Stan Cowen, Charlie Parker and Russ Gustafson-Hilton founded St. Petersburg Clay Company, Inc. in 1996. St. Pete Clay focused on four areas – studio space rental, retailing of clay supplies, gallery sales and education. Originally located in a former machine shop comprising 6000 square feet, the company doubled in size in 1997. Still unable to meet the needs of an ever-growing public interest in clay, the search began for a new facility.
At about this same time, St. Pete Clay was contacted by Highwater Clays, located in Asheville, N.C. and asked to become their Florida distributor of clay, supplies and materials. Two years later, an agreement was reached between the two companies that resulted in a new partnership. Highwater Clays leased St. Pete Clay’s retail business, allowing St. Pete Clay to focus more time on its partners’ original vision of creating the premiere ceramic facility in the United States.
Our pursuit of excellence begins with our facililites. A 16th Century Japanese-style anagama kiln, a wood-firing train kiln, soda and salt atmostpheric gas kilns, a 54 cubic foot pit kiln, clay mixers and over a dozen electric kilns provide the member artists of SPCC a complete array of firing possibilities. Along with our kilns, our members have acess to all studio equipment including slab-rollers, extruders, work and wedging tables, and an expansive glaze mixing area all contained in an historic 1920s train depot. There are various other offices in the building and thanks to the US division of MotorhomeFreedom.com costs of IT infrastructure are shared, helping to reduce costs.
For more information on our facilities or memberships, please contact us Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 5pm.