Clay Owen Studios

Center for lost art forms!

About Us

My name is Autumn Tetlow and I am the owner and operator of Clay Owen Studios. I started my studio when I was nineteen years old in a small space in downtown Anchorage. As my class attendance started to grow so did the studio. We went from a one wheel studio to a studio with eight wheels and three kilns. 

   At the studio I teach all the classes that are hosted and organize and advertise guest artist who teach classes in different media. I teach stained glass, fused glass, wheel thrown pottery, and watercolor classes. I teach hand built pottery to children as well as host classes for large camp groups, girl scout groups, and home school groups. 
  I also sell my art in many venues. I have presented my work at the Whales Tale in the Caption Cook, Kaladi Brothers, Midnight Sun Cafe, and many other cafes and galleries. All the paintings on our gallery page are my creations as well as the pottery and crochet items for sale. I sculpt all pottery by hand and it is all hand painted with a brush. I believe that art should be affordable to everyone so I do like to sell items in a range of prices.
  My crafts I sell at many craft fairs. I have participated in the forest fair for the past six years as well as the Blueberry Festival, Fiddle Head Festival, Bear Paw Festival and Slush Cup. In the winter I have participated in the  Make it Alaska Festival, Holiday Food and Gift Festival, and the Christmas Village. 
  The studio has given me many blessing the biggest being life experience. I have taught the disabled for two years as the director of the pottery class at the Arc of Anchorage. I have also done adjunct non credit courses teaching for UAA as well as been commissioned to do classes for native corporations in remote communities. 
   Since I was young I have been making art. I have to thank my mom, a self employed accountant, for her example of hard work and business ownership as a single parent. I made a mess of every carpet in every apartment, house, condo, and even car we ever owned. Through every mess of paint on the carpet and hot glue spot on the couch she managed to support me. 

The Inspiration 

The studio was named after my grandfather Clay Owen Johnson. He was the kindest man and the most caring person in my world thus far. Unfortunately he passed away a year before the studio started but I would like to think that he can see the happiness it brings me and the community of Anchorage. He came here on a shipping freighter from Detroit in 1941 with his parents and younger sister. Back then there were no roads from Homer to Anchorage which is where the ship docked. My great grandma cursed for the only time in her life when she experienced her first earth quake in Homer the first month they stayed and believe me cursing for a her was  big deal, it was a big deal for any woman the 40's. 

  My great grandparents bought 80 acres in Palmer for $100 in the 40's we still have the property today. It is the closest to heaven that I have ever been. Twenty cleared acres and a small white house and a seperate building for the garage. They made their own house, dug their own foundation and even plumbing and electric was tasked to my great grandpa. Being a mechanic that once worked on the line for Ford it was a piece of cake but then most folks knew how to do all of that in that time, or so my grandpa told me. He would be able to keep things running forever but mentioned that as time passed we designed products to break. 
   Every time we would visit the farm after we moved into town I would received an art items to take home to mom's. Much to her anxiety of keeping the house clean. He would give me drawing sets, colored pencils, watercolor sets, and tips such as " a good artist always signed their work... always!". He would even buy everyone one present on his own birthday so that no one would feel left out one of the many reasons I loved him so much. 
  The farm had a green house and a porch swing which is what I remember most. It smelled like tomatoes and was the best kind of warm humid air a human could breath. The floors where made of pallet boards and when I was small I was always afraid of getting my foot stuck between the boards. My grandma would eat fresh tomatoes like candy, once the greenhouse was no longer there she stopped, she said the ones at the store had no flavor. 
  The garage they lived in until the house was built. In the winter they used a dog sled to travel and in the summers an old army ambulance that looked like the one in MASH. They had a very funny story about how my great aunt Shirley crashed it into a ditch while sneaking out of the house but we didn't talk about it very often.  They also used to have to use the outhouse in the dead of winter when it was thirty below zero. They used to stretch long underwear over the seat to make sure they would not stick to it when it got covered in frost. Once the house was built they moved in on Christmas Eve 1945. 
The house in palmer is still in our family, though my grandpa is gone everytime I visit the house it smells like him and feels like no other place on earth. He was the best person I knew who always managed to do the right thing. He is very missed but I am glad he was blessed to live in such a beautiful place that still remains in our family.  When its sunny its paradise on earth right next to the purple mountains of the Matanuska Valley. Surrounded by twenty cleared acres that the family cleared themselves with boxes of dynamite and bow saws. There is a 8 ft pine tree that I gave my grandpa for earth day when it was less than a foot tall. Two crab apple trees get so full of apples the limbs touch the ground towards the end of the crab apple season.