Merrill Pottery Co-op


2023-2024 Orientation Dates (5 opportunities):


  • Sunday, October 1, 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Monday, October 2, 1:30-3:30 pm
  • Friday, October 6, 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 7, 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 8, 6:30-8:00 pm



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 cooperative, aka Co-Op?

A cooperative is a group of people who own and operate a business or resource. A Co-op is non-hierarchical, and members share responsibilities, benefits, and decisions equally.

Who is eligible to join?

The Merrill Pottery Co-Op is open to all types of community members, including but not limited to current students, alumni, staff, family members of staff, students from local community colleges, etc.

How to Join

Membership is on a first-come, first-served basis and is conferred with a score of 100% on an online safety/responsibility quiz AFTER attending orientation. Payment is only accepted via Check or Money Order made to "UC Regents." See "How to write a check to join the MPC section below for more info. We CAN NOT accept cash, Venmo, Zelle, cash app, or any other money app service.

 Membership Info and Requites:

  1. Attendance at ONE orientation is mandatory to become a member.
  2. Membership will be given on a first-come, first-served basis upon successfully completing the orientation and safety quizzes. 
  3. Five work hours per quarter are requisite for membership. (If this is not met, you will be asked to leave with no refund).
  4. We require everyone to be respectful of one another and the space we share; if you do not comply with our rules re: mutual respect, you will be asked to leave with no refund.
  5. We pride ourselves on being one of the most affordable pottery co-ops in the WORLD! Membership fees for the 2023-24 year are ONLY $250 for students or $400 for staff/community members, which includes clay, glaze, and firings, along with 24/7 access during the academic school year (excluding access during holidays like spring/winter break).
  6. A background in ceramics is great, but we do not require formal training and encourage everyone of all skill levels to apply.
  7. We are not a production studio and cannot accommodate high volumes of work.
  8. We will hold a select number of spots for Merrill affiliates students.
  9. We will hold a select number of spots for students in their last year of university.
  10. We will hold a select number of spots for community members.
  1. Orientation Info:
    1. Wearing a mask in the Co-Op will be required for orientation but optional for 2023-2024.
    2. We will open the doors 5 minutes before orientation begins, and we will close the doors once we reach capacity inside each room (40-50 people total per orientation slot, please do not show up early or form a line, we may ask you to leave if you arrive too early).
    3. Attendance will be taken, and please have student ID numbers or Drivers Licenses and emails ready upon arrival.
    4. Must attend mud room and glaze room orientations and be prepared to take notes. 
    5. We will email a safety/membership quiz to all orientation attendees, membership will ONLY be given to individuals who complete this quiz with 100% accuracy, and memberships will be conferred on a first-come, first serve basis.
  2. How to write a check to join MPC:
    If you are accepted into MPC, Please ensure the check meets all of the following criteria:
    ● Properly filled out and all information provided is legible
    ● Payable to “UC Regents” or “The Regents of the University of California”
    ● Numerical and written-out amounts match
    ● Write Student ID or Driver's License # on the top of the check
    ● Contains no markings or notations below the “memo” or signature line
    ● Signed by the check account holder

    The Merrill Programs and Leadership 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. The Pottery Co-Op managers and/or Co-Op members make decisions about expenditures. 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 fulfill the position's responsibilities.

    I Don't Know How to Clay
    Co-Op members can pursue various ceramic interests in the studio, from hand-building to throwing on the wheel. One does not need great artistic ability or extensive experience in ceramics to become a member. The Co-op welcomes all interested in CLAY, COMMUNITY, and CREATIVITY.
For more information, email