Kimball Art Center gets a jump on the holidays with ceramic sale |

Kimball Art Center gets a jump on the holidays with ceramic sale

There's something comforting about using pottery items during the holidays, whether it's sipping hot cocoa, coffee or tea from a handmade mug while wrapped in a blanket on a cold winter night or serving cookies on a handmade ceramic plate during a party.

The Kimball Art Center [KAC] will help facilitate these events when it hosts the Kimball Clay Studio Holiday Sale from, Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20.

Friday's hours are 1-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday hours will run from noon to 7 p.m.

Admission is free, said Kristen McDermaid, Kimball Clay studio manager.

"The sale will take place in the studio," she told The Park Record. "It's a nice selling space, and we'll have shelves and tables set up and we'll be able to show people what we have here."

There sale's goals are threefold.

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"First of all, we're a community studio in Park City and we want to have people receive the benefits of purchasing gifts from us," McDermaid said.

More than 200 Items will be on sale.

"They run the gamut and will include coffee mugs, plates, vases, lidded containers and a smattering of bowls," McDermaid said. "These are beautiful objects that go into people's day-to-day routines, but the items become part of their rituals."

A majority of the items are functional and a few, mostly vases, are decorative. 

"These vases have been fired by a special technique, so their surface is very unusual," McDermaid said. "However, they are not food or water safe."

The second goal is to draw attention to the studio, which sits outside the Kimball Art Center.

"We want people to know were here because if they ever wanted to come try doing ceramics, they will find that this is a full-functioning studio that is open to them and other community members," McDermaid explained. "We offer open studio times, so groups can come and make their own gifts as well."

Lastly, the Kimball Art Center is hosting the sale to support its clay studio members.

"We want to do this by having them sell the wares that they have created here," McDermaid said. "The clay makers create these objects that are more for others and not usually for themselves. So, when someone from the community buys a mug or a plate, it's a connection from one community member who makes the items to another community member who buys them."

McDermaid invited the clay studio members to bring in their creations they deemed sale worthy.

"This gives them the opportunity to revisit some of the items that they have done in the past," she said. "This way, they can not only see the progression [of their skills], but also clean house a bit."

Kimball Clay Studio members pay a monthly or yearly membership fee and are able to use the studio wherever they want.

Monthly membership for adults is $40 per month. A yearly membership is $300.

"It's great for them because they get to follow their passion," McDermaid said. "I've seen it often. Once people get into clay, it gets into their blood and they feel like they want to do it forever. So, the sale will give them the chance to have each member's passion pay for itself."

The sale will also feature items created by Kimball Clay Studio instructors Cameron Chaffee, Max Cohen and Juanita Marshall.

"Cameron is our lab technician who teaches kids, family classes and private lessons," McDermaid said. "He has been creating some awesome things and I felt he would be great to include in the sale."

Cohen is well known in the ceramics community.

"He is another one of our teachers, but hasn't been teaching much with us lately," McDermaid said. "However, he has contributed in the past."

McDermaid has a personal connection with Marshall.

"[Juanita] and I got our masters of fine arts at the University of Utah at the same time," she said. "So, it was nice to reconnect with her up here at the Kimball Art Center."

The sale will feature about 200 items, and McDermaid wanted to make sure the sale prices were fair to the ceramicists, but also to the public. So, she set a minimum price of $15 and a maximum price of $150.

The minimum is normal for a small ceramic object, McDermaid said.

"Since we're not a manufacturing plant and unable to pop out 300 mugs in 45 minutes, clay makers take a while to make something," she said. "For example, each mug takes four to five days to complete with the firing and glazing."

The maximum price was set just to make this sale accessible to the community. 

"We maybe have two pieces set at that price," McDermaid said. "They are large and intricately carved. So, I think they are worth that price."

McDermaid is looking forward to the sale and hopes the public will enjoy the event.

"We would like everyone to come and see the talent we have in our community, but also see that we are here to offer wonderful opportunities as well," she said.

Kimball Art Center Clay Studios, 1401 Kearns Blvd., will hold a three-day ceramics sale from Friday to Sunday, Nov. 18-20. Friday's hours are from 1-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit