Akira Satake.jpg

Akira Satake

Akira Satake will demonstrate both the handbuilding and throwing techniques he uses to make his tea ceremony bowls, yunomi, teapots, ikebana vases, sculptural objects and more. 

Participants will learn how to create rich surfaces inspired by the natural world.  Some techniques that will be demonstrated are:

  • brushing kohiki slip on clay slabs and stretching the slabs to crack and distort the surfaces

  • applying a coating of clay mixed with sand onto the surface of wheel thrown or hand built pieces and then altering them

  • mixing air and other materials into the clay body and then tearing off the clay and/or cutting with a wire to create the shapes

He will share his experience and knowledge in a discussion of the Japanese aesthetic. Participants will gain insight into finding the beauty in imperfection, the meaning of "wabi-sabi," and the importance of "ma" -- the space in between. Click here to visit his website.

Artist Statement

For me, the act of creation is a collaboration between myself, the clay and the fire. Collaboration means finding what the clay wants to be and bringing out its beauty in the way that the beauty of our surroundings is created through natural forces. Undulations in sand that has been moved by the wind, rock formations caused by landslides, the crackle and patina in the wall of an old house; all these owe their special beauty to the random hand of Nature. The fire is the ultimate random part of the collaborative equation. I hope the fire will be my ally, but I know it will always transform the clay in ways I cannot anticipate.



Akira Satake was born in Osaka, Japan and has been living in the U.S. since 1983. In 2003 he relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Swannanoa, North Carolina. 

The Philadelphia Museum awarded him the National Award for Excellence in Contemporary Clay.  A Craftsman’s Legacy - a national weekly television series on PBS, featured his life and work.

Akira is widely sought after for workshops, lectures and exhibitions and has been invited to France, Belgium, Israel, Australia, Spain, Bali, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Italy.

Collections: The Mint Museum and The Phillips Collection. 

Kristin Schoonover


Kristin creates her work by wheel throwing and hand building.  Most of the time spent on each piece is in the surface decoration.  All of the color is added using thick slips that she creates with colored clay pigments.  A background color is painted on, then hand-cut paper stencils are applied with a contrasting colored slip painted on top.  All pieces are dipped in a clear glaze and fired to cone 6 in her electric kiln.

Click here to read an article that explains more about her process and what she will be demonstrating.

Kristin Schoonover, previously Kristin Benyo,  grew up on Long Island, then attended Alfred University where she graduated in 2001 with a BFA in ceramics.  Soon after graduating, she relocated to Asheville, NC where she began her pottery business in 2004.  Currently, she maintains a studio in Asheville's River Arts District.  Her work can be found at Clayspace Co-op in the Wedge Building.  


Rosa and Winton Eugene

The couple uses the relationship to their environment as a starting point-having grown up in Louisiana and South Carolina and lived in Chicago for more than 20 years. Their pottery reflects the rural South as well as urban issues. Their studio is characteristic of their work - strong and well built. Carved or raised relief images are another “signature” of the Eugenes’ work. Winton began carving pieces to decrease their heaviness, and eventually portraits made their way onto the surface. Aided by the efficiency of an extruder, Rosa creates coiled vessels of various heights and shapes. Central to this style are themes of identity, family and generations as expressed both in portraits and symbolically.

For more information on the Eugenes, please click here

Much of the paragraph above came from this wonderful article by the American Craft Council.