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About Caroline & Clay Tooth

This and the other b&w photos are by Pat ApPaul

The artwork behind me is by Kayla Karaszewski



I am a studio potter working out of the basement of my home in the Creston neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

I am drawn to the medium of clay - as many others are - by the intimacy of the material. The tactile, messy immediacy of it. It’s both grounding and inspiring. My aim is to create pieces that charm and entice, and I enjoy pursuing new concepts and forms as much as making functional items for everyday use. I also love to teach others and share in their joy of discovery, confidence and creativity.

Ever since I fell in love with shaping clay, I have found ways to make work here and there - at community studios, in a spare corner of the home of dear friends, or placing a wheel on some linoleum in the unfinished basement of a rental apartment. When the opportunity arose to buy a home with a clean, readymade studio space in the basement (including a kiln in the old coal room!) it was impossible to pass up. 


After spending about three years managing a local community clay studio and teaching classes there, I set out to pursue my own practice full time at the start of 2023. This includes some time set aside for in-depth teaching in one-on-one wheel courses, or up to four in hand-building courses, which I call Clay Tooth Studio.

Whether I am in my studio, tending to plants, or on vacation combing Michigan lake shores for stones, I do it for the earthly contact. It’s where Clay Tooth got the name: being so close to the source it gets in your teeth.


My work is fired to cone 5 / 6 in an electric kiln.

Potter Caroline Bouwense at the wheel in her home studio.
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