Wild Clay Expedition with Zach Sierke

wild clay 1

Title: Wild Clay Expedition

Type of Class: Pottery

Instructor: Zach Sierke


Friday, April 8 , 6pm to 8pm

Sat/Sun, April 9 and 10, 10 am to 4 pm

Dates: Apr 8 – 10, 2022

Price: $375/350 members

This workshop will take you deep into how to find, process, and work with raw clay straight from the earth. This three-day immersion will start with a relaxed evening presentation on clays, wood-firing, geology, and geology.  The following day will be field trips to clay veins and historic pottery sites where we will collect clays to process back in the studio. We will spend the next day in the studio learning about the various ways to make this material useful in your own practice.  This workshop is packed with insider information not only about clay from the region, but also the qualities of clay in general from a working, geological, and chemistry perspective.  I can not recommend this weekend highly enough to anyway who wants to connect their clay practice to the identity of a place.

Students are encouraged to bring in any samples of native materials to examine.

WARNING: This workshop does include outdoor excursions and physical activity. 

Zach Sierke is a Fairhope native and has grown up with  the idealistic vision and natural beauty of the community as a deeply ingrained source of inspiration in all aspects of his life.

A childhood spent deep sea fishing with passionate and myopic focus actively engaged him in understanding the alien world beneath the surface – an approach to problem solving that has informed his life-long interests in gardening, yoga, surfing, music, and understanding the transformation of native clays in wood-fired kilns.

Zach came to clay during his freshman year at Eckerd College and immediately became obsessed with the ceramic process.  The next four years were spent returning to Fairhope, investigating centuries-old kiln sites (including his great, great grandfather’s), hand-mining native clays from every available deposit, and transporting them back to Eckerd College – where he tested them in the wood-fired kiln that he helped build.

He returned to Fairhope after graduation with the plan to build a small kiln and create a body of work with which to apply to graduate school for ceramics.  Through a series of fortuitous events and the generosity and support of the community, he became engaged in the construction of a uniquely innovative, well-researched, and large anagama kiln.

Over the years of working on the kiln project, a cooperative oasis of sustainable-minded  community has evolved around the 1880′s farmhouse and the centuries old live oak trees.

A $25 fee will be charged for all class refunds due to a withdrawal. Refunds will be given up to seven (7) days prior to class start date. Thereafter, no refunds will be given, unless the ESAC cancels the class.


A $75 fee will be charged for all workshop refunds due to a withdrawal. Refunds will be given up to one (1) month prior to the workshop start date. Thereafter, norefunds will be given, unless the ESAC cancels the workshop.


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