Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 4:00 PM EDT
Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT

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Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center 
600 4H Center Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630

Driving Directions 


  • FULL CONFERENCE with lodging & meals – All 4 days$485. Per person cost is based on sharing a room at the 4-H Educational Center. Includes all meals. Includes two-year membership.
  •  For Students Must be a full-time ceramics or art student in an accredited university program. Limited availability. Includes two-year membership; full 4-Day Conference, meals, lodging. $250
  • FULL CONFERENCE with meals and Friday night Special Dinner, No lodging on campus $385. Additional Lodging can be found in Front Royal. Includes two-year membership.
  • Full conference, no meals, no lodging but includes Friday night Special Dinner. Includes two-year membership. $345. 
  • Saturday & Sunday Only – includes two-year membership and Saturday 4-H lunch $250.
  • Guests (not attending the conference) can attend the Friday Night Special Dinner - $35.

Cancellation Policy - 80% refund if cancelled in writing before September 1, 2017.  No refunds after September 1, 2017


Lore Potoker 
The Clay Connection 



The four-day Biennial Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference is held at the Northern Virginia 4H Educational and Conference Center. Each time the Conference has offered clay related instruction through useful demonstrations and workshops to over 100 potters, hand builders, and sculptors from across the nation. Participants of all skill levels come away with new ideas and inspiration from this stimulating learning experience.
This year’s conference features nationally known potters Adrian Arleo, Martha Grover and James Watkins as the weekend’s Main Presenters.

On Friday, regional ceramicists lead a variety of exciting hands-on workshops. Throughout the Conference there are many opportunities to make new acquaintances and renew past friendships. 
Ongoing Vendor Exhibits will have product demonstrations and ceramic supplies for sale.

4-H Educational and Conference Center Lodging: Rooms have 3 bunk beds with private bath. Up to 3 people can be booked per room on bottom bunks. More information will be available when you register.
Other Lodging: In Front Royal, visit www.discoverfrontroyal.com.

James Watkins, Martha Grover and Adrian Arleo


Learn more about the Artists in their Bios at http://www.theclayconnection.org/conference-2017/

Martha Grover - marthagrover.squarespace.com

Adrian Arleo - adrianarleo.com


NEW! PRE-register and Pre-pay for Eight Limited-enrollment Hands-on Workshops!  Register today online or by mail for the limited-enrollment hands-on workshops that you want to attend. Choose the session(s) you want and indicate the times (AM, PM, or evening). Spaces are limited but observing is allowed except for all Raku and Primitive Firing sessions due to safety reasons.
Limited-enrollment Hands-on Workshops:

  • Slab-Built Boxes: Michael Hough. This will be a 21/2 hour, project-intense workshop using leather-hard slabs, textured surfaces, and decorative elements to create a one-of-a-kind lidded cubist box form. max 12. AM Session.
  • Hand-built Extruded Vases: Robert Devers: . Explore the use of the extruder to create multi-chambered crystalline vase forms using soft and leather-hard hollow extrusions. max 12. PM Session.
  • Surface Ornamentation: Kate Westfall. Embellish wet, leather-hard tiles with silk screened transfers and practice creating and applying sprigs (delicate ornamental pieces). Demonstrations include silk screening, sprig mold making, and decal application. max 15/session. AM & PM Sessions.
  • Hand Made Brushes: Marianne Cordyack. Learn the easy steps for making your own “Japanese-style” brushes to decorate your work.max 15. PM Session: 1st half, from 2-3:30pm.
  • Portrait Sculpture: Guy Zoller. Using a model, participants will sculpt a bust or portrait in clay. Attention will be devoted to process and techniques, the use of tools, and the permanent preservation of the results. Finishing the sculpture with glazes or patinas will be discussed. Materials fee: $35. max 12. AM Session. 
Pre-registered participants are to bring bisqued pots to the next Three limited-enrollment hands-on workshops.Open to all skill levels!
  • Naked Raku: Ray Bogle. Ray will guide you through the process of glazing and firing your bisque ware naked-raku style,a technique that allows you to remove the glaze at the end, leaving a beautifully patterned piece. Bring 3 bisqued pieces per session. max 8 /session. Materials fee: $45. AM & PM Sessions. Recommended Clay: Soldate 60 or any Raku clay.
  • MobileRaku Firing: Brett Thomas. Brett will guide you through the decoration and glazing techniques and firing process of contemporary Raku, using your personal bisque ware. Bring 5 bisqued pieces per session. max 15/session. Materials fee: $55. PM Session and an 8 PM Evening Session. Recommended Clay: Soldate 60 or any raku clay.
  • Primitive Firing Sampler: John Jensen, Colleen O’Sullivan, and Main Presenter James Watkins will use several sawdust pit firing techniques: oil drum, brick chimney, and garbage cans; and several options for interesting colorants. Bring 4 bisqued pieces per session. max 12/session. Materials fee: $45. AM & PM Sessions. Recommended Clay: any cone 6 w/sand or grog like Laguna 66 or BMix 5.
Friday Demonstrations, Workshops, and Discussions with NO Limited Enrollment and No Pre-registration Sign-up:
  • Mixing and Layering Mid-Range Glazes: Diana Faris/AMACO/brent. (Hands-on. No limit to participate) Blend and layer cone 5-6 brushing glazes to create your own color values and glaze effects. AMACO Celadon and Potters Choice oxidation glazes provide limitless possibilities without all the dry materials and chemicals. An assortment of glazes will be available for mixing and layering on textured bisque tiles. Participants are encouraged to bring their own small bisque pots or test tiles to glaze during class. AM & PM Sessions.
  • Contemporary Trenchers: Brett Thomas. (Demo) Historically, Trenchers are a medieval dish to serve food. Brett will demo throwing oval forms and hand-built large-scale slab forms in making the Trenchers. AM Session.
  • Crash Course in Breaking into Online Sales: Barbarah Robertson. (Discussion) This lecture will cover the basics of breaking into the world of online sales. We’ll be covering things like social media; catering to your target audience; search engine optimization; and more. AM Session.
  • Not Your Average Handle Demo: Jane Cullum. (Demo) Using her over 40 years of ceramic experience, Jane of Manassas Clay will be demonstrating a variety of handles--pulled, coiled, thrown, and slab—using textures, stamps, sticks, and toys! PM Session.
  • Photographing Your Pots: Dick White and Natasha Thomas: (Demo) Learn the tricks to improving photos of your ceramic-ware—how to set up a photo booth; use of light—natural or lamps; and using gradient backdrop. AM Session.
  • Electric Kilns: Mike Swauger, The Kiln Doctor. (Discussion) Kiln maintenance can keep your kiln running better and longer without a service call. Mike will share tips and tricks to keep your kiln tip-top including new technology in kiln controls. PM Session.
  • How to Diversify for a Successful Pottery Business: Jayne Shatz Leads a Genius Bar with a Diverse Panel (Panel Discussion) How to diversify for successful pottery business that lasts a lifetime not just a temporary fling; having a pottery business, providing workshops for the clay community; writing; blogging; ceramic research; making dvd’s; and more. PM Session: second half, from 3:30-5:00pm.

