Central Ohio Clay Arts

Our mission at COCA is to connect and support people and organizations in central Ohio that share passion for clay arts.


  • Include artist members in all stages of their careers 
  • Create a supportive platform for clay artists in central Ohio, connecting them to broader communities regionally, nationally, and internationally 
  • Offer opportunities in education, exhibition, working/studio space, and professional networking to our artists
  • Foster relationships between artists, suppliers, collectors, organizations, educators, students, and galleries 
  • Advance public appreciation of clay art and artists in central Ohio

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Join us in our pursuit of greatness. Become an active member of our guild and help us spread awareness on the beauty and complexity of clay arts.


Meet Our Board Members

Chelsea Proctor

Clay started as an escape and became my career and passion. I used the ceramics room to escape high
school drama, fell in love with clay and went on to get my B.F.A from Columbus College of Art and


Christian Ottaway

My name is Christian Ottaway, a central Ohio native that graduated from Shawnee State University. After acquiring my BFA in Ceramics I traveled the country for a few years doing different ceramic gigs searching for my place in clay. This led me to St. Petersburg Florida, where I was a short-term artist in resident, as well as a salesperson for the ceramic supplier Highwater Clay. Additionally while there I served as a guest artist for Creative Clay, a non-profit organization teaching art to adults with developmental disabilities. I later moved to northwest Montana where I completed a one-year apprenticeship at a small production pottery. After traveling so much I moved back to Columbus where I set up my own home studio where I currently make my own functional wares. Through all my experiences, I learned that there is not just one place for me in clay, but a broad range of ways to utilize my love for this medium.


Eric Rausch

I love clay, like, for real. I am lucky enough to work every day with the material to make pots, tiles, sculptures, messes… Teaching and managing the ceramics studio at the Cultural Arts Center in downtown Columbus is a dream job for me. It allows me the freedom to make my own work and spend some time on other passion projects like this guild, COCA. As a founding member and President of the board, I am committed to making this a long lasting guild that connects and supports central Ohio’s clay art makers and collectors. I have spent the last several years working on various nonprofit boards and organizing events with the Columbus arts community. I am encouraged by the excitement from our membership and board to make COCA a sustainable organization. Alongside my career as an artist, I also love spending time and creating things with my wife Jen and my kids Ruby and Indigo. 


Kevin Keiser


Julie Woodrow

I was born in Columbus and am a graduate of Columbus Alternative High School.  I earned my B.A.E. from The Ohio State University and my M.A.A.E. from The Art Academy of Cincinnati.  I have taught mostly ceramics (along with Native American Studies and Art, General Art, and Adaptive Art) for 22 years at Worthington Kilbourne High School.  I am represented by Sherrie Gallerie in Columbus and Lillstreet Gallery in Chicago. 

I am passionate about teaching.  I know that my commitment to my students feeds my interest and enthusiasm about my own work.  In the last twenty-two years, in the role of both artist and teacher, skill building has always seemed to be at the core of studio work, but underlying this is always the bigger questions of how art relates to life and culture; expression and meaning; design and function.  Learning about art, and specifically ceramics, creates opportunities for us to engage in the study of an art form that has been around just about as long as humankind.  We learn a very primal lesson when we make a pinch pot, and even though our survival no longer hinges on the skill, the act of creating connects us to an essential human experience.


Layne Peters

As a full time graphic design professional, ceramics provide me with a different type of creative outlet, where the boundaries and artistic direction are by choice, and can even change mid-stream.

My desire to explore the ceramic arts are no doubt influenced by my father being a ceramic artist, who just crossed the threshold into his 90s and still dabbles in the craft. I began my own journey into ceramics in my mid-thirties, and what started as a casual hobby quickly became much more. Growing up in a home filled with ceramics seems to have made this feel somewhat natural.

I find I am most of impressed with, or influenced by, Japanese ceramics, working with wheel-thrown forms, altering and exploring shapes and surface treatments. In addition, I enjoy exploring through the kurinuki techique, where a vessel is carved out of a solid block of clay.


Lisa Bare Culp

My name is Lisa Bare Culp and I am the owner of Bareclay Studio in Columbus, Ohio. At Bareclay, I am able to share the extreme joy of clay with people of all ages and abilities. I am a CCAD Fine Arts/Ceramics grad with roots in Columbus. I am a founding board member of the COCA guild.

I currently serve artists with different abilities through my association with ARC Industries and the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities. My work there allows me to use the arts to encourage community integration and foster employment and creative opportunities for underserved individuals.


Chelsea Proctor

Clay started as an escape and became my career and passion. I used the ceramics room to escape high
school drama, fell in love with clay and went on to get my B.F.A from Columbus College of Art and


Mike Galbraith

I’m excited to share my experiences to help support and further the central Ohio clay arts
community. Ceramics has been a part of my life for a long time. Somehow I knew the joy of playing in the mud would have purpose later in life! Originally I'm from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and later ended up in Columbus in my teens. All through grade school and university I explored the creative wonders of pottery and ceramic art by taking countless classes and any time I could find left over I used just to be creative in clay. I was very much interested in the artistic aspect of ceramics as well as the chemistry behind it. At university I shifted interests from Biochemistry and Industrial Design at The Ohio State University and graduated from the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture in 2000. Several years later I returned from Thailand and Hawaii to the Columbus area to focus on the ceramic industry here. I am the current head of Technical Services at Columbus Clay Company and assist our sales team in day to day operations. I also give additional focus to architectural services, product design, and material sciences. In my free time I travel internationally quite a bit to explore food culture and music. When at home you can usually find me in the horticulture endeavors of the back yard, gardening and tending to the honey bees.


Nathan Klein

Nathan's interest in ceramics began in high school. Since then, he has received a B.F.A. from The Ohio State University with a concentration in Ceramics. He has attended workshops at Arrowmont, completed a residency at Belden Brick and studied various hand forming and throwing techniques while living in Jingdezhen, China. Through working at Mayco Colors, Nathan gained a working knowledge of their product through traveling and teaching both nationally and internationally. Currently, Nathan has been partnering with Grace Cooper on creating personalized ceramics through Nathaniel Cooper Decor.




Todd Hickerson

I have been playing with clay since college. I dove hands first into the medium at The Ohio State University where I received my BFA with a focus in ceramics. Between 15 years in the Army and the “battles” of growing a beautiful family, I have found time to expand my clay knowledge with numerous residencies, workshops, and teaching opportunities. I have studied at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute of Art and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, was the studio tech at John Bryan Community Pottery, taught elementary art, and was the resident artist at Clayspace for seven years. I am blessed to get to get my hands dirty in clay everyday while working for Mayco.


Check Out Our Work!