ACGA Newsletter May 2023
ACGA Clay and Glass Festival 2023


ACGA 30th Annual Clay and Glass Festival
ACGA 30th Annual Clay and Glass Festival
ACGA 30th Annual Clay and Glass Festival

The ACGA Clay & Glass Festival celebrates 30 years on July 15-16, 2023, on the grounds of the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road. The Festival is known for its high quality, unique handcrafted clay and glass art. All the participating 100+ artists are members of the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California (ACGA) and have been juried in – with the top artists across California participating.

It takes a special
arts festival to not
only survive, but
thrive, for 30 years.

Festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16. Admission is free. The Festival features a wide range of both functional and decorative fine art, from the abstract to the figurative, and from the minimalist to whimsical. Valet parking will be available at the Art Center for only $12. There will be live demos both days, and an Interactive Clay for All activity in the Art Center Courtyard. There will also be food trucks including ice cream, popsicles, and yes, coffee.

Watching art come to life through live demos has been a popular tradition at the ACGA Clay & Glass Festival. Find them outside near the Newell Road end of the Art Center building.

This year’s demo schedule includes:

Saturday, July 15
10 a.m. – Ian Bassett – Clay
Techniques for pottery forms
Noon – Chris Johnson – Glass
Glasswork techniques
1 p.m. – Alka Bhargava – Ikebana
2 p.m. – Ellen Sachtschale – Clay –Techniques
for creating textured, curvaceous garden
vessels using pinching and slab techniques

Sunday, July 16
10 a.m. – Chris Parris – Clay – Forms from wet
clay, including folding delicate edges and
11 a.m. – Alka Bhargava – Ikebana
Noon – Don Jower – Clay – How to throw small
and large forms
2 p.m. – Sally Jackson – Clay – How to make a
stacked ceramic totem for the garden


Sign up for our newsletter for a chance
to win a $100 gift certificate!
Each day of the festival we will have a drawing for a $100 gift certificate valid to shop during the Festival this year or next year. To enter the drawing, drop by the ACGA Information Table near the Newell Road entrance to the Art Center and sign up for the ACGA Newsletter.

Vote for your favorite artist!
Recognize your favorite clay and glass artists in our People’s Choice Award: a $100 gift certificate awarded to the artist who gets the most votes to use at the Festival. Vote on Saturday before 4:30 pm using the ballot on the map handout, or pick up a ballot form at the ACGA Information Table.


Check out the CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund) Booth rin the Sculpture Gardent and donate to support artists in need due to catastrophic events.

Bay Area residents have been huge clay and glass art patrons for 30 years, supporting the arts and the artists. “We are so appreciative of our customers’ past patronage,” said Mari Emori, ACGA Board President.

“We invite everyone to
come celebrate with us
July 15 and 16 to see the latest works from our juried artists.
It’s a great time to shop for home and family and support our California artists.”

Details, including links to participating artists’ work are available at ACGA Clay & Glass Festival


Let’s consider the handmade mug. The artist shapes it, considers the height, the belly, the handle, every square millimeter of its surface, its finish, and its attitude. Is it calm? Is it stimulating? How does the rim feel on the lips? Does the surface feel right? Is it plain or decorated? Do the colors satisfy? How many fingers fit the handle, and is there a pinky hook or a thumb rest? What’s going on with the foot, and is there an easter egg on the bottom?

Once built, the mug must be fired, glazed, and fired again. Every step in the process offers opportunities for ecstacy or desolation. When it survives, it is the product not just of the time it takes to make this one piece, but of all the time the potter has invested in mastering their craft, and all the history of pottery that has informed traditions.

By the time an object arrives at the ACGA Clay & Glass Festival in Palo Alto, it has already developed a legacy. Each artist maker participating in the festival has had their work scrutinized by a jury to determine the quality of craftsmanship, design, originality, and personal artistic expression and to ensure that the work shown in the festival is the best and highest quality of work to be found in California. The work that goes into an art glass vessel or a clay sculpture or an object that has everyday function elevated to transcendent art is the artist’s labor of love. It comes from passion and drive and it reflects and exudes the artist’s investment, creating a dynamic aura in the space where it resides.