Vendor Presentations Ongoing Friday & Saturday |

Daily Schedule

Oct.5 Thursday Evening: Welcome Activities  

4:00-6:00pm    Conference Check-in - Drop-offs at Check-in for: Pot Exchange, Empty Bowls Donations, Attendee Art Show (You may submit one piece and it may be for sale. No judging).

6:00-7:30pm    Hors d’oeuvres ‘Meet & Greet’ Sponsored by Our Vendors
7:30pm              Friday Presenters’ Digital Image Show

Oct.6 Friday Hands On Workshops/Demos/Ceramic Vendors

NEW! PRE-Register and Pre-Pay for Eight Limited-enrollment Hands-on Workshops.

7:30-8:30am   Conference Check-in Continues for Friday Arrivals - Drop-offs at Check-in for: Pot Exchange, Empty Bowls Donations, Attendee Art Show (You may submit one piece and it may be for sale. No judging).
7:30-8:30am    Breakfast
8:00-11:30am  Naked Raku and Primitive Firing Sampler (AM Sessions)
8:30am-Noon  Vendor Area Open
9:00am-Noon  Workshops/Demos (AM Sessions)
Noon-1:00pm   Lunch
12:30-4:00pm  Naked Raku, MobileRaku Firing, Primitive Firing Sampler (PM Sessions)
1:00-2:00pm    Vendors Special Presentations; then Open and Ongoing through the Afternoon
2:00-5:00pm    Workshops/Demos/Vendor Area Open (PM Sessions)
5:00-6:30pm    Break
6:30pm  Catered Dinner, Membership Meeting, Scholarship Winners, Pot Exchange, Music and Dancing
8pm-11:30pm  MobileRaku Firing (New Evening Session)

Oct.7 Saturday Main Presenters

7:30-8:30am    Conference Check-in Continues for Saturday Arrivals - Drop-offs at Check-in for: Empty Bowls Donations, Attendee Art Show (You may submit one piece and it may be for sale. No judging).
7:30-8:30am    Breakfast
8:30-4:30pm    Vendor Exhibit Area Open – Ongoing
9:00am-Noon   All-Day Demonstrations by Main Presenters:                                                             James Watkins, Martha Grover, and Adrian Arleo
Noon-1:00pm  Lunch
1:00-4:00pm    Demonstrations by Main Presenters Continue
6:00-8:30pm    Dinner Buffet and Open House at The Kiln Doctor
    Store in Downtown Front Royal

Oct. 8 Sunday: Main Presenters Continue

7:30-8:30am    Breakfast

Check-out of Rooms by 9:00am
9:00am-Noon   Demonstrations by Main Presenters:                                                                           James Watkins, Martha Grover, and Adrian Arleo
1:00pm  Conference Ends 

 1:00-2:00pm  Conference Clean up (Volunteers Needed)

Thank you!

NEW Volunteer Sign Up

The success of this conference and keeping its price reasonable depends on everyone helping a little bit--such as helping to set up before or clean up after the conference or an individual workshop. Every registered attendee is encouraged to sign up for a specific volunteer opportunity now by clicking on the link below. 

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