Upcoming Ceramics Classes

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Ceramics/Sculpture Department

Ellen Sachtschale

Ellen Sachtschale


Instructor: Ellen Sachtschale
March 23–25, 2018 (Friday–Sunday, 9:30am–4:30pm)
All levels

This class is no longer available for registration. For more information, please call the Mendocino Art Center Registrar:
707 937-5818, ext. 10 or toll-free 800 653-3328, ext. 10


Make a variety of fountains using textured soft slab techniques that Ellen Sachtschale is known for. She will discuss all of the technical considerations necessary for creating beautiful, functional fountains. All will be demonstrated in Ellen’s trademark organic style.


ELLEN SACHTSCHALE fell in love with clay as a teenager and has been doing it ever since. She worked entirely on the wheel for the first ten years. One winter break, she missed working with clay and didn't have access to a wheel, so she started hand building. "That was when I discovered that I love asymmetry and texture and working larger than I could possibly work on the wheel. Clay became much more exciting to me then. I've been primarily a hand builder ever since."

The organic forms that she is best known for developed in the 90's. That was when she discovered that heavily grogged clay will stay suspended in many amazing forms. Her favorite was to belly it out by stroking it from within. This technique led to the bulbous plant-like forms she is known for today.

Ellen began teaching in North Carolina in 1996 at the Carrboro Art Center. She moved to California in 1998 and began teaching at Civic Arts Ed in Walnut Creek. "Teaching is very inspiring! I thrive on the creative exchange with my students and I am constantly driven to come up with new and interesting forms to create in class."

For her first decade in California, she was able to teach and create her art for the joy of it, participating in a few art shows each year. In 2009, however, her life changed dramatically when her husband died unexpectedly. With three kids in high school, Ellen was challenged to create a sufficient income for the family. This is when she developed Generous Nature Pottery as a side business that creates Blessing Bowls and Seeds of Gratitude. These Bowls and Seeds contain hand made paper ribbons on which to write personal notes of blessings and gratitude. "Generous Nature Pottery is dear to my heart because it puts my values out into the world. It encourages people to slow down in this hectic life and express themselves sincerely to those who are special to them."

Ellen teaches her soft slab techniques for Garden Vessels in workshops throughout Northern California. She continues to teach Garden Vessels, Totems and Teen Clay at Civic Arts in Walnut Creek, CA.

Visit Ellen Sachtschale's website

Current MAC Members: $283
Non-members: $315 plus a $45 non-member registration fee

There is a registration fee of $45 for each class for non-members. Current Mendocino Art Center members do not pay a registration fee and may take 10% off each class registration. The discount is reflected in the prices above. Not a member yet? You may sign up below.
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Cancellations must be made in writing, either by mail or email. If you notify us at least 21 days prior to the first class meeting, you will receive a refund of tuition less a $45 cancellation fee. No refunds will be made after that date for any reason due to our contractual obligations and material acquisitions. If the Art Center is compelled to cancel a class you will receive a full tuition refund. Memberships are non-refundable as they are considered a donation to the Art Center.

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