Invest yourself in better living. Collect some handmade treasures at the ACGA Clay & Glass Festival in Palo Alto.
Mug maker credits, top to bottom, left to right:
Pierre Bounaud @pbounaud, Ross Spangler, Vince Montague @vincemontague, Ian Bassett @craftrider, Bev Zerbib-Berda @bevzerbibberdapottery, Jordan King @jkingceramics, Pierre Bounaud @pbounaud, Kevin Scheer @kevinscheerpottery, Malia Landis @malia_landis, Taka Unno @takaunnoceramics, Tina Fossella @tinafossellapottery, Janet Wolf @janetwolfceramics, Chanda Beck @ezmedesigns, Miki Shim @mikisr_ceramics, Susie Rubenstein @susier_rubenstein, Sandra Torres @sandratorresporcelain

ACGA 30th Annual Clay and Glass Festival
ACGA 30th Annual Clay and Glass Festival


CERF Artist Support

From the very beginning of the Clay and Glass Festival, the ACGA has been raising money for the California Fund at CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund).

Jan Schachter, who along with James Aarons, has been leading the CERF+ fundraiser at the show recalls “Initially we gave out CERF info and sold CERF+ merchandise — tees, aprons, tote bags, notecards — and of course asked for donations. In 2000, someone suggested we make & sell millennial mugs, which we did. That started the process of our artists donating work to sell. Over the years other organizations have donated their members’ work to us to sell – Baulines Crafts Guild and CGAF Ceramics and Glass Foundations. We have also sold the work of collectors, who have donated pieces to us.”

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of artists at the ACGA Clay and Glass Festival who donate work to sell at the CERF+ booth at the show, these efforts have raised over $60,000 to support the California Fund at CERF+. With these funds, CERF+ is able to provide vital emergency relief funds to craft artists after fires, floods, illnesses, injuries, and more.

“Uncertain times and financial worries are a constant reminder of how difficult it is to be a professional artist, and after my car accident and cervical spine surgery, the reality was unimaginable. I am forever grateful that organizations like CERF+ exist and can offer help in times of need. I am on the road to recovery and still work at my art as a Glassblower!” – Paul Counts, San Marcos, California

To date, over one hundred craft artists have received emergency relief grants that include funds raised by ACGA members to support the California Fund at CERF+. “This fundraiser, driven by artists for artists, embodies the spirit of CERF+’s mutual aid origins,” notes CERF+ executive director, Ruby Lopez Harper. “This support is especially meaningful as we continue to support more artists every year who have been affected by climate-related disasters in California.”

To learn more about CERF+, visit

Submitted by Carrie Cleveland,

Meet Your Board Member JOE BATTIATO, CLAY

I came into ceramics because I wanted to take an easy class in college. Jim Wayne was the instructor. I was seventeen and I had no idea that it would be a life changing experience.

Jim was my mentor until I got drafted. After I served my time, I carved out a studio in my garage where I worked for five years until we moved where I developed my basement studio setting up kilns in the back yard.

While my wife, Cheryl, was working on her MFA at San Jose State I was introduced to Stan Welsh. I ended up working with Stan for the next twenty years there. Able to retire from my day job in 2000, I was then able to do my pottery full time. I started expanding doing shows and teaching a various venues, including Palo Alto Art Center, Higher Fire, Mother Earth, and Cabrillo College. I’m still at SJSU as a resident artist.

I fine tuned my pit firing skills with San Jose State and got to give pit fire workshops from Ocean Beach to Orlando, Florida.

Joining ACGA was a step in the direction of becoming a professional potter for me. Being able to be with other career, ceramic artists has meant a lot to me for the past thirty years.
One of my greatest joys was being able to throw pots for James Lovera when age kept him away from his potter’s wheel.

Submitted by Joe Battiato, Festival Committee

Joe Battiato - ACGA Board Member
Joe Battiato - ACGA Board Member
Sally Jackson

Sally Jackson, Three Books, 2023

The Art of a Story

13th Annual Juried Exhibition
Village Theater & Art Gallery
233 Front Street, Danville, CA 94526
June 9-August 11, 2023
Three ceramic pieces by Sally Jackson are included in this multi-media exhibition, which features art inspired by books, stories, and literary themes. Open Monday and Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday-Friday 12 – 5 pm, and Saturday 11 – 3 pm. Stop by if you’re in Danville — the gallery is close to I-680 just off Diablo Drive.

Click here for more details: Village Theater and Art Gallery

Majolica Garden – Ceramics by Liz Lauter

The San Geronimo Valley Community Center debuts Liz Lauter’s Tree of Life solo ceramics collection July 3-28. Her recent work features elaborately embellished Arbol de la Vida candelabra forms, wall mounted sculptures and “istoriato” painted platters with narrative themes of Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden as seen from Eve’s perspective. She uses the traditional Italian majolica technique of terra cotta clay, tin glaze and vibrant hand painted overglaze colors.

