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CCSA History and Mission
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The Mission of the CCSA is to promote our industry and be a resource for our members


CCSA History

Ceramic shops have been around for as long as anyone can remember.  In the beginning they were dusty little shops tucked away in just about every neighborhood.  Most of the shops you had to pick your mold, mix your slip, and pour your own piece.  You’d come back a few days later and remove the mold, clean up the bisque, and begin to paint.  They would glaze and fire the piece and you’d have a completed piece a few days after that.  These are what we call Traditional Ceramic Studios.  They had quite different look and feel from the evolved Contemporary Paint Your Own Pottery (PYOP) studios today.  Although similar in many ways, the PYOP’s today operate a bit differently and many include other craft offerings like fused glass, clay, mosaics, wood crafts, and canvas. 

The change from Traditional to Contemporary started in the 90’s.  And with an increase of so many small, locally owned Mom and Pop PYOP’s popping up all over the world, the idea to create the CCSA began to hatch.  It started with a small group of people with a lot of experience in the ceramics industry. Suppliers like Duncan, Total Mosaics, Skutt and Mayco discussing how they could put together and connect all these shops.  They brought in studio owners to the discussion and before too long their idea began to grow.  The founding members wanted to connect suppliers with studio owners, studio owners with other studio owners and create a place they could share ideas, launch products, find inspiration, and network – all under one roof.  They achieved these goals by creating the CCSA.

Although it has evolved greatly over the years to meet ever changing needs, the founding principles of these forward thinking individuals are still the cornerstones of our association.  The current CCSA has over 700 studio and supplier members located all over the world.  For our studio members we provide an abundance of benefits including savings with participating suppliers, quarterly project guides, monthly webinars, networking, ideas, and inspiration.  For our supplier members we provide a direct contact with studios, a place to launch new products, and grow their business.  (You can learn more about the benefits of being a CCSA Member by clicking here)

The CCSA also holds an annual convention where suppliers can exhibit and attendees can attend valuable classes and gain insight for their business.  This educational experience is one of the most talked about events of the year in this industry. 

The CCSA has two full time employees and a volunteer Board of Directors made up of studio owners and supplier members.  We also publish a quarterly magazine - The CCSA Today.  Our Members Only website houses years of archives including photos, projects, and other important documents that are invaluable to studio owners.  Being a member of the CCSA has many benefits but by far the willingness to share ideas and information with each other so openly is one of the greatest. 

The CCSA revels in the process of helping so many business owners by providing time and energy saving items at their fingertips.  It’s our honor and privilege to be a part the evolution and growth of this industry.




Great Shapes Auction

The leading event at the annual CCSA Convention is the Great Shapes Auction. Studios from all over the country and now the world create and donate amazing creations in ceramics and glass to be bought in a silent auction, and the works deemed the most outstanding are sold in an exciting live auction segment.

2009-2013 Raised $140,000 for Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer
2014-2015 Raised over $50,000 for St. Jude Research Children's Hospital 
2016 Raised over $35,000 for Special Olympics South Carolina  

2017 Raised over $28,000 for Believe Big


Believe Big 

Dear CCSA members,


It was wonderful to meet many of you at the 2017 CCSA convention. Mary and I were blown away by your kindness and willingness to help spread hope to cancer patients. We are so blessed to be connected to such an amazing group of people!


We wanted to follow-up and make sure you have the tools to get started as a Believe Big pottery store partner. Almost everyone received a yellow informational folder. Just in case you didn’t or in case you have questions, below is a quick summary.


You can be set up in a few easy steps!

  1. If you did not fill out a form at the convention, please contact our Believe Mug Coordinator, Mary Kruft, at 888-317-5850 x 710 or with your store contact information. Please make sure to include your correct email for communication.  As a thank you, your store information will soon be listed on our website as a participating partner! If you did not receive a yellow welcome folder, Mary can mail you the two-sided program poster to hang in your store. Please then visit our new web page for pottery store owners ( to download the PDF’s that were included in the welcome folder.
  2. Provide the name of a local cancer center or infusion center near your store where Believe Mugs can be delivered. Believe Big will contact the cancer center to set up the relationship. Many of you mentioned customers or family members with connections to local facilities. Please provide their contact information to Mary so that she can communicate with them
  3. Visit to order your packaging supplies. We will also have printable packaging instructions and our community service form you can share with your staff or community service helpers. By ordering the packaging supplies, your store receives a tax-deductible donation benefit and Believe Big can continue to expand our programs.    
  4. Order the basic 12 oz. mug from your vendor or from Chesapeake Ceramics (SKU#CCX995). We use the simple 12 oz. mug as it is flexible for any gender, age group, and it also fits nicely in our packaging materials. Be on the lookout! Coming this winter from Chesapeake Ceramics is a special Believe Mug with “” imprinted on the bottom (SKU# CC3132). This allows patients to remember our website and access free resources easily! They also had a “Believe” silk screen (SKU# DSSBelieve) created that many of you purchased while at the convention to make it easy for those painting and to avoid misspellings!
  5.  Hang up your sign, have a sample Believe Mug displayed (if you didn’t take one home from the convention, we’re happy to ship one!), and encourage your customers to start painting and spreading hope while we finalize the relationship with your local hospital or treatment center!
  6. Once the Believe Mugs are fired, utilize the packaging instructions PDF on for your staff, volunteers, or students looking for community service hours.
  7.  Believe Big will contact you once the relationship with your local hospital is established. Please be patient as this may take some time. Believe Big is a small non-profit with 6 part-time employees and Mary is the sole point person establishing relationships for all stores. Also, the approval process, HIPAA, and “red tape” at some hospitals can be lengthy in order to protect the privacy of the patients.

Again, thank you again for your generosity, your time, and your willingness to help us bring hope, help, and healing to those battling cancer. Lastly, until you have mugs ready at your store, if you’re aware of any cancer patients who you would like to receive a Believe Mug, please email Mary at and we’ll send a mug directly to them. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!


Believing Big with you,

Ivelisse Page

Tiles for America

After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, ceramic studios around the world joined together to offer a creative outlet to the people of our nation. Thousands of tiles, reflecting patriotism, heroes, courage, unity, poetry, and other positive themes arrived in New York City. Contributions came from all over the world, from families, children, schools, churches, scouts, and senior groups. Each tile reflects the artists’ thoughts of sadness and hope in the face of this American tragedy, demonstrating that the American people will pull together in times of national disaster.The first New York memorial is located on a chain-link fence at the corner of 7th Avenue and 11th Street. This unique memorial has been shown on television and in music videos, and is regularly visited by busloads of tourists. A second memorial is now found at the Tribute WTC Center on the south side of Ground Zero. Click here to visit


Updated 06/28/2017

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