Ceramics Cooperative

Mission

The Union Project Ceramics Cooperative assists emerging artists in growing and strengthening their creative process in a supportive, communal environment.  The co-op artists create together in a shared space, energize one another, and collaborate together.

Benefits

Cooperative members participate in a community that shares space, knowledge, and studio responsibilities. Members are encouraged to contribute service according to their skills, interests, and the needs of the studio. Members are also encouraged to learn the technical skills involved in running a community studio.

All levels of co-op membership are guaranteed access to the studio during regular business hours (9am-5pm Mon-Fri) and often in the evenings as well, use of studio equipment on a first-come first-served basis, regular access to studio bisque and glaze firings, storage space, and use of studio glazes. Members must provide their own clay.

UP Cooperative members also benefit from opportunities to sell their work, including the Three Rivers Arts Festival and UP's Mother of all Pottery Sales.

Memberships to the UP Ceramics Co-op start at $130/month, see the complete co-op agreement for details. Financial accommodations may be made based on need and according to current co-op membership levels. Union Project staff will review individual requests on a case-by-case basis.

UP also offers apprentice level memberships for youth under 18. Apprentice members exchange hour for hour studio time for service, learn a variety of technical studio tasks, have a storage space, and are provided the same access to the studio as Associate Members.
To set up an interview or tour of the studio, please contact Jenna at 412-363-4550 x222 or jenna@unionproject.org.

Current Co-op Members 

Molly Bee

After taking a ceramics class during her sophomore year at Chatham University, Molly was hooked. In the studio, she loves having the opportunity to develop her skills by learning from other co-op members and she enjoys teaching some of the workshops. Every piece she constructs is a canvas for sgraffito, and she loves to create anything that makes sound. Outside the studio, she takes care of her organic vegetable and fruit gardens, makes jewelry, and spends times with her three cats.

 

Mary Briggs

Mary replaced her love for photography with a passion for ceramics when she received a homemade pot as a gift from a friend. She finds the UP studio a perfect environment because she loves surrounding herself with other potters. She likes to make quiet, personal pots to be used on a daily basis. When she’s not working on her vegetable garden, she plays the fiddle and practices yoga.

Ben Dames

Born and raised in Moon Township, PA, just a half hour from the city of Pittsburgh, Ben grew up with a love for sports and art. He aspired to be a cartoonist and professional athlete, but in college he discovered the world of ceramics. In 2011, Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Edinboro University of PA with minors in both Art History and Ceramics. Aside from ceramics, Ben enjoys drawing, painting, and photography. He is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, and loves baseball, basketball, and biking.

Check out Ben's website!

Joe Delphia

Joseph Delphia

Joe moved to Pittsburgh five years ago and discovered Union Project on his very first day in town. He immediately joined the ceramics co-op and hasn’t left since. The facilities and community at UP provide a stable support system and creative working environment that help him make connections and focus on his artwork. He has taught a variety of ceramics and studio courses at UP, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, and the Community College of Allegheny County. Outside of clay, Joe likes to garden with his wife and loves fishing and kayaking.

Check out Joe's website!

Keith Hershberger

Keith Hershberger

Keith started throwing in high school and continued to develop his skills alongside other potters in college. The location and community aspect of UP attracted him to the ceramics cooperative. He strives to make functional, beautiful pieces for everyday use. He also enjoys running and playing music.

Check out Keith's website!

  

Carina Kooiman

As a frustrated art major on the verge of quitting, Carina found refreshing inspiration in ceramics, which was entirely new to her. She is thrilled to share her passion with students working with clay for the first time, and values the knowledge she can acquire from the experienced artists at UP. With an enthusiasm for hand-building, she enjoys making organic shapes and using detail. In addition to her work in UP’s ceramics studio, Carina also works as the art studio specialist at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

 Martha Matthews

Martha Matthews

Martha discovered her interest in pottery as an undergraduate through an art program at VCU in Richmond, where she completed a minor concentration in ceramics. She enjoys the friendly atmosphere in the UP studio and makes utilitarian pieces for everyday use. Outside the studio, Martha spends most of her time outdoors—biking, hiking, walking her dog, and farming with extended family.

  

Ron Mauer

As an employee at IBM, Ron appreciates his studio time at UP as an entirely different environment. He discovered ceramics while working at YMCA summer camp, and describes his work as “confused.” He likes to make time for family, sports, and fitness when he’s not at work or in the studio.

Ryan Myers

Ryan Myers

Ryan is a local ceramic artist and a past UP artist in residence. He studied Art Education at Edinboro University and brings this background and experience to the studio. Ryan first found out about Union Project during the 2012 Highland Park Pottery Tour, and was drawn to the unique, community studio environment.

Paula Romanishin

Paula Romanishin

Paula’s first attempt at ceramics ended in screaming frustration, but that didn’t stop her quest to learn. Through UP’s ceramics co-op, she loves being a part of a community and working to develop her skills by watching others, asking questions, and trying different methods. She also puts her artistic talents to use in knitting and sketching, while attempting to take life less seriously.

 Silvija Singh

Silvija Singh

With a passion for drawing, Silvija decided to expand her artistic abilities during her time as a psychology grad student. She found that she could better express her creativity in the three-dimensional world of ceramics, something not possible in the two-dimensional art of drawing. UP provides her with a place to grow artistically, and she enjoys hand-building ceramics of busts, figures, and animals. She often incorporates a political aspect in her figurative pieces. She works as a clinical psychologist and spends her free time with her children.

Nancy Trun

Nancy Trun

Nancy got involved in ceramics through the classes offered at UP. She values the expertise she is acquiring on the many aspects of ceramics, and enjoys working in a friendly studio at UP. She works mostly with tile, but wants to improve in wood-fire, thrown forms, and built forms. Outside the studio, she spends her time cycling, knitting, gardening and cooking.

Gloria Tsang

Gloria developed a passion for ceramics the very first time she sat at a wheel. Union Project’s studio provides a working environment where she can manifest her artistic curiosity and creativity through clay. Her Asian heritage keenly influences her work, which includes both functional and decorative pottery for years to enjoy. She loves spending time with family and taking care of her garden.