ACGA Newsletter September 2023
ACGA 30th Annual Clay and Glass Festival


‘Tis the season for the glass pumpkin patch and the annual descent of glass pumpkin collectors who simply must add to what is probably already quite a collection. This year, hundreds of thousands of glass pumpkins will be lovingly hand made by glass and clay artists alike, but it is the glass pumpkin patch that most appeals to the imagination.

The humble, approachable pumpkin offers endless variety and color, and these pumpkins amount to affordable, collectible art. Each one begins with a lump of molten glass, transformed by the artist into a textured, transparent or translucent, magical vessel that suggests enchanted midnight carriage rides or idealized dietary goals.

We checked in with our glassblowing members and have assembled a list of pumpkin patch venues for our readers below. Look for one or more in your area or begin your quest to visit them all. Happy Pumpkin Patching!


October 28 & 29 – 10am-4pm
Live Oak Grange Glass Pumpkin Patch
Live Oak Grange Heirloom Garden
1900 17th Avenue Santa Cruz

Hand made glass pumpkins and gourds created in the glass blowing studio of local artist Chris Johnson. A portion of all sales donated to the Live Oak Grange to support the awesome work they are doing to promote food security and sustainability in the community. Plenty of Free Parking.


October 14 & 15, 21 & 22 – 11am – 5pm
Santa Cruz Open Studios Pumpkin Patch
13163 Azalea Ave Boulder Creek

Sept 30 & Oct 29
Blow Your Own Glass Pumpkin
Viscosity Glass Boulder Creek
Sign Up Here


Sept 23 – 24 – 10am – 5pm
Delfino Farms Pumpkin Patch – 3205 N Canyon Rd, Camino

Sept 30 & Oct 1, – 10am – 5pm
Great Glass Pumpkin Patch – Palo Alto Art Center – 1313 Newell Rd, Palo Alto

Oct 6 – 3pm – 9pm,
Oct 7  –10am – 9pm
Oct 8 – 10am – 5pm
Glass Pumpkin Patch at Santana Row – 377 Santana Row, San Jose

Oct 14 – 15 – 10am – 5pm
Hand Blown Glass Pumpkin Patch – Folsom Parks and Recreation – 48 Natoma St, Folsom

Thursdays – 1 – 7pm
Fridays – Sundays – 11am – 5pm
now until Thanksgiving!
Benicia Art Glass Gallery – 309 First St, Benicia


Sept 23 – 24 –10am -5pm
Delfino Farms Pumpkin Patch – 3205 N Canyon Rd, Camino

Oct 14 – 15 – 10am – 5pm
Folsom Glass Pumpkin Patch – Folsom Parks and Recreation – 48 Natoma St, Folsom

Oct 14 – 15
Halfmoon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Oct 21 – 22
Great Ballis Glass Pumpkin Patch – Ballis Glass, Fresno

Oct 28 -29 – 9am, 11am, 2pm, 4pm
Pumpkin WorkshopMake Your Own
Email for reservations


Glass Pumpkin Patch of Carmel
Hilton Bialeck Habitat – Next to Carmel Middle School – 4380 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel-by-the-Sea
September 16 – 17

Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm

Don’t miss our dazzling display of hand-blown glass pumpkins created by nationally recognized glass artist Nick Leonoff and a curated group of local glass artists. A portion of proceeds will directly support MEarth’s environmental stewardship education programs, reaching over 2,500 youth across Monterey County every year.


ACGA Jury Process


The ACGA welcomes your application to sell your work at the Association of Clay & Glass Artists of California’s annual Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival on the beautiful grounds of the Palo Alto Art Center. Festival Eligibility is a lifetime status as long as your membership is current and you participate regularly in our event.

The ACGA Clay & Glass Festival is a great opportunity to develop relationships with customers, send your work to new homes, and strengthen your network of fellow clay and glass artists. Joining ACGA brings you into a strong community of clay and glass artists.


Susie Rubenstein, ACGA Board Member

I have had two careers – High-Tech and Ceramic Art.

Ceramic art has not always been my professional focus. In my youth, I enjoyed drawing and sketching, and during my high school years I took fine arts classes. My father, David, was a mechanical engineer and I expected to follow in his footsteps as an engineer or scientist. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a BS in physics. I then moved to California to pursue graduate studies at Stanford University. There I earned my PhD in high-energy physics and solid-state physics.

At Stanford I planned an academic career, but, while designing and constructing the equipment for my thesis experiments, I realized that I was more interested in creating new, useful instruments. Thus, after Stanford, I worked with a colleague to found a new company based on the instruments I had built at Stanford – X-ray florescence analyzers.

