community Center, 276 E Napa Street, Sonoma, CA. (time TBA)
By |March 11th, 2023|Categories: ACGA News|

Terra Linda Ceramic Artists presents ARTICULATION-The art of playing with form

The Terra Linda Ceramic Artists present it Member’s show, ARTICULATION- The art of playing with form, which includes ACGA members, Jo Clarke, Geraldine GaNun, Susan Hontalas, Nadia Tarzi-Saccardi and Melissa Woodburn.  The exhibit is hosted by Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael from March 10th-April 21, 2023 with an opening reception/art walk on March 10th from 5-8pm.   For additional information and hours at Falkirk Cultural Center, contact them at or

By |March 11th, 2023|Categories: ACGA News|

MoonDoBang California Tour Has Folks Fired Up

Instagram sensation, MoonDoBang creator Mr. Moon, Byung Sik, will make his first visit to the US with a tour of California and a stopover in Helena, Montana.

At the age of 16, Moon Byung Sik fell in love with clay. He had passion, but the skills didn’t come easily. It took him 10 times longer to finish a pot than some of his peers, but with perseverance and practice, he began to win skills competitions.

Post college, at 26, Moon started a studio practice inside his father’s barn with the idea that he would make pots he likes to make and—he reasoned—people would buy them. He soon discovered that what he wanted to make was not what customers wanted to buy. Competing for buyers with other potters who had 20, 30, or 40 years of experience was challenging.

As he reflects on his path today, starting at a young age was his best decision. He made mistakes and had failures due to his lack of experience, but he says that he was able to put aside his failures more easily and continue moving forward because he had less to lose.

17 years after he first sat at a pottery wheel, Moon operates a professional workshop where he produces his porcelain products and sells them from his gallery and shop in Yeoju, South Korea. He ships worldwide from his website Follow him on Instagram @moondobang

MoonDoBang : US Tour : How it all started

In November 2022, I had a chance to take a virtual pottery class with the Korean artist, Moon Byung Sik of MoonDoBang, hosted by Kala Stein. I casually mentioned that I would like to host a workshop for him in San Francisco.

Start: November 2022

Kala Stein and Joanne Lee, host and translator for Moon for the virtual workshop, set up a meeting to explore the possibility of Moon visiting the US, more specifically San Francisco and the Bay Area. He agreed to 10 days, which grew to 14 days. Then we decided to visit his friend, Adam Field in Helena, Montana,… who mentioned that he had contacts in LA and that if we were to extend and expand the tour, wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Plan : MoonDoBang US Tour: 2023

By mid December, I had commitments from 11 venues and most days were filled, with workshops scheduled from Petaluma down to San Diego, and Helena, Montana. Round-trip air from Seoul, Korea was purchased.

By the second week in January, scheduling was completed for Moon on his first visit to the US with a 24-day, 14-venue, 13-city, 2-state, west coast tour that includes demos, workshops, and an Instagram live feed.

In February, the last venue committed and a brainstorm led to the Virtual Demo with Moon and Adam Field from Helena, Montana, to be hosted by Kala Stein.

Show Time : MoonDoBang US Tour : 2023 

Moon lands in 6 days. 10 boxes of MoonDoBang porcelain pots have arrived. 150 Posters have been printed. 100 T-shirts have been ordered. His room is made.

Most venues have sold out all the seats, some within 5 minutes of opening registration publicly—some selling out only to members. Success can be attributed to Moon’s 97K Instagram followers, help from Adam Field with his 117K followers and mailing list, and the Instagram following of the 15 participating venues. Yes, the power of social media can be measured.

If you haven’t reserved seats yet, try Laney College:

Additional information is on the tour page on my website, mikisr.com,

Registration for the Virtual Demo with Adam Field is open. Registration can be found at

When asked about what he would like to see and do while on his first visit to the US, he said, “eat a hot dog, see the Golden Gate Bridge, and go to a baseball game.” We have tickets to the Oakland A’s opener on March 30th, where Shohei Ohtani will be starting for the Angels. Kala is hosting a dinner and hot dogs are on the menu. And I’m sure we will cross the Golden Gate Bridge at least once.

Follow me on Instagram for more stories. @mikisr_ceramics

By |March 11th, 2023|Categories: ACGA News|

Visiting Artist : MoonDoBang

I had a chance to take a virtual pottery class with the Korean artist, Moon Byung Sik of MoonDoBang, hosted by Kala Stein, last Fall. I casually mentioned that I would like to host a workshop for him in San Francisco.

Fast forward to March 2023. I am hosting Mr. Moon on his first visit to US with a 24 day, 15 venue, 13 city, west coast tour that includes demos workshops, instagram live  and virtual demo with Adam Field from Helena Montana

Most venues have sold out, but you might be able to get a demo seat at Laney College and AOMCA in Pomona. Additional information is on the tour page on my website:

By |March 10th, 2023|Categories: ACGA News|
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