Keith Grabowsky ~ Owner/ YAY CLAY! Instructor
Keith can barely remember a time when clay wasn’t part of his life. Whether creating pottery, getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts, or his passion – teaching the art of pottery –Keith’s practically got clay in his blood. After earning his BFA in Ceramics at the Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University, Keith went on to receive his Masters in Fine Arts from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Keith, a Montclair NJ native, has taught classes at his Montclair studio, at Riker Hill Art Complex, the Montclair Art Museum, and headed the afterschool Arts Elective program for the South Orange and Livingston school districts.Fun facts about Keith:
- Keith sold his first piece of art when a woman offered him $5 for the portrait he drew of her on a napkin. He was ten.
- Keith’s instrument of choice? The Australian didgeridoo (a long piece of wood hollowed out by termites).
- Keith’s quirky collection? Antique stereo-optic slides and viewers. He has over 3000.
Alex Kachenko ~ Assistant Manager/ YAY CLAY! Instructor
Alex teaches pottery classes and pretty much makes things hum at Yay Clay! An Ohio native and graduate of George Washington University, Alex is an accomplished production potter who sells his pieces nationally. His work has been been featured in galleries in New Jersey and Philadelphia.Fun facts about Alex:
- At nine, Alex started selling custom made corsages
- Though a lefty, Alex learned to throw pottery on the wheel in either direction so that he could teach all students
- Alex’s quirky collection: taxidermied frogs playing musical instruments
Olivia Meier ~ Client Coordinator / Yay Clay! Teacher
A Lancaster, PA native, Olivia is a recent graduate of Philly's own Temple University, with a BFA in Metals, Jewelry, & CADCAM. Despite taking some ceramics courses in high school, she didn't discover her true passion for ceramics until her last few semesters in college. Since graduation, she has sought to learn everything she can about ceramic arts and discover her direction as an artist.Fun facts about Alex:
- Olivia's second passion aside from art is absolutely coffee and coffee culture. She will gladly make you the best soy latte you've ever had.
- A nerd at heart, Olivia draws a great deal of inspiration from video games and the intersection between digital mediums and organic forms
- Olivia loves live music and has already been to three shows this year, with plans for at least another four this summer.
Alex Ball ~ YAY CLAY! Instructor
Alex Ball has been teaching ceramics since 2003 and has been working at Yay Clay since 2017. She ran an Empty Bowls pottery fundraiser, which raised over $9,000 for the The Food Bank of Delaware. Alex is a Cleveland native and holds a BFA in sculpture from The Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in painting from The University of the Arts. She is also a member of Black Hound Clay Studio and has work for sale at Vix Emporium in West Philly, where she lives.Fun facts about Alex:
- Alex’s childhood next door neighbor had a kiln, which is what sparked her passion for ceramics
- Bicycle touring, camping, yoga, photography, drawing, and learning Spanish are a few of her pastimes
- When she's not making pottery, Alex teaches art at Greene Towne Montessori School
Abigail Marian ~ YAY CLAY! Instructor
After graduating with her BFA in Art Education from Palm Beach Atlantic University, Abbie has been pursuing ceramics and teaching ceramics. Abbie spent three years directly after her schooling studying and working in a wood firing studio, before moving to the Philadelphia area to continue chasing after her passion for clay. She is now working in multiple studios in the city, and finding her own place as an artist.Fun facts about Abbie:
- Abbie first became interested in pursuing art after helping her older sister complete a college project for a watercolor class. Her sister later gifted her a watercolor set and the rest is history.
- Aside from ceramics, Abbie loves to garden and has big plans for her backyard this upcoming spring.
- A passion for food and drink culture has fueled Abbie’s functional forms, and she hopes to get more involved in collaborations with chefs, pairing food and pottery.
Patrick Griffin ~ YAY CLAY! Instructor
Originally from the Hudson Valley region of Upstate New York, Patrick developed his love of clay as an undergraduate student at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Before moving to Philadelphia in 2017, he held studio assistant positions at Skidmore College and the Saratoga Clay Arts Center. When he’s not teaching others about the amazing properties of clay as an instructor at Yay Clay, he makes his own functional pottery out of a small studio in Fairhill.Fun facts about Patrick
- His favorite thing to cook is fresh pasta. Talk to him about recipes!
- He is an avid biker, even in the harshest temperatures.
- For Patrick, weekends are for making fun cocktails. His all-time favorite is The Penicillin.