At our company, Nuclear Semiconductor Inc., we successfully developed X-ray analytical spectrometers. These instruments were used by industry to analyze semiconductors and other high-performance materials for defects, by museums to authenticate art, and by academia for materials research. Tracor Northern purchased our company and, after mergers, is now a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

I was recruited to work for Raychem Corporation in Menlo Park in California, not far from my home in Portola Valley. Raychem was a material science company that created proprietary materials and products used in the energy, electronics, automotive and telecommunication industries. During my tenure in R&D, I invented and developed several conductive polymer devices that were used to protect electronic circuits from over-temperature and over-current conditions. This product line, called Polyswitch, grew to be nearly a five hundred-million-dollar business protecting mobile phones, small motors, automobiles electronics, and telephone equipment. Many of my 35 US patents relate to this new product line.

My final job at Raychem was as General Manager of the Medical Ventures. Of particular interest were the arthroscopic surgical instruments we developed using Raychem’s shape memory alloys. I patented numerous medical products based on this and other Raychem technologies. When Raychem decided to license the medical technology rather than spin off a new venture, I decided to move on. I joined Nellcor Corporation as Senior Director of sensor technology. Nellcor is best known for its successful commercialization of low-cost pulse oximetry. Pulse oximetry is a procedure used to measure the oxygen level (or oxygen saturation) in the blood. Over the next few years, I became Vice President of R&D for the Hospital Division, Nellcor Puritan Bennett (with sales of $1billion).

After Mallinckrodt Corporation acquired Nellcor Puritan Bennett, I decided to take nine months off for travel and to explore art. That led to taking ceramics art classes at the Palo Alto Art Center and Foothill College. When it was time to return to the high-tech world, I decided ceramic art would be a great new career. So here I am!

Now on to Ceramic Art.

From my earliest work on the pottery wheel, I was always fascinated by the natural texture that develops on the outside surface of the thrown piece. This occurs if you expand the piece, usually a cylinder, from the inside only without touching the outside. (This takes a little practice as most potters work both the inside and outside surfaces.) In this way the surface develops a natural grainy, geologic, or continuously irregular pattern. The surface can then be thinly glazed to retain the surface texture.

When I visited Japan in the summer of 2000, I had the privilege of meeting Shimaoka Tatsuzo, a “National Living Treasure.” There I saw his wonderful “Jomon Zogan” – rope-impressed inlayed work. I was so captivated by his textures that I returned home to copy his technique. Soon however, I began developing my own deeper textures, which I applied prior to expansion of the cylinder on the wheel. Although we have very different styles, I continue to use his work as inspiration.

This new technique (for me) took a lot of practice: How to get the texture to match all around the vessel, especially where it wraps back on itself. How to prevent distorting the cylinder when deeply impressing it. How to retain a uniform pattern during expansion. And many other issues. From this I developed textures and vessel shapes that I felt reflected curves, shapes, and elements in Nature.

Now after over twenty years, although I continue to enjoy the process and results, I sought new expression for textured work that was beyond the symmetric wheel-thrown forms. I experimented with altering these forms, incising the work, and other ways to break the complete form into space. Potter Bob Kinzie introduced me to the idea of creating large slabs from my textured cylinders and using them to hand-build.

After creating a few of the wheel-thrown textured slabs, I immediately was drawn to creating textures and forms that you would identify with stone and wooden structures created by man. The final ceramic forms trigger thoughts of towers, lanterns, and ancient buildings. I feel most of them convey a sense of serene, weathered ancient places and times. More recently, I was exposed to the fine decoration on Harrison McIntosh’s classic vessel forms. I visited both his retrospective exhibition and his home near Pomona. There, Harrison carefully explained his techniques for sgraffito and glazing. My work in sgraffito vessels now reflect his influences.

As I visit galleries and museums and review images in magazines and books, I believe I stand on the shoulders of many other artists. In particular, Gary Clarion, the supervisor of the Palo Alto Art Center, has strongly influenced my development. His informal instruction in basic ceramic methods enabled me to acquire skills rapidly. And his critique and suggestions are valuable lessons I use today.


Lee creates highly textured, organic surfaces on classic ceramic forms. Although functional, his work is often prized as decorative.  He has participated in three solo exhibitions, 85 group exhibitions in the USA and 48 international group exhibitions. He is past president of the Association of Clay and Glass Artists. He is a founding member and North American Chair of the International Ceramic Artists Association headquartered in Zibo, China. Lee is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics – Geneva, Switzerland. He combines his ceramic career with his strong interest in Asian cultures by accepting invitations to several artist-in-residencies or ceramic woodfire festivals in Asia each year. This September/October he has organized a woodfiring workshop in Aomori, Japan.




