Local ceramics artist Gina DeSantis presents two very special events this fall. First, she hosts a Grand Redesign and Sales in celebration of her newly renovated studio space in suite C323 of Lakewood’s Lake Erie Building (aka the Screw Factory). In early November, DeSantis teams up with Toast Wine Bar for a special dinner, plated using her handmade ceramics inspired by Toast’s menu.
DeSantis opened the studio in early 2013. The renovations double her classroom size. What originally started as two classes per week quickly blossomed into four teen/adult classes, numerous kids classes, one-day workshops and independent studio time. Currently, four instructors teach classes out of DeSantis’ studio space.
“I originally pursued my MFA in order to teach college courses,” DeSantis says. “Like many recent grads I found zero jobs at colleges and worked at nonprofits in the area throughout the years. After a decade of teaching I decided to open my own space. I offer college level/style courses but in a relaxed, all levels format. Students who are registered for a class can also work for free during designated hours to hone their craft.”
The grand re-opening weekend marks the beginning of the monthly family open studio program. The first Saturday of every month instructor Mary Cassidy will lead families in a hand built project. Kids ages 4 and up are welcome (but must be accompanied by a guardian 18 years or older). This program runs from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, and students can register online.
“The space will be open to check out, new students can register or just meet our instructors and staff,” explains DeSantis. “I will have a few sale tables of items and the funds from the sale will go back into the classroom to buy new supplies. My neighbors RTD Design Collective (leather goods and jewelry) will be showing off their newly redesigned studio. They also teach leather working classes including belt and ornament making.”
The following day, on Oct. 4, DeSantis will open her studio for a continuation of her Grand Redesign Sale, as well as the two Family Clay Workshops for ages 4 and up from noon to 2 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. mentioned above. Admissionto the Grand Redesign event is free, but Family Clay Workshops are $30 for one parent and one child, $10 each additional child.
On Thursday, Nov. 5, DeSantis teams up with Toast Wine Bar (1365 W. 65th St.) for Kiln to Table, a special dinner, plated using DeSantis’ custom, handmade tableware, which itself was inspired by Toast Wine Bar’s menu and décor and designed to accentuate the meal’s presentation.
“Kiln to Table is being held one night only at Toast Wine Bar,” elaborates DeSantis. “Customers can dine on handcrafted ceramics designed specifically for the evening. If customers wish, they may purchase items afterwards. It’s an interactive art experience. I hesitate to call it an installation. Everything I create is functional and I’m excited for people to experience handmade plates in their element.”
Kiln to Table begins at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, and continues until close. The event is free with the purchase of dinner. Pieces will be available for purchase after dinner. Reservations are recommended (call Toast at 216-862-8974).
(Screw Factory) 13000 Athens Ave., Lakewood, screwfactoryartists.com