Good Company: BKLYN CLAY’s Inclusive Mission

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When Jennifer Waverek Opened Up Bucklin Clay, a ceramics studio in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, in 2018, little did she know that two years later her business and the world would be turned upside down.

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She envisioned the space as a space that would give members of all skill levels and ages access to a nurturing environment to take private lessons, group classes and workshops, and be part of events that reflect an appreciation for ceramics. will promote.

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A ceramicist himself, Waverek was disappointed that other studios had limited space to dedicate the time needed to a “labor intensive art form” while accommodating the busy schedule of New York life.

“There’s something about this process that lends itself to a shared community experience, so that’s where the idea came from. People desperately needed this kind of space, whether they were working on their own practice.” Be it, or be an Etsy maker,” says Waverek.

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Fast forward to 2020 and the disruption brought by COVID-19.

“I didn’t know if it meant the end of the world, I didn’t know how the behaviors were going to change, or if people wanted to come back again,” she adds.

Ultimately, BKLYN CLAY was sustainable even during a global pandemic. She says 75% of BKLYN CLAY’s paying members remained on board even during the four months the space was closed. This, along with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) support from the government, ensured that its employees could stay employed.

During this time, he also reconciled how BKLYN CLAY’s mission could fit into larger efforts to build a more equitable society in light of the nation’s wider racial count.

Over the past year, she has launched an artist residency to provide greater access to people of color working with ceramics. he also started Bucklin Clay Made, the business’s first made-in-studio home line of ceramic products.

Bucklin Clay

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BKLYN CLAY offers a wide variety of classes, from semester-long courses to private lessons. Through BKLYN CLAY MADE, the studio sells a home-made dinnerware line, while it also sells materials such as clay, underglazes and repair kits for ceramic artists. Additionally, it sells ceramic bongs and vases.

cost

BKLYN CLAY offers the traditional membership – a three-month minimum commitment for US$275 and a semi-private work place membership for US$600.

Semester-long classes cost US$550 for teens and US$675 for adults, while one-time classes cost US$85, among other studio offerings. For a complete list, check it out Website,

Items currently available at the member store range from a US$40 dish set to a US$450 vase. BKLYN CLAY Made’s dinnerware line ranges from an “egg plate” for US$40 to a “chicken dinner plate” for US$60.

His bong/vase project consists of items that cost US$300. They are also selling “Banorah” created in collaboration with e for effort– On time for Hanukkah – for 280 US dollars.

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When asked to describe BKLYN CLAY Waverek he said it offers “a new way” to reach “the modern ceramic studio”.

One thing she finds particularly exciting is walking around the studio and seeing what everyone is working on at any given time. From functional ware to works by gallery-presented artists, BKLYN CLAY runs the full spectrum of experience and artistry.

Bucklin Clay

what is good

In the spring of 2021, BKLYN CLAY announced it Artist Residency Program to support the work of Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color (BIPOC) creators.

During the 2020 National Count on Race and Equity, Waverek says the idea was pitched to find a way to give people of color a bigger, more inclusive platform in the world of ceramics.

“The arrival of these residents has become so big, it really expands the studio in this really wonderful way, where people are working… [is] So smart, it’s so relevant, and I think we’re looking forward to elevate these artists and bring more people of color to these big ceramic shows and bring them into the mix,” she explains.

The residency lasts four months, offers semi-private studio workspace, access to studio materials, US$100 in firing credits and the option of audit classes.

Those artists have to spend at least 15 hours each week in the studio, give an artist a speech or teach a workshop on a topic, hold a closing exhibition in the space’s entrance gallery, and finally the next four application rounds. To work as a juror. According to the website of BKLYN CLAY.

what will happen next

The residency program will continue and WaveReck is excited to see what new artists apply.

In addition, she hopes to open additional space. Currently, BKLYN CLAY has a huge waiting list and classes sell out immediately as they become available.

“I also want to be able to open it up so that we can find people who can’t take a class but are willing to work with us—some kind of foundation that helps kids in the arts in the city who have resources.” No, but there is interest,” she says.

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