The adults hanging out inside Zen and Now Clay Studio look blissfully filthy. Soft clay slicks their hands and sticks to their smocks as they sculpt a pastoral scene onto a platter during a class or develop their own style of relating to Patrick Swayze during open studio time. In the white, utilitarian workroom, artists gather around a central table for hand building—helped by tools such as a slab roller, extruder sets for creating tubular shapes, and slump molds—or form clay on one of several electric pottery wheels. The staff later glazes and fires all student work in a process that takes about two weeks.
Adding to the enjoyment of creating art, Zen and Now's instructors organize events such as couples nights that give adults a chance to enjoy wine and cheese in the company of people they sculpted themselves, and a Boy Scout pottery merit badge workshop encourages kids to explore creativity in the studio and in the broader community. Helping students further explore 3-D modeling, the studio also offers drawing and painting classes in watercolor and Sumi-e, a classical form of East Asian ink painting.