Carbondale Clay Center celebrates potters with annual fall fundraiser

A photo of last year's Carbondale Clay Center event.
Carbondale Clay Center/Courtesy

Matthew Eames quickly got hooked on pottery after he saw a teacher doing a demo of throwing clay on the wheel. 

“I felt obligated to rise to the occasion,” he said. “It’s such a magical and malleable material.”

Eames added, “I was curious, but also I was hilariously being a teenager and it seemed like a good way to make friends and meet a girlfriend. It didn’t work out though.”

Eames has been doing pottery for 25 years and is a teacher at CCC. He’s a ceramics artist.

He is set to join fellow potters at Carbondale Clay Center’s annual fundraiser, Settings: The Potter’s Table. The event, at 135 Main St., is slated for 4-8 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ve been collecting pots throughout the years from various individuals. The collection is several hundred pieces and less than 10% is going to be auctioned off. It’s a way to give back to the community and also fundraise for the Clay Center,” Eames said about the upcoming CCC event.  

Eames isn’t attached to the objects that are going to be auctioned, saying, “I’m excited to see them find a new beautiful home in the valley.”

“The community itself has made the Center what it is. Being able to engage in all those different moments is a very warm and inviting experience,” Eames said about what his life would be like without the CCC. “Having a facility that can give these experiences to the community is lovely.”

Eames said his inspiration for pottery is hard to narrow to a single thing. 

“But it comes back to the curiosity I had when I first started,” he said. “Every person perceives material differently. They create what they want to create, which keeps my curiosity flowing as well.”

A potter creating a bowl on a pottery wheel.
Carbondale Clay Center/Courtesy

Molly Altman also has great experiences with the Carbondale Clay Center. 

“I started doing pottery when I was about 13 at a summer arts camp, and not long after that experience I started taking classes in high school,” she said. “I have no idea what made me want to do it so badly, but for some reason when I saw it was an option I instinctively knew, I want to do that.”

Altman said the possibilities in clay never end, and people have been building on the knowledge and traditions of it since the beginning of human history. She feels honored in being linked to the practice. 

“Without the Clay Center I wouldn’t be in Carbondale at all. The Clay Center has brought so many other young artists like me to this town,” she said in an email. “Who knows where I would be if I weren’t an artist-in-residence here. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that the Clay Center has given me and grateful to be a part of this incredible community.”

Altman said the material itself is always the driving inspiration for her work.

“Forms and moods and ideas come and go, but the properties of clay always stay exciting and inspiring,” she said. “Nature and the environment are the main themes of my work.”

The theme for Carbondale Clay Center’s fundraiser highlights the incredible potters who are its heart and soul, according to a press release. 

There will be chef-prepared food, beverages, live music from local musician Shanti Mae Gruber and a silent auction featuring pieces from CCC’s private collection. Also, the handmade plate and cup chosen by each guest is theirs to take home at the end of the evening, the press release states.

Tickets are available to purchase online at CCC’s website,

If anyone or a business wishes to sponsor this event or a ticket for one of the makers, contact by email at or visit the event page on the website. 

If you go…

What: Carbondale Clay Center Setting: Potter’s Table

When: 4-8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Carbondale Clay Center, 135 Main St.

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