David Weinstein Ceramics | Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

David Weinstein Ceramics

The Osher Marin JCC is pleased to host a selection of artwork by local ceramist David Weinstein. The display is on view in the lobby through August. 

For more information on the artist, or for sales inquiries, please email the artist directly: daweinstein@sbcglobal.net 

COST: Free


I became interested in clay during my sophomore year at The Urban High School in San Francisco in 1975. A wonderful art teacher who was a classically trained Japanese potter spent three years allowing me to practice with her.

During my junior year, I apprenticed with Tom Burdett, a production potter who owned two shops in San Francisco, one on Clement Street and one in Ghirardelli Square. The Potters’ Workshop produced dinnerware for retail sale and for restaurants. In exchange for full access to his studios and kilns, I performed the whole array of “grunt” jobs including preparing Tom’s clay, teaching his classes, mixing his glazes, sweeping his floors. Tom taught almost entirely by demonstration and with very few words. Though uncomfortable for a teenaged kid, I learned more from him than any other artist I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

Besides the serenity and peace attained while working, I learned how to build and fire kilns and the basics of glaze chemistry from Tom. The most important gift I received at this stage, however, was the ability to throw a well-balanced, light-weight pot. Since many production potters create hundreds of similar forms entirely by hand, initial form and weight balances are critical. Tom would routinely have me throw a form and proceed to cut it in half to see how even the walls were. His philosophy was to make pots with as few tools as possible. He expected the hands to be the primary tool for most jobs. He only used three tools when he sat at his wheel. 

While in college at UCSC I took a variety of specialized ceramics classes and apprenticed another production potter in Santa Cruz named Sylvia Clark. Sylvia was well known for her ceramic sinks and lamps. Sylvia was a perfectionist who would pick up a pot and drop it on the floor if it was too heavy or out of proportion, insisting that the apprentice make a few more with more refined form. She believed firmly that the pleasure in potting was derived from contact with the clay and that once the piece was finished, the pleasure for the potter had been exhausted. Though extreme, this passion for the process and respect for the medium has never left me.

In 1988, I joined the West California Pottery in Mill Valley where I worked until 1997. In 2003, I became a partner in ArtFire Studios with a small group of artists who share their enthusiasm for their mediums freely while pursuing individual creative dreams.