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Welcome to the Big Creek Pottery Website!
Big Creek Pottery, near the tiny coastal town of Davenport, California, was in operation from the late1960s until the early 1980s as a total-immersion, residential pottery school. Under the direction of Bruce and Marcia McDougal, the school hosted over 1,000 students from all across the country and overseas, and introduced them to the craft of pottery-making as well as the life of a working production potter. This was a life-changing experience for many who attended the workshops, which were taught by an array of ceramics luminaries as well as potter/educator Bruce McDougal.
This spring and summer, there will be two events in the Santa Cruz area marking the important and enduring influence that Big Creek Pottery has had on the world of handcrafted ceramics. From March 26 through July 17, 2011, the Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center will mount an exhibit entitled Big Creek Pottery: A Social History of a Visual Idea 1967-1983, with a members' reception on Friday, March 25. And on the July 4th weekend there will be, for the first time ever, a reunion of all students and staff who attended the Big Creek Pottery workshops throughout their existence. We hope to contact as many former students and staff as we possibly can, to invite you to join us in celebrating Big Creek Pottery and honoring Bruce and Marcia McDougal.
It's a go! The first-ever Big Creek Pottery reunion will take place on July 2nd and 3rd, 2011. The schedule includes a tour of the Big Creek Pottery exhibit (at the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz) on Saturday afternoon, led by curator Karen Massaro, and an informal get-together afterwards (location to be announced.) This will be an opportunity to meet the curator and view the exhibit before it closes on July 17, as well as re-connect with old friends. A DVD made especially for the exhibit will be available for sale, including an interview with the McDougals and still photos from the exhibit.
Bruce and Marcia have graciously offered their home in the hills above Swanton, just up the road from the former school site, as the venue for the reunion proper, which will take place on Sunday, July 3rd from 2-8 PM. This gala event will feature a catered dinner (including a traditional pig roast presented by former student Nino Bachar and sons), live music, and more schmoozing.
Please note: if you have any information about other ex-students, please give us that info so that we may contact them. The process of researching peoples' whereabouts is long and laborious, and we would appreciate any information that can help the process along. Thanks!
For further details about the exhibit as they become available, visit the museum website and click on "Exhibitions". You can buy the Big Creek Pottery DVD: A Social History of a Visual Idea, 1967-1983 as well.