About AWK Clayworks
"I want to create items that elevate daily routines, beautify living spaces, and provide comfort in quiet moments. These are handmade 'things' that facilitate connection between people and moments in time."
-Alyssa Westenbroek-Koster, Founder and Designer
AWK Clayworks is a pottery studio based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My name is Alyssa Westenbroek-Koster (get it, AWK?!), AWK Clayworks is the culmination of my creative vision and intention to create handmade items to bring joy to those who use them.
With a degree in Studio Art, I have been working full time in the ceramics industry since 2004.
Before founding AWK Clayworks in 2008, I spent 2 years as a production potter for Heather Lane Pottery, in Ada, MI., followed by a 2 year assistant position with Michigan potter, Mary Doezema. In 2012, I shifted into commercial clay manufacturing, ceramics equipment sales, and workshop planning for Rovin Ceramics in Ann Arbor, MI. During that period of time, I also had the opportunity to teach ceramics classes, ranging from beginning potters wheel to advanced techniques at the Ann Arbor Art Center in Ann Arbor, MI.
In 2014, I moved to Boulder, CO, and quickly set about the task of finding a new home for AWK Clayworks. Soon after our arrival in Colorado I created a bustling little studio which was tucked away in NOBO Art District. The studio in north Boulder was a bustling little gem, until December of 2019, when life took a different direction with the arrival of my first child. Closing the studio turned out to be a fortuitous decision, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit only a few months later.
Fast forward two years, and my family has migrated back to our home town of Grand Rapids, MI. My studio is now much smaller and moves much slower than it used to, but the size and speed are exactly what fits my life at this moment. I work out of the basement of our home where I ebb and flow between studio work and home life.