Clay Workshops and Loving Bowls Studio Sessions Begin Soon


Have you always wanted to create something amazing with just your two hands and some clay? Then Sedona Arts Center’s Ceramics Studio is the right place for you.

From April 11, a new series of ceramics workshops begins in the Art Barn studio. Three different six-week courses, all open to the public regardless of previous experience, will focus on working with clay and creating beautiful objects by hand.

Courses include Ceramics for All Levels taught by Dennis Ott, director of the Arts Center’s ceramics studio, and Pottery Wheel for Beginners, taught by Richard Bayles. Hand Building Ceramics, with instructor Suzy Allan, will also be offered for those 12 years old and up.

“Our Ceramic Studio strives to present the latest clay techniques and advanced trends in the ceramic world, but is also known as a place that welcomes beginners and newcomers,” said Ott. “We provide a nurturing environment in the Art Barn, and a place where students can grow and creativity is always nurtured.”

All of the upcoming ceramics classes are $220 (with a discount to $202 for Arts Center members) and include some materials for the class such as 25 pounds of clay, kiln firings, glazings and one open studio session per week. Registrations are limited to ensure everyone receives individual instruction and development that is personal to them.

For those who have experience in ceramics studios, the Arts Center has now opened its 2016 Loving Bowls weekly production. Each year local potters volunteer their time and make over 1,000 bowls, which are offered at the popular event to raise support for the Arts Center, Sedona Food Bank, and Sedona Community Center. This year’s Loving Bowls event is planned for December 10, 2016 and experienced potters can now get involved by contacting the Arts Center.

“The making of Loving Bowls, every Thursday afternoon from now to late November, is a labor of love,” said Ott. “It’s also a wonderfully creative time in our studio, and a fun opportunity for people to contribute to our community."

To sign up for a ceramics class, or get involved in Loving Bowls, contact the Arts Center office at 928-282-3809.


Sedona Arts Center is a nonprofit organization, established in 1958, and dedicated to the creative life of Sedona. The Art Center’s ceramics studio is active year-round and welcomes people of all abilities. Other programs include a diverse fine art gallery and exhibitions, hundreds of arts education offerings, cultural celebrations and festivals, and much more. For more information any of the Arts Center’s efforts, call 928-282-3809 (office), 928-282-3865 (gallery) or visit



Sedona Arts Center Ceramics Department Head, Dennis Ott (red shirt) unloading bricks for use in constructing the wood-fired kilnThe Sedona Arts Center Ceramics Department’s outreach program traveled to Nicaragua with Dr. Julie Williams to join her nonprofit Humanitarian Efforts Reaching Out (HERO) for an 8-day humanitarian mission last month. SAC Department head Dennis Ott and ceramics student Lew Reilly worked with representatives from Potters for Peace, a nonprofit worldwide humanitarian organization, to build a kiln that will enable locals to create clay water filters for purifying drinking water and vessels for irrigation.

On January 28, the group of 14 volunteers (four of them SAC members) arrived at Managua, Nicaragua, and traveled three hours by dirt road to Chinandega. There the group was hosted by Monty’s Surf Camp where they stayed for 8 days. Dennis and Lew worked with staff from Potters for Peace on the construction of a wood-fired kiln.

“It was heavy, dirty, satisfying work,” said Ott. “The experience of a lifetime.”

Potters for Peace helps communities set up workshops so that locals can produce the clay vessels themselves. The water filters that will be fired in the new kiln will remove pathogens and other contaminants found in local water sources. The vessels used in irrigation are designed to be buried near plantings, then filled with water that leaches slowly through the porous walls into the soil. They are refilled as needed.

The remaining twelve volunteers, including SAC members Jack Wooldrik and Julie Williams, worked on building a brick dwelling for a deserving local family and also cataloging and storing a large quantity of medication to be used for a HERO medical mission in March. HERO was founded in Sedona by Dr. Williams and a small group of people who wanted to offer assistance to those in need. It began as a grassroots medical team that traveled to the remote mountains of Honduras and expanded to a diverse group of volunteers, giving them the ability to serve more people in many more ways.

Working hard for 8 days, they were able to complete the kiln and build 75 percent of the house. One hot afternoon they went by boat to a nearby island to help release 500 endangered black sea turtles that had just hatched at a sea turtle conservatory.

Dennis Ott described his experience in Nicaragua as “unforgettable” and was appreciative of the things we take for granted here in the United States. Living without hot water at the touch of a tap, air conditioning regulated by thermostats, proper sanitation, a wide variety of foods and so many other things, opened his eyes to how a large part of the world lives on a daily basis.

“I have never worked with such a dedicated group of selfless people. They never complained during their entire stay, yet worked very hard to complete their mission.” A bit choked up, Dennis said, “I was just happy to do something to help change the lives of these people who live by a very different standard … to help them on the path to better education, irrigation, clean water and more.”

Hello, Art Lovers! It’s been a long time since my last blog and that trend is about to change. I’ve been busy conjuring up new and exciting things for the community and planning the future of this year’s Sedona PhotoFest, hosted by Sedona Arts Center. And what a fantastic two days of photo-speSeth Casteel Luluctacular events do we have in store for you!

I’ve grabbed ahold of the reigns and am Chairing this year’s event and of course, that means I have to be overly ambitious! Stay-tuned for more on Joyce Tenneson, Seth Casteel, Brad Buckman, Scott Stulberg, Bob Coates and yours truly for our keynote speeches and seminars. Plus, I’m working with Tracey Frugoli to bring the world of fashion photography to students at the Sedona Red Rock High School, with a prize from Sedona Monthly awarded to the best photo! But I’m getting ahead of myself...

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on our 2015 photographer artists, presenters and teachers, starting with Seth Casteel! Seth is going to kick off Sedona PhotoFest on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center with a special talk, “Making a Splash.”

You may have seen Seth’s work – he’s super famous now. He has been known as the “Underwater Dog Guy” has been featured on: GOOD MORNING AMERICA, EXTRA, CNN WORLD REPORT, THE TODAY SHOW, JEOPARDY and in TIME Magazine! As one of the most published pet photographers in the world, his work can be seen in hundreds of magazines, calendars, posters, books, TV shows and maybe even in your Facebook feed.

Seth went from struggling pet photographer to best-selling author and he’s going to tell you all about it on Saturday morning, May 2. He will share his journey, passions and risks as well as give you a spectacular glimpse into his world beneath the surface. His passion for animals shines in everything he does and we couldn’t be happier to have him join us at Sedona PhotoFest this year! Want a little more one-on-one time? You’ll get to see him at the end of the day for a book signing and he’s going to also speak at a seminar on Sunday, May 3 at Sedona Arts Center. Seth will offer tips and tricks about working with domestic pets and the various avenues on how to monetize photographing our four-legged friends! You can visit to learn more about Seth's dedication to helping pets through photography. Seth's books, "Underwater Dogs" and “Underwater Puppies” are available online and in bookstores everywhere.

To learn more about Sedona PhotoFest or to sign up for one of our amazing photography workshops, please visit: And don’t forget to like us on Facebook: