As new members of our Chatham County community, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series this year because art is an integral part of Chatham County’s identity. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
For the past 18 months, it’s been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs for Chatham Clay studio owner, Stan Cheren, who opened his studio doors to the public in January 2019. After a successful first year of workshops, open studio attendees, and 8-week classes for students to delve into the world of pottery, 2020 is proving to be full of challenges.
“We closed the studio in March and reopened in July with fewer students and more space for each student. SBA loans will keep us afloat until the end of the year, and then we’ll see what the future holds.”
Stan started his career in pottery with a summer ceramics workshop with Cynthia Bringle at the Penland School in Western North Carolina in the 1960’s. As Stan notes, “That’s all it took for a fine arts painting major and art history minor from Florida State University to get captured by clay.”
He started out teaching at various public and private schools, graduate studies in ceramics and jewelry at East Tennessee State University, a summer internship with master potter/designer Ron Burke in New York, a teaching post at “Arts and Crafts” in Detroit and then the creation of a crafts-centered community near Burnsville in the North Carolina mountains. After an extended stay on the West Coast, Stan packed up the studio and moved back home to the Piedmont with his wife in 2004.
When Stan moved to North Chatham from Chapel Hill, he realized he needed a studio. “I worked for a while in Siler City at the NC Arts Incubator, but then I decided to create a studio in Pittsboro near Fearrington Village, where we moved to. I bought out a studio in South Carolina and then opened the Chatham Clay Studio to the public. It seemed to be the right place at the right time. And it was.”
Stan and his team have worked hard to adapt the studio to conform with Covid-19 prevention requirements, including increased space between workstations and mandatory mask wearing for all attendees.
There are many different classes to choose from for the Fall, including:
- Throwing Fundamentals (8-week session)
- Beginning and Intermediate Wheel (8-week session)
- Handbuilding and Wheel (8-week session)
- Face Mug Workshops (single day session)
- Open studio opportunities
To see more information about each of the classes, visit the Chatham Clay Studio’s registration page.
As for plans for the future of the studio, Stan hopes that he will be able to expand. “Our dream is to have the studio prosper as it is now configured with an increasing number of classes and students and to expand our footprint in Pittsboro. In the future, my hope is to begin to emulate Penland with additional classes in other crafts and arts.”
- What: Chatham Clay Studio classes
- When: various, throughout September and October
- Where: Chatham Clay Studio, 136 Fayetteville St, Pittsboro
- Cost: Varies, depending on the class
- For more information: visit the Chatham Clay Studio’s registration page