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ClaySpace of Lisle forms relationship with 'sister studio' in Sydney

Published: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 6:08 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 3:28 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Studio displays mugs made by resident artists and interns on the "mug wall" – a favorite feature of sister studio potter Brett Stone.
(Photo provided)
Brett Stone travels from Sydney, Australia to Lisle and visits ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Studio on June 16.

LISLE — ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center is looking to benefit from a new relationship with its sister studio, claypool, in Sydney, Australia. 

Located at 740 Front St., ClaySpace is a nonprofit organization with 55 resident artists that offers classes, workshops, a gallery and more. claypool is a creative studio space for ceramic artists and potters that has 47 potters and provides classes and exhibition opportunities. 

The studios decided to form a sisterhood about a month ago, when one of the five core potters from claypool, Brett Stone, came to Chicago to visit a friend. He heard about ClaySpace online and arranged to meet with Marketing Director Karen Musgrave. 

"Sydney and Chicago, though on opposite sides of the world, are quite similar," Stone said in an email. "Each city has many enticements to visit, so providing studio opportunities would be a perfect excuse to jet across the world for a week or month."

The more they talked, the more similarities the two discovered between the studios, Musgrave said. Both started in universities, charge the same price and have had to relocate, she said.

ClaySpace moved from Warrenville to Lisle in September 2013, and claypool is being forced to move because its building is being torn down.

"It was very interesting to hear his perspective and also to find out we all experience about the same problems," Musgrave said. 

Having a sister studio is a way to share ideas, she said, and to have dialogue with someone who has a similar, but different, outlook. 

"In an increasing, globalized, mass-produced culture that America and Australia are part of, fostering the appreciation of the handmade and the craft of making something from clay is something that claypool and ClaySpace are both actively pursuing," Stone said in an email. "Developing a sister studio relationship may, in time, develop into a bigger network, hopefully."

Musgrave said she has no plans to visit claypool at the moment, but hopes to go there someday. 

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