The Mission. The main aim of the Clayspace Cooperative is to provide an environment that promotes the artistic growth and success of its members through cooperation and education. The Clayspace provides a place for its members to share ideas, equipment, and their individual experiences to achieve this common goal. By promoting a sense of community and cooperation in the studio, each member receives the benefit of the diversity of skills and interests possessed by the whole, which in turn increases their potential for success. The Clayspace also provides a place for all of its members to show case their work and an opportunity to interact with the public in the studio environment
Clayspace was founded in 2003 by Josh Copus and fellow founding members
Matt Jacobs and Sean Fairbridge as a place for them to work while
attending the University of North Carolina in Asheville (UNCA). The Clayspace was originally conceived as an alternative to
the crowded ceramics studio at UNCA and a place to crank the music up
and work in complete freedom with all-hours access.
While the initial interests for starting the studio were fairly
simple, it did not take long to realize the complex benefits of working
in cooperation. By pooling
together the resources and talents of three people, the young artists
were able to accomplish more than any one of them could have
individually. They salvaged
materials and equipment to build the necessary infrastructure for the
shop and spent countless hours turning the large open warehouse into a
comfortable working space that reflected the character of the tenants.
the years the Clayspace has undergone many changes, while still
maintaining the character of its humble beginnings.
Improvements to the studio were made as time and money allowed,
while Josh, Matt and Sean were finishing their degrees at UNCA.
The membership of the studio was increased in order to maintain
the affordability of the space and the faces of those people involved
with the Clayspace have changed somewhat over the years.
The current gallery space, which originally served as a practice
space for the Scrappy Hamilton band, was remodeled into an apartment
that both Josh and Matt have on separate occasions called home.
While the Clayspace has evolved and adopted a more professional feeling within its confines, there are still plenty of reminders of those early days found around the studio. Pottery quotes are scrawled on the walls, along with old phone numbers, and plenty of old pictures and show cards pointing towards past events. Most importantly, the core principles that made the Clayspace what it is still remain. Regardless of the changes that have occurred at the Clayspace, the chances are still high that you can find the lights on, the music cranked up, and someone working late into the night.
Copyright © 2009 Clayspace Co-op. All rights reserved.