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June 27, 2024 3 min read

Once a month, we are putting out free bags of clay in front of the shop so you can grab a bag and go get creative! If you don't live in Portland, don’t worry! When ever we put out baggies in front of the shop, we also put 10 bags up on our website for $1.

I started giving out free clay during COVID when folks were stuck at home. It was a way for me to feel more connected to the community and use my lagging studio time creatively as the shop was shut down. I felt less isolated because I was interacting through teaching pottery lessons on Instagram, and this made me feel like I was still making a creative difference.

I loved giving mini tutorials and lessons because it took me back to my teaching days. I wracked my brain for simple projects that could be taught online and that required very little skill or special tools. Giving out free clay gave families an activity to share with their kids who were home from school, work-from-home folks had a way to take a creative brain break during their work day, and it was simply a way for us to collectively take our minds off the global pandemic that was unfolding around us. 

I also really loved to see the projects that people made, and hear back about ceramic skills that were developed while using our free clay. Over the past few years, people still pop into the shop and reminisce about their projects or how much they looked forward to coming to grab free clay to make new things.  

Currently, I am craving a similar need for creativity and connection in our community. With all of us getting more involved in our social media lives, online ordering, and sucked into our favorite Netflix shows, getting messy with clay is an incredible reminder of the power of creative outlet. Getting your hands dirty and trying to make stuff out of clay can actually be a stress reliever and bring you a bit of joy! It's also a fun way to connect to our shop, truly understand the craftsmanship that goes into the handmade products we make, and build real crafting skills.  

We have started a series of Clay Time with Carter + Rose videos on Instagram or Pinterest. These tutorials were inspired by how I started my clay journey almost 20 years ago. I started my ceramics journey at my kitchen table, rolling out clay with a pint glass or rolling pin. I used a folk to scratch the clay, and a kitchen sponge to smooth my edges. I learned with a lot of oopses and retries, and redos and practice. My projects went from lumpy bumpy to smoother over time.

I love the simplicity of our clay tutorials because all you need is some clay, your hands and what ever you can find in your kitchen to help out. I also love that the tutorials focus on process over final product. So, even if you just get one lump of free clay, you can use and reuse that same lump over and over, honing your skills and learning new things. As we like to say, "one lump of clay goes a long way!"

Even if you're not going to jump into the ceramics journey, or are hesitant, please share our "free clay" information and classes with anyone you think may want to dabble in clay! And remember, each month you'll get the chance to get creative, on us. I'm convinced: muddy hands will make you happy!

Xo Anna