I am the president here at Queen City Clay, or “Leisure Consultant”, as my older brother liked to call my position. I have the best teaching staff in all the land and love working with them and our incredible student community on a daily basis. I am pretty loud at all times so you should be able to find me in the studio. Some might consider me a good looking rebel that plays by his own rules, while others use the endearing term “dork”. I went to DePauw University for undergrad and got a degree in English (yes, English.) I then went to Wichita State for my M.F.A. in clay. I work mainly on the wheel and create sculpture as well as functional forms. My wife is a UC professor and we have three great kids. Come in and say “hi” sometime. I would love to show you around!
Chrissy is our lead handbuilding instructor and studio administrator. She graduated from Miami University and is the polar opposite of a sorority girl. She has been hardened by northern Ohio winters and raising two kids and a husband. We all do exactly as she says, when she says it. She also happens to be a brilliant teacher and her students tend to say “Well, that’s not how Chrissy does it” when we help them outside of class. We are all convinced that if she wasn’t working for us she would be paid to sit in a room and solve the world’s problems, two at a time.
Jamie Grauvog(oh my god this name is long)el has moved up to our head studio tech and warehouse manager. Jamie is the tallest girl any of us have ever seen. She really helps out when we need to run phone lines through the rafters in the building, get raw materials off of the top rack in the warehouse, or perform lice checks on our shower hating hippie employees. On a serious note though, Jamie is a volleyball smashing, hard-working, retail giant (oops) and is a major reason we are able to tackle as many projects and events as we do in this building. We absolutely love her and respect her talent in sports and clay. We also enjoy the shade she provides in the summer.
Dirty Sculptures, saucy comments, oversize sunglasses…classic Beth. Beth came to us straight from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, or Fancy Pants School as we like to call it. She’s in charge of major accounts and seems to be able to handle ANYTHING! We put her in a straight jacket and suspended her over a shark tank right before we opened…she still beat us to the first customer. Aside from her sales prowess, Beth is also a great teacher and all around ceramic artist. Retail just got cool! Come in and say hi because we love her and we know you will too.
Kirsti#Burton#welcometoqueencityclaycanihelpyou?#jksucka is our opera singing, Facebook updating, glaze selling, sass spilling, Instagram posting, smoking hot Retail Director. Aside from being a good potter, she’s OCD as hell and keeps our office and calendar REAL organized and clean. I used to put everything I ever worked on in stacks on my desk. Now that Kirsti is here I have to keep things in a stupid file cabinet with stupid labels. Come sing some Disney toons with this girl while she helps you pick out glazes.
Kirk is one of the craziest people any of us have met. He can make you think about the world in a completely different way (as long as you understand what he says). In the last few years, Kirk has tripled the size of our sculpture program. His students tend to find their voice quickly and never look back. Please don’t lay any snacks down beside him while you are in the studio. He has two hollow legs and, much like a stray cat, if you feed him once he might follow you home. People who feed him do tend to get their sculptures through the kiln faster. Food for thought.
If we were handing out prizes for the most tattoos, Laurie would win. Didem isn’t far behind, but Laurie still has the championship tattoo belt. Don’t let her tough, inked up exterior fool you though. She is a sweetheart when you get down to it. Aside from being our paint-a-pot glaze guru and an amazing artist, Laurie also makes most of the interior design decisions in the shop. The place is looking MUCH better but we consistently hear things like “Are you going to put a coaster under that drink?” and “You know what might go nicely with that paint color you chose without consulting me…a black eye!” But seriously…she’s very sweet.
Bethany went from our studio and events manager to full time PROFESSIONAL POTTER. I put that in caps because this girl is BIG TIME. We know she has made it because all of the students keep ripping off her style and glaze technique! She is big into the “Local Foods” movement and has forced several of us to start our own gardens. Her kitchen cabinets are covered with flattened out Hudy Delight cans, which should give you insight into her free time. Bethany received her B.F.A. from Northern Kentucky University and uses her skills to create functional, sculptural, and installation based work. We still haven’t found something she can’t do but we will keep trying. Head down to Salazar’s and have lunch on Bethany’s tableware.
Mike started as an Artist in Residence at QCC and transitioned into our advanced wheel instructor. This kid can throw a pot! He can also throw out a mean snort when he laughs, which he does quite frequently. He constantly sings in the studio and wears funny pants. We love him for all of these things. Slip trailing and giant throwing ribs are a few of his favorite things. Mike also works at the library and genuinely enjoys helping people. This fact makes him a great teacher. Take his class before he leaves us for grad school or snorts too hard and injures his vocal chords.
We actually don’t want Phil to teach at all. We just want him to cook all day and night so he can bring us leftovers. Phil’s brisket is AMAZING…and to be fair…so is his glass work. Mr. Taylor joined the program a few years ago and we couldn’t be luckier. He has started a glass program while also looking after our glazes and helping to maintain this massive building. We think he should be living in Portland Oregon because he puts birds on all of his pots, but we love him anyway!
Tony Weiss has been with us for several years now. He is what we like to call a “SUPER VILLIAN”. He is evil to the core and likes to make things like blood ice cream. We can’t deny his talent when it comes to pottery, carving, and sarcasm. Aside from being addicted to weird role-play board games, Tony graduated from film school and produces all of our YouTube videos. He’s definitely a lovable villian and tends to bring out great things in students. Bring your friends in for an open wheel session and experience Tony in all of his evil glory. All joking aside, Tony has become a very good teacher and a key part of our studio team……..a key EVIL part.
Lindsay Garrett helps with our special events and open wheel classes. She started out as a talented clay student with impeccable morals and an infectious look of surprise whenever she heard something offensive or dirty. In fact, we love that shocked look so much that we kept trying to say ridiculous and horrible things to make Lindsay’s jaw hit the floor. Aside from developing an amazing tolerance for filthy language and terrible people, Lindsay has somehow remained……good! She is an animal lover and defender, an avid runner who has completed two “Tough Mudder” courses, and a brilliant artist with skills to match. She makes us want to be better people…..almost.
Didem is a lifetime employee. Close your eyes and picture an artist. Not a French artist, an American artist. You probably just pictured Didem. She helped run our shop on Sundays while getting her B.F.A. at Northern Kentucky University. This girl has the gift. She has thrilled her professors and continues to impress me. If you want to learn how to create a piece of art from an idea in your head, watch and listen to Didem. She is becoming Mega Famous and has a mouth like a sailor. Both of those are good things. As her fame grows, we try to remind her that she still farts and burps just like the rest uf us. Only her’s smell much much much much muuuuuuuuch worse.
Jon was our head wheel instructor and our staff bourbon expert. Then he left us for a coveted spot in the Utah State M.F.A. program. Now the wilderness is holding him hostage and only marriage, babies, and settling down will bring him back to Cincy! Jon now works for SUNY Oneonta and runs a public studio in upstate New York. Don’t ask him what he thinks of your pots…because he will tell you! Jon graduated from NKU with a B.F.A. in ceramics. He focuses on wheel thrown, functional pots for ritual and everyday use. He is a lover of clay history and has spent some time in Japan. Aside from being a very talented teacher, he is also incredibly well versed in firing techniques and materials so if you are looking for answers, bring your clay thoughts to Jon. There are things Jon isn’t good at, though…like…sports….and accepting other people’s opinions. We like him that stubborn, though. He gives us street cred!