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.


Our People



Patrick Hall


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.



Erica Ales


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.



Dini Dixon


Dini Dixon received a BFA in Ceramics from Pratt Institute. Her work explores the intersection of video and ceramics utilizing traditional ceramic techniques and stop motion animation. In 2018 she had solo exhibitions at 808 Projects in Denver and the Thomas Hunter Project Space in Manhattan.

Her video The Long Goodbye was an official selection of the 2018 Supernova Digital Animation Festival. Currently she is preparing for solo exhibitions at Ghost Gallery in Los Angeles and New York opening May 2020. At Clay Studio her role includes working as a studio technician as well as a teacher for adults and children.