From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber, closing September 17, 2023 at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, celebrates AMOCA’s recent acquisition of more than 300 ceramic works collected by Igal and Diane Silber. The exhibition will present a selection of 100 works from this unparalleled collection, representing artists from Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, and North America.

Igal (1936-2021) and Diane (1944- ) Silber began collecting art early in their marriage. Initially they were most attracted to contemporary figurative painting and sculpture. Then, in the late 1970s, the Silbers received the gift of a green crater glazed bowl by Otto and Gertrud Natzler from their friends,Robert Logan and Robert Cugno. The gift of this bowl, clearly a serious work of art, invited the Silbers to consider ceramics as an art form worthy of further study and pursuit. While at first the Silbers focused their ceramics collection on the vessel form, their interests gradually shifted to include figurative and sculptural works as well.

The Silbers added to their collection not by choosing pieces by famous artists, or by seeking to round out missing elements. Instead, Diane shares, “each piece was selected because of its impact on us.”While building a significant contemporary ceramic collection may not have been the Silbers’s initial goal, it was an endeavor that brought the couple joy and allowed them to learn about and meet countless fascinating international artists. As members of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC), the Silbers traveled the world, befriended many artists, and continued to collect varied and compelling pieces. Collecting, both an appreciation of creativity and a creative process in itself, turned out to be an enriching gift for Silbers throughout their lives together.

Exhibition Overview

Over 90 artists, hailing from South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands. Hungary, Germany, England, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Austria have work included in From a Gift to a Collection: Igal and Diane Silber. Artists in the collection include ACGA alumni Mary White and James Lovera. Click here to the full list of artists.

Approximately 60% of the work shown has origins beyond North America, and about two-thirds of the objects on view in From a Gift to a Collection relate to functional forms and vessels; the other third is figurative, sculptural, or narrative.

From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber opens at the American Museum of Ceramic Art,399 N Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91767 on April 1, 4-6 pm with opening remarks at 4:30pm. The exhibition runs through September 17, 2023. The museum is open Friday-Sunday, 11am to 4pm. For more information: or (909) 865-3146

This exhibition is organized by the American Museum of Ceramic Art.


The American Museum of Ceramic Art was founded in 2003, in Pomona, California. The mission of the museum is to champion the art, history, creation, and technology of ceramics through exhibitions, collections, outreach, and studio programming.

Museum Hours

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11am – 4pm


General $14, Senior $9, Student/Pomona Resident $7, Members & under 12 Free


American Museum of Ceramic Art

399 North Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767

(909) 865-3146 •


The deYoung Open
The deYoung Open - Mari Emori
Terracotta Corridor


Opening Day Celebration on Sept 30, 11 am – 4 pm

Building on the tremendous success of the inaugural The de Young Open in 2020, the second triennial of this juried community art exhibition will feature submissions by artists from the nine Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Artworks will be hung “salon style,” installed nearly edge to edge and floor to ceiling, maximizing the number of works displayed. Designed to celebrate and support our local arts communities, this exhibition allows artists to offer their works for sale and retain the proceeds.

The de Young Open exhibition at the de Young Museum will be open from September 30 through January 7. Entry to the exhibition is free during the Opening Day Celebration and every Saturday for Bay Area residents.

ACGA members Mari Emori and Scott Jennings have had their work selected for inclusion in this exhibition.

Open Studios Napa Valley


Sept 16-17 & 23-24

Open Studios Napa Valley is a free self-guided art discovery tour which takes place over two weekends: Sept 16-17 and 23-24.  Seventy artists are participating this year at 43 studio locations.

Whether you’re an avid collector or just curious about art, this is your opportunity to peer into the creative spaces of Napa Valley, meet the artists, watch demonstrations and buy local art right from the source!

Napa Valley Open Studios is presented as a collaborative effort by the participating artists of Art Association Napa Valley.  The program exists because the artists believe in the value of opening their studios to visitors and sharing a unique artistic experience.

Participating ACGA artists include Akemi Adams, Sarah Brown, Karen Winograde and Emil Yanos.


Oct 7-8, 14-15, 21-22

South County studios kick off the tour on October 7-8. Get the free online artist directory at the link below – and look for the guide out wherever you find @goodtimessc on Sept 11.

This annual three weekend event is presented by Arts Council Santa Cruz County and features over 300 local artists! This is a great opportunity to purchase original work direct from the artist and experience their creative process first-hand.

➡️ October 7-8 – South County
➡️ October 14-15 – North County
➡️ October 21-22 – All County

ACGA members participating include Cristy Aloysi & Scott Graham, Yumiko Aso, Drake Bialecki, Jeannine Calcagno, Christine Charter Moorhead, Chris Johnson, Elaine Pinkernell, Randie Silverstien, and Peter Vizzusi

Functional Fall: A Seat at the Table, Juror: Jessica Putnam Phillips

Clay Art Center, Portchester, NY, Sept. 1 – Oct. 16.

