The Labor of Love In Creating Functional Art

A Dickies Maker Story

ABOVE: Watch Lauren in her studio as she guides students and artists in the process of ceramics.

Meet Lauren Street, Ceramist and Studio Director

As you enter the front door to Boulder Mountain Clayworks, you'll notice shelves covered in a mixture of perfectly hand-thrown plates and wildly experimental dragon sculptures. Lauren Street is the first and only studio manager of this bustling Ketchum, Idaho, community clay studio. Her fascination with clay started with an inspiring art teacher in high school, and the intensive handmade process lured her in and quickly became her career. Lauren graduated with a BFA in ceramics from Otis Parsons School of Art and Design in 1995, and has been working at BMC since its opening in 1997.

Having a fulltime co-worker helping out is a perk she enjoys at her studio. The studio is packed with ceramics in all stages of progress.

ABOVE: Having a fulltime co-worker helping out is a perk she enjoys at her studio. The studio is packed with ceramics in all stages of progress.

As the studio manager, Lauren oversees everything - kid's classes, adult programs, and artists workshops, as well as all of the day-to-day duties. It's easy to tell how skilled Lauren is at making and teaching wheel-thrown ceramics; she can hold eye contact with you while she throws a perfectly symmetrical plate and explains every intricate step. The process of making one plate can take weeks as there are about 15 different complex steps.

Lauren demonstrates the process of throwing clay while wearing duck overalls made for full coverage when it comes to messy jobs. You can find more authentic utility workwear like Lauren’s here.

Lauren demonstrates the process of throwing clay while wearing duck overalls made for full coverage when it comes to messy jobs. You can find more authentic utility workwear like Lauren’s here.

“Opening the kiln after a final firing is so satisfying for me and the artists because they get to see all their hard work in a very tangible item. Then you get to go home and use it. There are not many opportunities where you get to make something from scratch and see it evolve into something you can enjoy every day. There is no age barrier here - everyone from kids to seniors can enjoy this process.”

ABOVE: Lauren’s studio is filled with artists working in three dimensions to produce sculptures and vessels.

ABOVE: Lauren’s studio is filled with artists working in three dimensions to produce sculptures and vessels.

Artists of all ages move about the studio deep in their own work, providing encouragement and help to those who need it. The positivity is palpable at Boulder Mountain Clayworks, and you leave feeling rejuvenated.

Itʼs just such a valuable experience to work in a safe environment with good people.”

Check Out Boulder Mountain Clayworks: Website  |  Facebook

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