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Murphys pottery shop to host Clay Confluence
Clay Confluence
Ceramic arts students join some of the some of the ceramic artists who will be demonstrating their skills and talent at the Clay Confluence at Quyle Kilns. Clockwise from left: Sandy Fox-Hill, Dennis Mitchell, Bob Price, Amanda Maule, Lisa Dickerson, Rebecca Dunn (Photo contributed).

According to Amanda Maule, ceramics teacher at Quyle Kilns, pottery can be a very isolating craft.

“Some days you can sit at the wheel for hours and not talk to a single person,” she said.

To counteract that isolation, Quyle Kilns, just off Highway 4 near Murphys, will host its first Clay Confluence from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Clay Confluence will be three days of clay-coated fun designed to connect ceramics artists, businesses, and collectors.

“There will be demonstrations all day long. We’ll have around fifteen ceramic vendors and one glass artist showing their work,” said Maule.

Artists who are experts in their craft will demonstrate skills like how to mix colored clays to create marble-patterned agateware, work with paper clay, build slab sculptures, create flutter bowls, throw tall vessels and closed vessels, design mosaics, and more.  Food will be available for a donation.

Each day will feature a fun pottery throwdown for potters with experience.

“We’ll have 10 wheels on the studio deck,” Maule said. “There will be several contests.”

In one, participants will be blindfolded to see how well they can throw by touch. In another, potters will create as many pots that are consistent in size and shape as they can “off the hump”—a big block of clay centered on a wheel—in 15 minutes. For beginners, there will be several projects to explore, from trying your hand at a mini wheel, decorating pots for a raku firing, or participating in a mosaic project. There will be sign up sheets at the event; all projects are first come, first serve.

Quyle Kilns is one of the oldest clay manufacturers and potteries in Northern California.

“We want to celebrate 70 years in business, manufacturing clay, manufacturing pottery,” said Maule.

“Artists need each other. It’s important to have that community to exchange ideas, to learn, to grow, to develop. To teach each other, to inspire each other. 

“The reason we created this event is to continue our clay journey and bring the clay community closer together.”

Learn more about the Clay Confluence at