Ceramic artist – Santa Barbara News-Press

Lynda Weinman rekindles the passion for pottery

In addition to more conventional pieces like bowls, tea cups and “things with lids,” Lynda Weinman has designed unconventional items such as this 6 foot tall ceramic cactus.

Now what?

Lynda Weinman never had to ask the question after she and her husband Bruce Heavin sold their business, lynda.com, an online software training website, to Linkedin in 2015 for $ 1.5 billion. .

She knew exactly what she wanted to do.

“When I was in high school, I liked to spend all my free time making pottery. So one of the first things I did was take a ceramics class at the adult school, ”Ms. Weinman told The News-Press. “But I didn’t like it. There were too many people. I couldn’t get the individual attention I needed.

Fortunately, the Montecito resident discovered that there was a workshop at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The title was “Digitally Made Molds for Ceramics”.

“Not exactly a catchy name, but a light bulb lit for me because I knew all about computer graphics but nothing about ceramics. I hadn’t done one for 50 years, ”said Ms. Weinman, who has worked in the film industry as a special effects animator and has taught computer graphics, interactive animation design and animation. animation graphics at the Art Center College of Design at the American Film Institute. and San Francisco State University.

She has published over 20 books on Photoshop, web design, and other program development.

The two-week workshop in the summer of 2019 was taught by Del Harrow, and there were 15 in the group, all women, which came as a surprise to Ms Weinman.

“When I was teaching computer graphics, there were usually half women and half men, never all women,” she says.

The experience turned out to be a “life changer” for Ms. Weisman.

“It gave me confidence. I could take advantage of my knowledge of digital graphics.

In fact, while she was still in Colorado, she contacted Patrick Hill in Santa Barbara. He founded The Clay Studio, a non-profit community center dedicated to the ceramic arts.

Mr. Hill, who started working in clay at the age of 14, fell in love with the process and earned his BA in Studio Art / Ceramics and MA in Fine Arts from UCSB. After 28 years as a designer and builder, he retired and returned to his first love of clay in 2013.

“When I returned to Santa Barbara, Patrick (Hill) and I collaborated on the creation of The Clay Studio in a 28,000 square foot building in an unincorporated rural area of ​​Goleta,” ceramicist Lynda Weinman said. . “It was in a total state of disrepair, but with our combined resources we have renovated it. “

“When I returned to Santa Barbara, Patrick and I collaborated on the creation of The Clay Studio in a 28,000 square foot building in an unincorporated rural area of ​​Goleta. It was in a complete state of disrepair, but with our combined resources, we renovated it, ”Ms. Weinman said.

Two weeks before the opening of classes, workshops and spaces for artists, the pandemic closed everything.

“So I bought a 3D printer for the dining room in our house because we weren’t going to have dinner parties. I got good at it. From the moment I woke up everyday until I fell asleep, I designed pottery. I’ve done hundreds of plays and had several shows, ”Ms. Weinman said.

In addition to more conventional pieces like bowls, tea cups and “objects with lids”, she designed unconventional objects such as a 6 foot tall ceramic cactus and 150 flowers for the gardens of the Casa. del Herrero in Montecito.

All proceeds from sales of his pieces go to The Clay Studio, located at 1351 Holiday Hill Road.

Several of his pieces were recently exhibited at Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara.

“These are works of art that you put on a shelf and look at,” Ms. Weinman said, adding that she “always loved the arts, supported the arts, and now I’m a practicing artist, which keeps me 100% engaged and excited.

“I discovered a new passion – 3D printing – and rediscovered an old one – making pottery. I’m even going to have my own ceramic workshop in our custom house which is under construction and should be completed by the end of the year.

She has a blog at www.claybottress.com and a YouTube channel that chronicles her journey as an artist and designer.

Asked about the reaction of her friends and family to her new skill, Ms. Weinman said. “Everyone is amazed, including me. “

e-mail: [email protected]

for your information

For more information about The Clay Studio at 1351 Holiday Hill Road in Goleta, call 805-565-2529. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Tuesday.

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