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Malibu Potters Find Community in Bonsall Canyon

Charlotte Green and Mary Buchanan, owners of Canyon Pottery Malibu, bring together local potters for an annual holiday ceramics sale.

Tucked away in Bonsall Canyon, a dozen women gather weekly to learn the craft and art of throwing clay.

“I really wanted to see if I had a more creative side,” said Lisa Hayes, an executive producer who has been coming for three years to learn at Canyon Pottery Malibu, which is owned by Charlotte Green and Mary Buchanan.

“My whole day disappeared and I was enthralled with it and I felt this energy,” Hayes said of her first day at the studio.

Her work, along with stoneware created by Green and other students, is up for sale for the Canyon Pottery Malibu's Annual Christmas Sale, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 and Dec. 8-9.

Green built a barn on the property at 6106 Bonsall Drive in Malibu to work as a studio several years ago. She still takes orders and creates entire sets of handthrown stoneware, tableware and other pieces.

Green and Buchanan still welcome Malibu students in the fourth and fifth grade to come to the studio to learn about the process.

She said she began taking pottery classes in between her routines while working as a Rockette in the 1960s.

“It got so boring in the dressing room. In between shows we’d have two hours because in the old days we’d do four or five shows and they’d put a movie in between. I went up to the 92nd Street Y and learned clay,” Green said.

This year the Christmas sale only features artists from the class, but next year the group plans to bring in more local artists to also set up shop.

On a table in the back, Hayes’ process of transformation as an artist is laid out, ranging from traditional stoneware to luminaries.

“As a child, I always had candles and I never had the right handle holder. I said to my husband, when you light a candle, you are always thinking of someone’s soul. What I really would like to do is make one and donate one to Save the Children, which I am involved with,” said Hayes, who lives in Point Dume.

Hayes, who wants more Malibu residents to support the local business, said she continues to come back because of the sense of community she feels at Canyon Pottery Malibu.

“We’ve all got that common interest and want to be creative,” she said.  

Jeff Baugh December 02, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Love to go. Open today, Sunday 12/2 ??? JB
Jessica E. Davis December 02, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Yes, it is open today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and next weekend. There are signs from Busch on PCH to help you find your way.
shelley schuster December 02, 2012 at 06:47 PM
We're open until 3... Come over!!
Diana Mullen December 02, 2012 at 09:48 PM
It's an utterly fabulous place with utterly fabulous people!! Thank you, Jessica for doing a story on them!! We hit the sale late yesterday and are heading back next weekend...
Jeff Baugh December 02, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Thanks Jessica and Canyon Pottery. It was worth the rainy adventure! Beautiful gifts now wrapped and waiting for UPS:) JB

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