About Us

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The 2018 Clay Siblings' in Pittsburgh

The 2019 Clay Siblings' in Minneapolis


The Clay Siblings' Project is a non-profit initiative aimed to not only give insight on possible ventures and opportunities through clay, but change the overall view of who can be a practicing artist. We are committed to demonstrating that all people, regardless of race, gender expression, religion, socio-economic status or any other marginalized identity, have something valuable to give as well as gain from the ceramic community as well as the larger art world.

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This is what we do!

We are passionate dedicated makers committed to executing the mission of The Clay Siblings' Project. We come from different backgrounds and cities, but our shared experience through ceramics motivates us to make this Project happen. We are collectively responsible for the daily operations of the Project, such as budgeting and finances, as well as organizing visits to high schools and community centers.

Team Blackbird coming to you live. An inside scoop of our friendship and our personalities. (2018)


The Clay Siblings’ Project was created by Gerald Brown and Mike Tavares in 2017 and launched during the 2017 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Conference (NCECA) in Portland, OR. Two enthusiastic, dedicated art students at Syracuse University were interested in sharing their work, ideas and experiences with high  school students. They spent two days at two local high schools demonstrating a variety ceramic techniques, talking about our life prior to college, the college experience and their aspirations for the future. They were able to bring a fresh, new perspective into the classroom and be a voice of hope for students who doubted their potential.

With the overwhelming positive response they received from the students and teachers, Gerald and Mike decided to continue the Project the following year, at the 2018 NCECA Conference in Pittsburgh; but this time, expanding their team to include other BFA candidates from other universities. Thirteen Clay Siblings from seven universities joined together and worked with over 200 students, two high schools and two Boys & Girls' Clubs. students learned new slab and pinching skills, the mold-making process and wheel-throwing techniques, for many, it being their first time.

In addition to increasing the size of the team, the incredible experience continued when The Clay Siblings' Project was able to select five students to bring to the NCECA conference. Each student was provided a day pass see the conference for themselves. The Big Siblings introduced the Little Siblings to the resource room with all the vendors and university booths, connected them to resources to learn about scholarship opportunities available to attend college and took them to a nearby show, the Visual Voices: Truth Narratives Exhibition, held at the Society for Contemporary Craft.

The Clay Siblings' Project is dedicated to transforming the landscape of ceramics as well as challenging the status quo of who deserves to be make. We are committed to changing the norm of which students get to have access to ceramics. We are committed to seeing the students continue to grow in whatever field they wish, even if it is not in the arts. But we want the students to know it is possible to pursue it as a career. By seeing an older sibling-like figure successful in college, who may look like them, come from a similar background or family situation, can validate and confirm that they can too.

Interested in having Clay Siblings at your high school?

In past years, The Clay Siblings' Project has targeted high schools and community centers in the the cities where the annual NCECA conference is held, to connect students to the larger clay community that is in their backyard that week. However, we are deeply interested in bringing the project to other high schools and centers in different cities outside of the conference week. If you would like Clay Siblings' to come to your school, please contact us at claysiblingsproject@gmail.com to further discuss details.

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