Liz’s clay artwork weaves threads of Mexican folk art, Islamic design, and botanical illustration into her own form of expression which is new at the same time familiar. They all meet in her Garden of Eden.

Gallery Hours: 12-5 and M-F from 10-5
Artist Reception Sunday, July 9th from 4-7

Liz Lauter

Liz Lauter

Chris Johnson Glass
Chris Johnson Glass


Chris Johnson Glass will again be participating in this unique event in which artists in the Santa Cruz Mountains and in the village of Davenport open their studios to the public. ​Hidden within the majestic redwood forests of Bonny Doon and on the Pacific Coast in the historic village of Davenport you will discover the wonderful art created in this quiet and inspiring environment.
For more details and a list of the participating artists, please visit

Submitted by Chris Johnson

Animal Portraiture - Mendocino Art Center

Alternative Materials and Finishes – Stretching the Creative Process


LOCATION: Mendocino Art Center

INSTRUCTOR: Rocky Lewycky
CLASS TITLE: Alternative Materials and Finishes: Stretching the Creative Process
DATE(S):  August 21 – 27, 2023
DAYS OF WEEK: Monday – Sunday
HOURS: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate/Advanced

COST: $1155

The heart of this workshop is in the exploration of alternative firings. We will be working and exploring everyday with new firing techniques and processes. Students will bring both greenware and bisqueware to the workshop to fulfill each process. You can visit my website and click on “workshops” to see examples of what you will be learning in the workshop. Below is a list of firings that we will be exploring:

–   Ferric Chloride Saggar Burritos
–   Ferric Chloride Spray Over Clear Crackle
–   Pit Fire over Greenware Terra-Sigillata Base
–   Pit Fire over Bisqueware Terra-Sigillata with Mica Colorants Base
–   Horse Hair/Feather Firing with GreenwareTerra-Sigillata Base
–   Cone 7 Seashell Side-Fire with Matte Crystal Glazes (Oxidation)
–   Cone 11 Side-Fire Shino with Wood Ash (Reduction)

Along with our exploration of alternative firing techniques, we will also spend some time experimenting with alternative materials and surface treatments.  will demonstrate how to make and use the following:

–   Greenware Greek Style Terra Sigillata (Greenware)
–   Greenware Terra-Sigillata with Mason Stain Colorants
–   Bisqueware Terra Sigillata with Mica Colorants
–   Paper Clay with Burnout Legumes
–   Feldspar Inclusions
–   Micaceous Clay

Finally, I will teach you how to clean and finish your pots with the following techniques:
–   Dremel Tool Sanding of Side Fire Wares
–   Wax Sealing of Low Fire Wares
–   Introduction to Gold Leafing Materials and Sizing Demo

**Please note that you will need to purchase an organic vapor mask to participate in the Ferric Chloride processes  (~$45). In preparation for the workshop, you will need approximately 20-40 small to medium pieces at various stages of completion. Please allow enough time for this planning. Detailed information will be provided upon registration.

Submitted by Rocky Lewycky @rockylewycky,

ONGOING: Landscape Perspectives

June 2–July 22, 2023
June 9, 5–8pm: Reception and Art Walk
July 14, 5–8pm: Reception and Art Walk

Artworks Downtown Marin
Gallery 1337

The exhibit, Landscape Perspectives, reimagines and celebrates traditional landscape-based artwork by offering a diverse collection of expressions, approaches, and interpretations. From realism to surrealism, to abstraction, and beyond; viewers will surely enjoy this multi-dimensional experience. Features works by ACGA members Emil Yanos and Kathy Pallie.

Submitted by Emil Yanos

Emil Yanos

Emil Yanos “Outcropping” Ceramic wall sculpture, Thrown, carved and altered. Ungerglazes, fired to cone 5. 10.75″h x 10.75″w x 3.25″d

Emil Yanos, Outcropping, 2023. Ceramic wall sculpture, thrown, carved and altered. Underglazes, fired to cone 5. 10.75″h x 10.75″w x 3.25″d

ONGOING: NY2CA Gallery Presents “Reciprocity”

NY2CA Gallery Presents “Reciprocity”

A Two Person Exhibition
by Melina Meza
and Melissa Woodburn

June 8 – Aug. 6
Artists’ Reception June 10, 3–6pm
617 – 1st Street, Benicia, CA

Immerse yourself in the beauty of artistic expressions and celebrate the reciprocal relationship between art, nature, and the human spirit. At the reception for artists, experience visual delight, harmonious sounds, and culinary pleasures as they seamlessly come together at this extraordinary exhibition.

