Pottery Making Sets the Focus on New Futures for Women

For more than 20 years, Inspirations Studio has been assisting women in need of a transition to a more satisfying and secure life by teaching them the skills and art of making pottery.  Women also learn to be teachers themselves as well as entrepreneurs.  Gudrun Olafsdottir and Isabella Tatar (in picture on the left) shared the vision of the organization with us.
Guðrun Ólafsdóttir, shown in the image at the left, has been a volunteer with Inspirations Studio for six years and Isabella Tatar has volunteered for two years.















Guðrun and Isabella told us how the pottery program works on three levels:

  1. Qualified applicants participate in a free eight-week course covering all the basics of making pottery, including  wheel throwing, hand building, glazing and design.

  2. Program graduates can apply to become program members, a status which provides ongoing support from professional potters, as well as  free gradated access to the studio for up to 12 hours a week and opportunities to sell their work. The members are responsible for purchasing their supplies, creating, making and selling their work,  and mentoring new program participants. 

  3. The studio also offers workshops taught by staff and graduates for partner agencies.  This enables program members to acquire skills in running classes and workshops, fundraising, store operations, and made-to-order pieces.

Current participants range in age from 19 to 80 years old, and there are about 30 artisans.  The studio receives 30% of its operational budget from public classes and workshops and 20% from pottery sales (80% of the sales revenue goes to the artists).  Pottery is usually available for purchase in the storefront located at 2480 Dundas Street West at Glenlake Avenue, and is currently available through the studio's online store.