We founded Clayworks as a group of 9 young potters and sculptors working at Towson University. The idea of Clayworks was born out of frustration because our instructors weren’t listening to us. They refused to include us in decisions that affected our education as artists.
Over beer and pizza we decided to start a clay community that was inclusive. It would operate by including the community in decisions, realizing that the 9 of us didn’t have the only ideas. We were better as a group. Clayworks has followed that concept since its inception 39 years ago.
There have been hard times..financially and emotionally. Sometimes it took us a little longer to remember our need to bring everyone in to the decision making process. But we always ended up there.
It brought us great energy, creative ideas, a feeling of community ownership of changes .. and funding because of these concepts.
In the beginning as young artists with a lot to lose we signed over our homes and vehicles..our assets.. as collateral for the first Clayworks building. With trust in the leadership to be good stewards of Clayworks, we never lost our properties. We were the owners of the library building until the addition was added.
We sold the property at well below market value to the non-profit … for the good of expanding Clayworks. We did it to help Clayworks grow.
All this is to say it would be the greatest irony if Clayworks fails because the current leadership refuses to understand the history and strength of Clayworks.
We implore you to listen to the community. Let them help you out of this latest crisis, as the community has done in previous bad times. You will find energy, creativity, a desire to participate in the rebirth of … and, yes, funding to get us back on our feet.
Please pause the sale of our biggest asset while we come up with a plan forward … together.