119 Harrison Street
Loveland, Ohio 45140
Whistle Stop Clay Works is a fully equipped ceramics teaching studio and gallery located in historic downtown Loveland, Ohio, where the corners of Hamilton, Warren and Clermont counties meet. It's close to excellent restaurants and shops and just two blocks from the renowned Little Miami River Bike Trail.
Opened in June 2010, the Clay Works is the dream of Tim and Kay Bolin O'Grady, longtime Loveland residents who firmly believe that art has a serious impact on one's life and the community in which they live.
After Tim retired in 2006, he resumed his passion with clay at his home studio. One thing led to another. Tim and Kay purchased a 1,300-square-foot abandoned distribution business building in Historic Loveland in the winter of 2009/2010 and within six years have turned it into a viable instructional and recreational resource for the community.
While our focus is on instruction to help our students achieve the knowledge and skill to develop their own sense of ceramics art or craft, many agree that Whistle Stop Clay Works is just plain fun!
We sincerely thank those who have visited and enjoyed our efforts. And we invite you to come learn, relax and explore your creativity.
Who We Are
TIM O'GRADY — Director of Finance
Tim O'Grady was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1944. From a young age, at a remote family summer home (no plumbing or electricity) in Spencertown, NY, Tim became adept with making 'mud pies'. In 1970 he started throwing 'ceramics' on a wheel converted from a treadle Singer sewing machine. Tim considers himself self-taught and devotes his time to hand carving clay reproductions of the 19th and early 20th Century Manhole Covers and throwing pots to explore glaze techniques in his personal studio in Historic Loveland. Several of Tim's Manhole Covers are displayed at Loveland City Hall. His work can also be seen at Kings Honda, where only three artists were chosen from the Cincinnati area to be part of the grand opening and state-of-the-art automobile showroom.
KAY BOLIN O'GRADY — Director of Marketing & Sales
Kay Bolin O'Grady retired as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a French-owned textile company in 2004 and, for the first time in her life, was able to focus her energies on the Loveland community. She quickly became involved with the Loveland Stage Company, Loveland Beautification Committee, Greater Loveland Historical Society Museum and the Loveland Arts Council. She served two terms as president of the Loveland Arts Council. Kay regrets she does not have a ceramics background but admits she is in the right place to learn. "You are never too old to learn and I am loving it!"
GRACE MARKLEY-REITER — Instructor
Grace Markley-Reiter has worked in clay since 1990 and taught and studied both wheel and handbuilt ceramics. She focuses her passion for clay on unique functional ware, with the hope that her pieces will become a part of personal memories, to be given as gifts, treasured and shared. The joy and fluidity of creating in clay is a constant source of inspiration to her and a reminder of the value of craft in contemporary culture. She is a member of the Loveland Arts Council and looks forward to meeting new students at Whistle Stop Clay Works. Grace happily lives near the studio in Loveland.
CHRISTINE KIDWELL — Instructor
Christine Kidwell is a local artist who loves the unique qualities clay provides as an artistic medium. She appreciates allowing the clay to grow and emerge as it is formed on the wheel or through hand-building, yielding one-of-a-kind functional vessels or sculptural forms. The thread that runs through all of Christine's work is a desire to express the organic, naturally occurring colors and shapes in each piece. When Christine isn't playing in the mud, she can be found spending time with her two amazing children or working in her psychology private practice.
HELOISE BESSE — Instructor
Heloise Besse started her journey in clay as a child making mud pies in the backyard of her parents' Louisiana home. She has dabbled in various forms of art since then, from pastel drawings to batik, but it was raw clay taking shape in her hands that inspired her the most. She has attended clay workshops and classes for two decades, learning new techniques to try with clay and artful ways to apply glazes. In addition to creating functional and decorative pottery in her home studio, Heloise enjoys teaching children in the after-school program at Whistle Stop Clay Works.
BONNIE McNETT — Instructor
Bonnie stumbled into clay in college when she went against her advisor's wish that she take Organic Chemistry II and took an introduction into clay course instead. She has never regretted that decision. She is primarily self taught and makes functional vessels, glazed in earth tones. She has taught pottery classes at a local Montessori school for five years. When she isn't in the studio, she is spending time with her family or outside enjoying the natural world.
ADRIANA De PALMA — Instructor
Originally from Argentina, Adriana has been living in the United States for 27 years. She started working with clay 25 years ago at The North Carolina State University Craft Center in Raleigh, NC, and continued her formal education in Fine Arts at Miami University, Oxford, OH. Through the years, she has benefited from the generosity of many talented artists who shared with her their knowledge and experience. When she is not teaching, she is working on her personal projects and mainly in porcelain.