Now in its third year, ViaClay Community Pottery Studio is gearing up for summer fun with morning and afternoon sessions for kids ages 10 and up – and for the third summer, Sarah Luepker will be leading the two-week sessions beginning June 13th.

With a degree in art, certification in teaching, and more than 10 years at the wheel developing her own creative practice, Sarah heads ViaClay’s team of experienced and enthusiastic instructors. “Many of our kids will be returning for their second or third summer with us and are nearing an intermediate skill level. My job is to balance the classes to make sure everyone is motivated and challenged by their projects.” Sarah is committed to creating a fun environment while helping kids build confidence. “Throwing at the wheel is not something that you can master in one or two sessions,” says Sarah. “When I have a child who’s developed expertise quickly in other areas, they can be initially frustrated. Helping them move through and enjoy their own learning curve with goal-oriented positive energy is one of my biggest rewards.”

Supportive teamwork has been the key to the Studio’s survival during the pandemic. “Last year’s expansion was a leap of faith, but it took us to a whole new level and allowed us to hold more classes in a dedicated space,” explains studio manager John Beck. “Our roster of teachers expanded, we’ve added new equipment, and our community of members has doubled.” Neighborhood regulars are no longer surprised to find a full classroom and a busy members’ studio lighting up the block most nights.

To celebrate their success, ViaClay will host a “Spring Fling” open house and pottery sale on Friday, April 1, beginning at 5pm. “One of the reasons I felt strongly about locating ViaClay on Marion Street was the obvious opportunity to partner with neighborhood retailers,” says Gabe Tetrev, ViaClay owner. “I’m excited to work with people who share our creative vision and commitment to the local scene. For next Friday’s event, we’ll be serving tasty goods from Carnivore, Inc., Anfora Wine Merchants, and Blackout Baking Company – delicious sweets, savories, and some wonderful Italian wines should make for a great party and get people thinking about their own summer gettogethers.”

Creating beautiful tableware is the focus of Gabe’s own practice, so partnering with food purveyors is a natural fit. “We’re thrilled to kick off our third summer with this event to say thank you to all the parents and patrons we’ve worked with in our first years,” says Gabe. All are welcome at the April 1 event, and the pottery sale will continue Saturday, April 2, from 10am to 3pm.

ViaClay Community Pottery Studio is located just south of downtown Oak Park in the Pleasant-Home District at 208 South Marion Street. For more information on Kids’ Camps or to schedule a studio tour, visit ViaClay’s website at, or contact John Beck at or (708) 434-5848.

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