More Information: Clay Art Center

Submitted by Linda Fitz Gibbon

Placer Artists Tour
Glass work by Hannah Nicholson and Alana van Altena

Glass work by Hannah Nicholson and Alana van Altena, second-generation glass artists working in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.


Nov 10-12 & 17-19

The Placer Artists Tour celebrates 30 years this year. It is the largest studio tour in the Sierra foothills region, featuring a diversity of art, artist demos and special events. The Tour  happens every November in artist studios, galleries and art schools throughout Placer County. This year’s Tour includes 136 artists, galleries and schools at 82 unique locations.

Glass and clay artists will be represented including ACGA members Emilie Righetti, and Nicholson van Altena Glass.

We hope you will join us for this free tour, which takes place on Veterans Day weekend, Friday, Nov. 10, through Sunday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Many artists will also offer an “Encore” weekend Friday, Nov. 17, through Sunday, Nov. 19, to give patrons more time to visit artists. You can pick up a Guide at Blue Line Arts in Roseville and preview one artwork from each participating artist during the Taste of the Tour exhibit October 21 through November 19. The reception is November 4 from 5 to 8pm.

Visit, for profiles of all the participants, an interactive Tour map and a robust events calendar of all Tour events. It is a year-round resource for the arts in Placer County.



Sept 15-Oct 8


Three of Jane Grimm’s sculptures have been selected to be included in the show, “Finding the Form: Bay Area Sculpture”, at the Sausalito Center for the Arts, 750 Bridgeway, Sausalito.

Show dates are September 15-October 8.

Jane Grimm
Pierre Bounaud



Oct 14 – 15


The Los Angeles Pottery Show, now in its 23rd edition, will be held the weekend of October, Saturday the 14th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday the 15th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. LAPS has a strong emphasis on the collector’s market, with a mix of antique art pottery, vintage art pottery, and contemporary ceramics. It is one of the few places on the West Coast where ceramics enthusiasts come to grow their collection and discover up and coming artists.


Sept 9


Thomas and Kathy Arakawa are participating at the Midori Kai Arts & Craft “LIVE OUTDOOR” Boutique

September 9, 2023

9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Lakeside Office Plaza

1279 – 1299 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Arakawa Pottery
Susie Rubenstein
Liz Lauter - Majolica


Sept 23 – 24

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you explore the various booths and exhibits, interact with the artists, and discover unique treasures to take home. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a music lover, or looking for a fun weekend activity with the family, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival is not to be missed. Mark your calendars and join us in Old Mill Park on September 23rd and 24th from 10-5:00. More information is available at Mill Valley Arts Festival.

Submitted by Susie Rubenstein

Sac Open Studio Exhibition



Shelley Simon, a great artist, teacher, friend, and core member of the Ruby’s community for many years, passed away in July. Shortly before she died, Shelley donated $10,000 to Ruby’s to purchase badly-needed new kiln furniture, which we may come to know as “Shelley’s Shelves”. During a celebration of Shelley on August 27, dozens of people filled the studio to share beautiful photos, humorous stories, and—in true Ruby’s style—a vast array of delicious food! We fondly remember and are incredibly grateful for Shelley’s wonderful spirit and generous contributions to Ruby’s over the years.

Repost from “The Slip Bucket” Newsletter for Friends of Ruby’s Clay Studio & Gallery




September 17th to October 8, 2023


Lee Middleman will host a woodfiring event in Aomori, Japan, September 17 to October 8, 2023, accompanied by 2 American and Canadian potters: ACGA members Miki Shim-Rutter and Chelsea Fried and Alan Lacovesty.  Lee has participated and organized over 10 such events since 2004.

Between 2002 and 2012, over 130 ceramic artists and potters from around the world participated in similar woodfire programs at Kanayama. The program focused on the exchange of techniques and ideas about ceramic art and wood fire. By working together and freely sharing information, the sponsors encouraged mutual understanding and cooperation among potters throughout the world.  Lee hopes this mini-program revives the tradition.

They will also explore the Jōmon ceramic history and Aomori culture.  The Jōmon pottery (縄文土器, Jōmon doki) is a type of ancient earthenware pottery which was made during Jomon period (c. 14,000 and 300 BC) in Japan. The term “Jōmon” (縄文) means “rope-patterned” in Japanese, describing the patterns that are pressed into the clay.  Fragments have been dated as early as 14,500 BCE.

This is Lee’s first return trip to Japan since Covid interrupted his strong interest in exploring Japanese ceramics and culture.  He will post activities and results on social media.

Submitted by Lee Middleman


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, September 11, 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!

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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