About Us

Our Mission

Clay Studio is a community art center committed to fostering the creative process in a welcoming and supportive environment. Our goal is to enrich lives by teaching and promoting the ceramic arts.

Our Story

We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) creative hub for the Santa Barbara arts community and an international destination for all who are passionate about exploring the ceramic arts. Founded in 2012 by potter Patrick Hall, Clay Studio is a safe haven for exploration in clay — from hand building to wheel throwing to 3D printing — and, more. Our state-of-the-art facility and caring, experienced staff will help you develop your potential in any direction you choose.

Team

Our People

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Patrick

Patrick Hall

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Patrick Hall is an artist living in Santa Barbara, California. At age 14, he fell in love with clay and soon got a job as a production potter, where he honed his throwing skills for five years. After completing a BFA, then an MFA at UCSB, he founded Design Associates. His firm specialized in designing and building custom homes, furniture and light fixtures, and landscape design.

Nearly 30 years later, he returned to clay and founded Clay Studio, where he works, teaches and shares his appreciation for the ceramic arts with other artists in the community.

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Erica

Erica Ales

PROGRAM & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Erica Ales brings years of experience connecting social impact with the Arts, particularly documentary film. She has spent over five years collaborating with award-winning filmmakers around social impact strategy, implementation and evaluation for documentary projects spanning a number of issue areas.

Through her work in social impact, Erica has partnered with hundreds of nonprofits around events, film screenings and community programming. Erica discovered ceramics in 2018 which has since blossomed into a deep passion, practice and professional pursuit.

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Jacob

Jacob Adivi

STUDIO MANAGER
Jacob Adivi is an LA native who recently moved to Santa Barbara. Since Jacob was eight-years-old, the malleability and plasticity of clay has served as his therapy. He applied his appreciation for art as an executive youth board member of the LA Museum of the Holocaust where he has curated exhibits and displayed his ceramic work. Through the museum, Jacob co-founded the non-profit L’Dough V’Dough, where intergenerational sessions focused on tolerance and storytelling are now held on college campuses across the U.S.
Over the years, Jacob has enjoyed teaching hand building to children, wheel throwing to adults, and kick wheel skills to Ugandan college students. Aside from being an ardent potter, Jacob is a beekeeping enthusiast and passionate about the environment.
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Ruby

Ruby Mandell

STUDIO TECHNICIAN & COORDINATOR
Ruby graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from UCSB in 2020 with an emphasis in sculpture and printmaking. While at UCSB, Ruby taught beginners wheel throwing to students and adults. She has been working in ceramics since 2015, with an interest in sliptraling as surface decoration on most of her work. Ruby spent two weeks at Gaya Ceramics Art Center in Bali, Indonesia, taking an intensive throwing workshop.
Apart from ceramics, Ruby also works in large scale Macrame wall hanging installations. Ruby ran track as a hurdler for UCSB and has 5 brothers.
Team