Renee’s Story

Growing up in northern Illinois -  I was treated to large naturally occurring veins of native clay; suitable for forming straight from the banks of the creeks where we would play.

Forming small animals, pinch pots, damming up the flow of small creeks, the smooth infinitely malleable clays were a source of endless entertainment.

I was also blessed to have come of age in a public school system in the 70’s when art classes were a given, and support for a liberal exploration of life was rightly viewed as a means of the highest development of the human psyche.

In the 10th grade I was introduced to pottery proper, inspired by my teacher who was exploring crystalline glazes in the old school way prior to the use of pyrometers and controlled cooling. I marveled as I watched him determine temperature range by the color of the fire and participated in his delights and disappointments upon the unloading of the kiln.

Being a child at the beginning of my journey,  I of course had nothing to do with complex firing, glaze chemistry or for that matter -  more than rudimentary exposure to the wheel. However - we did study form, history and committed our wares to his gas kiln behind the school and had several exposures to raku, exploding pottery, joys and losses and a few items that inoculated me with the ceramic bug that keeps me engaged to this day.

In college I audited my ceramics classes as work demands did not allow for the dedication to set times. This gave me access however to the lab and to every class I could attend as well as a little money on the side from wares I could sell along the way.

Upon early adulthood and early travels I came to encounter a pottery collective in Snowmass Colorado headed by Paul Soldner. While I did not stay there for long I did purchase a kickwheel, my first investment it what would become a lifelong passion. Crated and placed in the floor of my vw microbus and with inspiration that a life in pottery was possible - my partner and I continued to make our way towards the Pacific Ocean.

Renee at wheel

On the Central Oregon Coast I was fortunate to meet up with a local potter -  Jim Gore, who ran The Pot Works studio throughout the 1970’s and into the 80’s. He was moving on to more fiscally rewarding potentials and graciously offered up his complete studio along with materials, gas kiln and endless hours of mentorship on everything from production skills, to glaze making, kiln firing to business practices. In short doing what he could to assist myself and my partner Will Strahan to get our pottery off the ground. Sah-Sin Pottery was born.

Life has a way of throwing up twists and turns along the way, and mine was no different.  While successful - it needed to be shuttered as life had its way, and decades past.

In 2018 the timing was finally again right to get back to my old passion and Rasa Clay Works was born. Along with my two creative partners and a nurturing place to create -  I am at last able to dedicate myself to making functional heirloom pottery for the future and the present.

Discover Our New Work First

Discover Our
New Work First

And get first dibs before it goes to market!

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