Lisa Bradley sat before a plaster mold, pressing clay into it to form something that wasn’t your standard plate, vase or mug, but a lampshade.
It seems that Savannah’s Clay Spot is not your average pottery studio.
With a background studying clay at Kent State University and working with Savannah’s Cultural Affairs Department, Bradley opened the community clay center to enrich the local artists’ community.
“I was working with artists, coordinating a variety of classes,” Bradley said, “but I was starting my own studio time at 9 p.m. till 2 a.m. then getting up at 7 a.m. and starting my normal work day.”
It took a few years before deciding it was time to figure out her lifestyle, one that didn’t require late-nights and early rising.
“So I said, ‘I’m going to branch out and open my own studio.’”
What came to fruition was Savannah’s Clay Spot on the corner of Barnard and Henry Streets adjacent to Eckburg Hall.
Open since September 2011, the studio offers several classes ranging to suit the novice thrower to the seasoned silk screener.
Though the classes cost from $90 – $195, hefty for anyone on a tight budget, they offer a four-hour open studio for $16, perfect for anyone wanting to beat the summer heat.
Much like the motivation behind opening the studio, Bradley has seen students and locals step outside their normal mediums to try something new.
What’s more? The pressure of academia is absent.
“The thing about this opportunity is that it’s laid back,” she said. “There’s not that academic pressure to really produce good work to get that A. The guards would be down and you’d be more open to experimentation.”
While the quintessential college experience revolves around bars, parties and sometimes the necessary all-nighter, students in Savannah have a unique opportunity to experience a diverse city in an embracing arts community.
“Don’t have blinders on — look outside, see what else is going on in your community,” Bradley said, cutting off the excess of clay around the soon-to-be mini lampshade, “and you need to live a creative life as well.”
IF YOU GO:
Savannah’s Clay Spot
1305 Barnard St.
Classes: Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – noon and 5-9 p.m.
Open Studio hours: Register online, go to savannahsclayspot.com