KC Clay Guild Instructors
All of our instructors are friendly and skilled in a broad range of ceramics techniques. From hand building to wheel throwing and from functional pottery to ceramic sculpture, our instructors can help you get started in ceramics or reach the next level.
Learn more about each instructor below.
Abby Callaghan graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2017 with a BFA in ceramics and art history. In 2019 she received her MAT from the University of Central Missouri. She has been working with clay for 12 years and teaching ceramics at the Clay Guild for 4 years. During the week she is an elementary art teacher for pre-k through 5th grade. Abby currently teaches the adult wheel class on Saturdays and parent & child handbuilding class on Saturdays. She has also taught the youth summer camp as well as Sunday pottery classes.
To see more of Abby's work, check out her instagram or website!
Alex Watson graduated with a BFA in Ceramics from Utah State University in 2005. After graduating, he taught ceramics classes and managed the ceramics department at a small school in the Berkshires. In 2008, Watson moved to Colorado, where he lived and worked until 2013. He was an artist in residence at the Carbondale Clay Center and Studio for Artists Works. In 2010, he was a visiting artist at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China. Upon returning from China, Watson became a full time studio potter. He is now in Kansas City, MO and is a founding member of the Kansas City Urban Potters.
You can see more of Alex's work at kcurbanpotters.com.
Amy Meya is primarily a self-taught ceramic artist, education includes living and working in The Netherlands for five years, and extensive travel throughout Europe. Limited formal education through the KC Art Institute, and Longview Community College. A six year exhibitor at the Buyer's Market of American Craft in Philadelphia, from 2008-2013.
Check out her website.
Anne Mulvill has been a fulltime ceramicist since the mid-90s; she specializes in functional items made from porcelain. Anne began her career in Washington, D.C. where she studied at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and was a studio potter and instructor at Hinkley Pottery. In 1999, she joined Kansas City's Red Star Studios and began teaching at the K.C. Clay Guild — where she teaches a Thursday night class for advanced potters. Anne is also a former Clay Guild board member. Anne's studio is based at Barbershop Gallery in Midtown Kansas City.
Check out her website.
My work is steeped in archetypal and personal symbolism. Figures, houses, boats and pottery are all vessels to contain things we hold dear, and sometimes those things we would cast off. I chose these forms to work with because they have several levels of meaning I find intriguing to explore. The surfaces reflect my experience and attitude.
I love the idea of found objects, because of their wear and marks of their journeys. I see people in much the same way. When I go to a museum or a home and see these objects put into a special environment they are reborn. To accomplish this in my own work, I use a layering technique.
By using the figure as a three-dimensional canvas, the eye will travel completely around the surface. This helps to enhance the pattern or surprise in a story. Each piece begins on the potter’s wheel or with slabs. The pieces grow with the application of coils or additional slabs. When each piece is completed, I carve the surface and let it dry. The base color is applied and fired. Once the first firing is complete, I apply and wipe off a combination of terra sigilattas, slips, stains and glazes, then fire again. This process is repeated until I achieve the desired effect.
Since receiving my BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1990, I have worked in the ceramics field in many capacities.
Presently I am represented by numerous galleries, teach many pottery classes, instruct workshops, sell at art fairs, and have been published in several ceramic periodicals. In 2000, my husband and I built my studio right outside our backdoor.
You can view her work on her website.
Joseph L. Smith is one of the founding members of the K.C. Clay Guild. He has an Associate Arts of Arts from Penn Valley Community College, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a Masters of Arts from UCM in Warrensburg, Mo. As an artist he has had over 12 one person exhibitions and participated in the Brookside Art Annual, Prairie Village Art Show, Crown Center Art Exhibition, and Laclede's Art Exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri, all of these are juried local events. In total he has been selected for inclusion for over 100 juried exhibitions across the US. His art works are part of the Sprint Collection, Truman Medical Center Collection, Gates and Sons, Gamier, & Wirth, Inc and in the collection of Christopher ( Kit ) Bond, former Governor and Senator of Missouri.
Currently he is a signature member of KWS, MOWS, TWS and a juried member of WW society. He served as Vice President of the KC Clay Guild for several years and started Raku night as a fund raiser. While on the KC Clay Guild board he suggested having a tea bowl exhibition to raise funds and to seek grant funds from the Francis Family Foundation.
One of Joe's many objectives is to instruct individuals in creating functional and creative clay designs.
Kelsey Herron came to KC Clay Guild as a resident artist in fall of 2017 after receiving her BFA from University of Missouri. During the second year of her residency she joined the Board of Directors and have worked as Workshops Chair and currently as Publicity Chair. She enjoys engaging with the KCCG community through social media, promoting our events, building relationships with people in the arts community, and highlighting the work of our members.
She have worked as the Saturday Kid’s Class instructor since 2018 and when she is not teaching, firing the community soda kiln, or doing board member activities, she works as a barista at The Roasterie.
In her spare time she enjoys gardening, practicing martial arts, and trying(!) to have a more regular studio practice of her own.
Louis Reilly is a studio potter and Studio Director of KC Clay Guild. His studio practice focuses on soda fired functional pottery. Louis has taught ceramics at art centers and universities for 15 years. He holds a MFA from Utah State University and a BFA from University of Missouri-Columbia. Louis lives with his wife, son and dog in Lee's Summit, MO.
Check out his website and Instagram.
Nell Hull began working with clay in college and was drawn to its subtlety and versatility. Art, and clay in particular, gave them a new way of seeing the world and themselves in it. It was when physically creating that they realized they were also free to create within.
Their figurative sculptures are currently meditations on themes from their childhood. Nell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (2018) from Kansas State University and is a current Artist in Residence at KC Clay Guild.
Check out their website.
As an alumni of the Kansas City Art Institute in 2017 and MFA graduate from Louisiana State University in 2021, Mike Cerv maintains an educational and artistic practice both in studio and online. Alongside this, Cerv produces templates and tools to assist ceramic artists of all experience levels.
Check out his website.
Frank Thong was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and earned a BFA in Ceramics, a minor in Arts Entrepreneurship with and Asian Studies certificate from the Kansas City Art Institute. Currently, he is artist in resident at both the KC Clay Guild and Charlotte Street Foundation and has previously been an artist in resident at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary. He has received various grants such as the McKeown Special Project Award, Nathan and Thelma Notkin Ceramic Award, and the William Lee Scholarship. Growing us as an Asian-American, Frank has always felt like an outlier among his peers. His work focuses on the balance between Eastern and Western influences which is contextualized through his cultural identity. Previously, Frank has conducted social gatherings to encourage the growth of the Asian community at the Kansas City Art Institute. Frank further plans to utilize his experiences and education to create spaces for the local Asian-American community to share, connect, and create.