February 2021 Layl Newsletter

Awards

This past month Layl was honored to win awards in two shows. The first award for “Squawking Blue Bird Teapot” (above), was “Best in Blue” in the “Primary Show” at Banfill Locke Center for the Arts.  Read the whole story.

January 2021 Layl Newsletter

On December 17th we lost a member of our Clay Squared family.  Chris Madsen had been battling cancer for the past 4 years and we are heartbroken that she passed away last month.  If you had placed any orders or come in to visit us in the past nine years you most likely encountered Chris and was impressed by her helpfulness and positivity.  Read the whole story.

 

December 2020 Layl Newsletter

Domestic Sculpting

Layl’s newest blog post discusses creativity and sculpture in everyday activities like cooking and landscaping. Layl talks about finding inspiration and art throughout her life, and even now during the pandemic. Read the entire post here. 

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November 2020 Layl Newsletter

Virtual Clay Parties

Want to get together and play with clay with family members over the holidays but you aren’t able to be together?  It’s possible with a Zoom Clay Party!  Your family can be in six different states and you can still connect with a fun clay project.  I’ll ship out your supplies and each person can choose their own final project or we could all do the same project. It’s up to you.  Contact layl@claysquared.com to get a Clay Party set up today!

A basic party starts with learning how to make two or three millefiori canes. Once the canes are crafted everyone can use their slices to cover an object or make an animal.  It’s so fun to see what your friends and family come up with!

  • $125 / 2 Hour Class
  • $10 Supply fee / Person
  • $10 shipping per location, curbside pick up also available.
  •  Contact Layl to arrange: layl@claysquared.com

Click here to read the whole Newsletter

September 2020 Clay Squared Newsletter

Chris Madsen Retiring

Chris has worked at Clay Squared since October, 2011. She is now retiring. Chris has been our office manager, packing queen, problem solver extraordinaire and just all around helpful hand. If you ever had a complicated question about your order, you have most likely talked to Chis to get it set right. She has trained all of the current Clay Squared employees on our office process to continue to give great customer service.
Chris is retiring for reasons related to cancer. Her cancer has returned for the 3rd time. With all the transfusions and chemotherapy, she wants to spend more time relaxing and focusing on her recovery. She says she is getting caught up on her reading and time with her family. Chris does come to visit and catch up with everyone every couple of weeks to check up on us. We still miss her laugh and asking everyone if they want tea. We will miss her around the studio and all the great conversations we had over the years.
If you would like to send Chris a card, you can mail it to our store at 2505 Howard St NE Minneapolis, MN 55418. We still get to see her regularly, and we will gladly pass on any greetings. Click here to read the rest of the newsletter.

September Clay Squared Newsletter -Layl Edition

We are all looking for ways to make a difference these days. For myself, I’ve decided to work on “get out the vote” efforts. Right now there isn’t an opportunity to go door knocking, so I was very excited when I came across these postcard and letter writing efforts.  I’ve had some fun making cute post cards to get voters to sign up for mail voting in Florida. It was fun to use my stickers and colorful pens for these projects. To read the whole newsletter click here.

August 2020 Layl Newsletter

Earlier this summer Josh and I were on a bike ride when we saw an impromptu art car parade.  Some of the cars were ones I’d seen before but some were obviously newly created with a “pandemic theme” – like a mask over the car!
Then one of the drivers hollered to me – “great helmet” and I realized I still had my pipe cleaners in my helmet from last summer’s NE parade. That’s when I decided I needed to take it a little further and I added some flowers to my pipe cleaners.  Now as I bike around every day I get all kinds of smiles and waves, shouts, and honks about my helmet.  It’s a small thing but I hope for a second I’m bringing people just a little fun distraction.
As these different and challenging times continue my own art is my fun distraction. I am learning to find assignments for myself to create new work. I recently finished a piece to submit to the Minnesota State Fair. It’s a super tough competition but I used the deadline for a push to make a new piece. Stay tuned to my Facebook and Instagram to see if I get in.

July 2020 Clay Squared Newsletter

Resilience during this surreal moment is a priority for us at Clay Squared. Stresses like the pandemic, social unrest, and uncertainty in daily life have affected all of us. On top of these stresses, we must figure out how to adjust our daily lives. Layl has had to basically start a new way of doing business after all her art festivals were canceled this year. All the classes she used to teach in her studio are no longer possible, although she has taken up the challenge to learn how to teach over Zoom. She sends packets of clay and tools to students all over the country. She also has been doing a semi-regular “Layl Cam” on Facebook Live and YouTube of her making her polymer canes and sculptures.  Both have done well and are growing.

Josh and the staff have continued to get projects to keep them busy making tiles. We feel incredibly lucky every day that we get sample requests and orders from homeowners for kitchens, bathrooms, and fireplace projects.
Keeping ourselves busy and focused has been key for us to stay mentally healthy. We also exercise daily to get a little break from all the challenges and to keep our minds fresh. We hope you are finding small things that make you happy and enjoy life in these challenging times too. Thank you for all your support. Click here to read the entire newsletter.

 

 

 

July 2020 Layl Newsletter

I really miss having people in my studio playing with my scrap pile in classes and open studios. At least I have been able to send a lot of my scraps off in kits and for classes- I actually have seen a dent in the pile! If you have ever seen my 16 foot long scrap pile under my plexiglass table top you know how amazing it is that I have a corner where I can see the bottom!

I was thrilled to get a chance to send a bunch of scraps to Nora Nosek so she could use them to make bead kits for kids. She lives in Madison WI and started her project with a simple call out to friends on Facebook. Now it has morphed into kits made for NAMI and Boys and Girls Club. Nora is bringing a lot of fun to a lot of kids in need during this tough time and I’m happy to help her out and know my scraps are getting out there in the world! Click here to reade the newsletter.

June 2020 Layl Newsletter

This past week has been the most painful and heartbreaking week in the memory of Minneapolis’ residents.  I never thought I would see the entire area around the high school my daughters graduated from destroyed by fire and looting.  But the anger at the killing of George Floyd has triggered some long seeded pain here and now around the country.   My daughter has gone to protest and though I am filled with fear when she goes I support her desire to be heard.  A lot of my friends live in the areas that are hard hit and Saturday night I read on Facebook about their plans to defend their own neighborhoods. Sadly, many small businesses and non-profits have been sacrificed in this cause and now they will need to rebuild.

I wanted to share a few of the places I am donating to with you. If you are in a place to give please consider a donation.

May 2020 Layl Newsletter

I hope you are all faring well in these unusual times.  Here are some tidbits of distraction to get you through. Click here to read the newsletter.

April 2020 Layl Newsletter

Amidst this COVID-19 health crisis, we have a few resources for artists, and some ways you can still support and be supported by the arts community. Click here to read more.

March 2020 Layl Newsletter

In her newest blog post, Layl reflects on the art which grabs her attention. She describes the feeling a viewer has of a magnificent piece, from the perspective of herself as an artist. She states: “I get obsessed just looking at them. They make me want to live vicariously through those artists. Which is crazy because I live that life already, compulsively creating nearly every day of my life.”

She reflects on the dualism of artist and viewer; creator and consumer. View the full post Here.

February 2020 Layl Newsletter

In January, Layl created several teapots that had added dimensionality like branches, ladders and carousels. These new teapots, while still functional, go beyond the teapot form and build beyond it’s “borders.” You can view more sculptural teapots like the Flamingo Carousel Teapot (above) at Layl’s website.
Read Newsletter click here

October 2019 Layl Newsletter

This month Layl has a new blog post, and a few more fun classes available. Read More

Clay Squared to Infinity