Submitted by Melissa Woodburn

Glass Hart Open Studios


Our communications tools now allow members to post their news items directly to the ACGA News Blog, for daily publication. Posts must be admin-approved and may take up to 48 hours to appear in the blog. Incomplete submissions may take longer. The web-based news blog is a living document and posts items in the order they are published. You can scroll through the entire history of the ACGA News here:

In addition, our monthly ACGA newsletter is emailed to approximately 5500 subscribers. This news is less time-sensitive than more immediate forms of communication such as the news blog and our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook.

Social media is the most effective and most instantaneous way to reach your audience, provide a platform that can be posted to repeatedly and often. We encourage members to cultivate their own social media accounts on facebook and instagram, to build your own audience and market your wares. We are happy to amplify your message to our followers from time to time when the following conditions are met:

  • Captions must include who, what, where, when details.
  • Posts must relate to something a collector or student can engage with such as a gallery event, an open studio, or an upcoming sale. Posts that lack context will not be reposted.
  • We will not repost items projecting more than 2 weeks in the future.
  • Posts should be tagged @theacga to ensure we can find them

ACGA social media accounts have more than 17,000 followers, so following these guidelines could be valuable to you. News items must be written in grammatically correct form, include all details including names (first and last) of members involved, links to artist websites or social media, studio or gallery locations and hours of operation.

Be aware that we have over 350 members and will strive to be fair and equitable, and to showcase the wide variety of accomplished artists who comprise our group. Publication is not guaranteed, and is not a perquisite of membership. If you have an event with frequent updates or an extended window of time, we expect you to manage your news on your end and we may or may not repost at our discretion.



Date of Next Meeting: Monday, August 14, 2023, 5:30pm

All ACGA members in good standing are invited to attend our monthly board meeting on zoom. To receive a zoom invitation for the next meeting, email your request to Mari Emori,


This space is envisioned for future listings of upcoming calendar events. Since we have only just launched the submission process in this mailing, we do not have any current events at this time. Please follow the submission process outlined herein.

Professional Kiln Repair Service
NorCal Kiln Repair- “Professional Bay Area repair service since 2006”
· evaluation & repair: ceramic & glass kilns (gas & electric)
· tutorials: operation, safety, maintenance, custom programming
· evaluation & repair: pottery wheels, pug mills, slab rollers
· ventilation repair & installation / studio safety & setup consultations
· new & used kiln recommendations / appraisals: buying & selling
· ceramics troubleshooting: clays, glaze, construction, firing, etc.
Joseph Kowalczyk (Ko-väl-chick)
kiln & ceramics specialist
510 601-5053 ·

Address changes and Membership Changes – Please send all address changes to the membership chair EmilYanos,

ACGA’s Website – Check out our website

The home page now features an ‘artist of the month.’ Populate your own page, and update often. To create and edit your profi  le page, go to the For Members menu, choose Member login, and follow the instructions to find and edit your profile.
Need a website password? Email Emil Yanos at

We look forward to hearing from you!

Follow and Like us on FaceBook (@ClayandGlass) and Instagram (@theACGA)
The ACGA News is sent through MailChimp. If your email bounces you or you have been unsubscribed, you can sign up again – contact Communications Lead Ren Lee at:

Join the ACGA social media group

Link to the Google group:

To email all members via the ACGA Google group you must be a member. Address your clay/glass-related message to:
There are two ways that you can engage in google groups without a gmail account:
1. Via email only
With a non-gmail email address you can still participate in all of the google group activities by replying to emailsand/or sending an email to to start a new thread. You do not have to create any google accounts to do this. If you’re seeing this email, then you’re in the group and can respond to emails like this one that will be sent to the entire group.

More details on how to create and respond to google group messages in the FAQ!
2. Make a google account
While it’s not necessary to have a google account to participate in the google group, you can create one with your non-gmail email address to get access to the google group site, which just aggregates the ACGA google group conversations in one place that’s easy to review and search.

Board of Directors – 2023
2023 Officers
President: Mari Emori
Vice President: TBD
Secretary: Sally Jackson
Treasurer: April Zilber
Lee Middleman, Jan Schachter, Joe Battiato, Emil Yanos, Trudy Chiddix, Cheryl Costantini,
Chris Johnson, Ren Lee, Susie Rubenstein, Iver Hennig, Sonja Hinrichson, Vicki Gunter, Barbara Prodaniuk

Committee Chairs
Communication – Ren Lee
Exhibitions – Jan Schachter
Festival Liaison – April Zilber
Festival Jury Coordinator – Chris Johnson
Historian – Cuong Ta
Int’l Ambassador – Barbara Brown
Membership Coordinator – Emil Yanos