Golden Bridge Pottery
Golden Bridge Pottery, or GBP, is a stoneware production pottery studio, making beautiful handcrafted glazed stoneware, since the 1970s. It is run by Deborah Smith and Ray Meeker. Since the early 1980s Ray has also been teaching small batches of students all the processes and skills needed to pursue a career in handcrafted clay ware.
This “course” became so popular that by the time Kaveri applied,, there was a 3 year waiting period to get in! Luckily someone dropped out of the 1996 batch in the last minute, and Kaveri was able to join the course that very year.
The 7 month course at GBP, is a total immersion in all aspects of clay work, from the preparing and mixing of the clay body, to glazing and firing the ware. Students are given ample time to practice throwing on a kickwheel. Ray puts students through a series of exercises in making particular functional shapes, through which they learn different basic forms and techniques in clay work. The aim of the course is to make students self-critical and give them all the basic skills needed to teach themselves, from that point forward.
Kaveri went back in 1997, to learn more about firings and kilns, and then in 1999, Ray offered her a job as his assistant, helping in his studio as well as teaching the students when he was away, as he often had to be, that year, working on other projects..
The GBP experience with Ray and Deborah goes beyond just clay work. It is a philosophy, a way of working with clay that is skilled yet emotionally connected and honest.