A Place For Ceramists

Interested in making pots? A fan of fine art ceramics? The Celadon Gallery in Water Mill and the Clay Art Guild of the Hamptons, Inc. has got you covered. The gallery is now open for the season and there are still membership spots in the non-profit clay artist organization.

May brings multiple exhibitions, a fundraiser, gas kiln firings and the launch of Celadon Speaks, a series of talks given by select exhibiting artists. The talks are part of Celadon Enlivens!, dual programs “designed to stimulate your ceramic creativity.” The other series, Thursdays @ Celadon, features ceramists sharing “their secrets” on topics like glaze, throwing clay in sections and marketing ideas.

Helping fan the whirlwind of activity is Nancy Robbins, director of the Celadon Gallery. She’s also the board president and a founder of the Clay Art Guild of the Hamptons, Inc., which owns Celadon Gallery.
Robbins graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in ceramics and studied ceramic engineering and glaze chemistry at Alfred University. She worked as the Senior Craftsmen of Ceramic Reproductions for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Since 1990, she’s been a studio potter. She works almost exclusively in porcelain made on the potter’s wheel.

The Clay Art Guild of the Hamptons, Inc. was formed in the late nineties by a small group who wanted to foster the ceramic community on the East End and keep the art in fine art pottery, said Robbins. A few years later, the group transformed a small building on the Water Mill Museum grounds into their seasonal home and opened the Celadon Gallery.

The ability to offer firings to potters and beginners was important to Robbins. Celadon Gallery has an outdoor gas kiln for use by its members in supervised group firings. (Celadon is a type of glaze.)
“Firing drives me as a potter,” she said. “There are two types of potters: Mud and fire. Pottery, for me, is all about what happens in the kiln.”

The Clay Art Guild is determined to keep on keeping on. Outreach to other non-profits is expanding. This year’s summer student internships are fully funded by a grant, Robbins said. A capital campaign is beginning with the hope of a permanent and expanded home.

“We love it here [the Celadon Gallery] but it’s a dream to have a real ceramic center with the works: Firing, a gathering place, expanded space for workshops and for programs.”

The Clay Art Guild & The Celadon Gallery:

To see Nancy Robbins’ work:

pat rogers

Pat Rogers is a freelance writer specializing in arts and culture on Long Island. When not going to art openings or interviewing actors or musicians, she’s looking for the next interesting story.