Merrill Pottery Co-op


The Merrill Pottery Co-Op is a student-run ceramics cooperative founded in 1970. It is located in the basement of the Merrill A Building. With views of the redwood forest, the Co-Op features two studios: one for throwing and building, the other for glazing. Outside, a gas firing kiln completes the facility.

What's a Co-Op?

A cooperative is a group of people who collectively own and operate a business or resource. A Co-op is non-hierarchical, and members share equally in responsibilities, benefits, and decisions. Merrill students are given priority membership, though membership is open to all current UCSC students.

How to Join

To join, you must first attend a mandatory orientation meeting. If you agree to abide by membership rules, you will be issued a key upon payment of membership dues. The membership drive occurs within the first 2-3 weeks of Fall Quarter each year. Look for announcements or check the website for updated information.

 Fall 2018 Orientation Dates (all orientations are located in the Pottery Studio):

  • Saturday, Oct 13 (11 am - 12pm)
  • Sunday, Oct 14 (11 am - 12 pm)
  • Monday, Oct 15 (3:30 pm - 4:30 pm)
  • Tuesday, Oct 16 (3 pm - 4 pm)

Members must comply with all Pottery Co-Op rules, as well as college and university policies. Non-compliance is subject to losing your membership rights. Non-refundable memberships are available, currently $140 for the academic year. Paid memberships include key card access to the studios; use of wheels, clay and glazes; kiln firing and all kinds of workshops. Paid membership means you are agreeing to volunteer your time to help keep the facilities clean, stocked, and functioning smoothly. Operational decisions are made by consensus and everyone helps to keep the facilities functioning, clean, and well supplied.


The Merrill Activities & Programs office handles all the administrative functions of the Pottery Co-Op. The College Programs Coordinator is the fiscal manager and staff advisor of the Pottery Co-Op. Decisions about expenditures rest with the Pottery Co-Op student managers and/or Co-Op members. Work-trade student managers can enjoy free membership in exchange for undertaking leadership responsibilities. These include mentoring/training others in glaze chemistry and firing techniques, overseeing workgroups, ordering supplies, conducting cleanup and facilities organization and inventory. Student managers are subject to dismissal by consensus if they do not fulfil the responsibilities of the position.

I Don't Know How to Clay

Co-Op members can pursue a variety of ceramic interests in the studio, from handbuilding to throwing on the wheel. One does not need great artistic ability, nor extensive experience in ceramics to become a member. The Co-Op welcomes all who are interested in CLAY, COMPLIANCE and CREATIVITY.

For more information, email

See Also