An inevitable pause

Like the rest of the world Modern Clay has come to an inevitable pause. Workshops have been cancelled and income has been lost. But we’re not going to talk about how we fall down but how we get back up and serve the community we are in. We’re currently using this time to carry on planning activity for the future.

When it’s safe to do so, we will start with a Raku workshop here at Modern Clay. We’re also planning to launch a Crowdfunder to be announced in the coming months to support our next art school to run. We ask nothing of you for now but to support those nearest to you and support in kind those further away from you. When we need you will we ask for you to support us in how we rebuild, support us by coming to a workshop or donating to our Crowdfunder. Like those who lived before us, we are living in historical times.”

Modern Clay Coop

Clay sessions for babies and toddlers

Our hand squeezed objects clay sessions have returned!

Artists Joanne Masding and Leah Carless will be hosting a workshop on the 6th April for babies and toddlers.

To book tickets and for more information follow the link to our eventbrite page.

Handbuilding with Ceramics 8 Week Course

Join artist Joanne Masding and ceramicist Sophie McKinney for an eight-week introduction to handbuilding with ceramics.

Over the first five weeks we’ll introduce you to a variety of handbuilding and decoration techniques, complemented with demonstrations and handouts, including slab building, coiling, sgraffito and using coloured slips.

For the final three weeks of the course we’ll work with you as you put your new skills into practice and make something of your own design. As we work with new techniques there will be many opportunities to bring your own ideas to the pieces you make, and Joanne and Sophie will help you to make unique and personal objects each week.

You’ll take home at least 6 fully fired, glazed, usable and cherishable pieces during the course.

All sessions will be on a Thursday evening and and will run weekly from 19 March with a 2 week break at Easter school holiday.

Suitable for those new to clay or with little experience aged 18+.

For further information and to book have a look at our Eventbrite page.

Open call for the Clare Thornton Memorial Residency (CTMR)

We worked with Clare on bringing her show ‘Materials of Resistance – Absent but Present’ which was first shown at the Plymouth Arts Centre to Modern Clay in May 2018. Clare was born in Birmingham and this show meant a great deal to her, sadly she past away in March 2019.

Before her death Clare set aside funds to establish a memorial residency opportunity in Plymouth for a mid career artist, such as herself, using her old studio space at KARST.
Please share far and wide in memory of a great artist.

winter fair

Join Modern Clay and Grand Union for December’s Digbeth First Friday, for the Modern Clay Winter Fair and The Growing Project Sale.

We will be hosting our annual sale of studio ceramics made by our Modern Clay co-op members, including Leah Carless, Mark Essen, Joanne Masding, Sophie Mckinney, Suzi Osborn, Laurie Ramsell and Sarah Taylor Silverwood. 

We will also be selling limited edition ceramic plates that were made as part of The Growing Project, a community-led growing scheme working with organisations who support the vulnerably housed and people in crisis. Working in collaboration with The Residents of St Anne’s Hostel Birmingham, Modern Clay, Crisis Skylight and SIFA Fireside, the first phase culminated in a Public Dinner event at The Warehouse Cafe, whereby guests and participants shared stories, food and conversation about the symbolic meaning of taking seed to soil to plate.

There will be 60 plates available to purchase at £20 each. All of the plates are individually designed and made by participants of The Growing Project.

Proceedings of the plate sale will contribute towards fundraising for the next iteration of The Growing Project in 2020.

Cash & Card accepted

Clay sessions for babies and toddlers

Back by popular demand Artists Joanne Masding and Leah Carless from Modern Clay will be hosting a workshop on the 9th November for toddlers and babies.

To book tickets and for more information visit our Eventbrite page.

Modern Clay in Artlicks

We’re in print in the current issue of Art Licks magazine (Issue 24) as part of their weekend of curated activities in London.
Writing in response to their question ” ‘Interdependence’, exploring ideas of artist community, supports, reciprocity, and networks.” The text addresses issues of how hard it is to keep artist led space going to changes in becoming a members co-op. Included is also recent projects and activity which are often difficult to bring to the attention of the wider public (although often end up on instagram). We were also suppose to be taking part in the art licks weekend in London but as often happens we couldn’t make both ends meat (or vegan a meat substitute). As part of our ongoing development into how the studio works and its function we’ll be looking further into how we can present our work to the public in 2020. Apart from the Art School we’ve only been open to the public once this year, although we’re planning to be open in December for our winter fair, more details tba soon.

Please visit art licks website to purchase the issue.

Also follow us on insta to keep up to date.

Mark Essen


We’re are currently interesting in running the studio as coop and are looking for members to be apart of this.
If you are interested please contact us via the website.