Carla O’Brien is the owner and President of Sarasota Clay. Carla, herself, is a gifted clay artist. She creates lovely utilitarian pottery – bowls, casseroles, goblets, and the like. She also creates whimsical, sculptural forms – pieces that bring a smile to one’s face. Besides throwing, firing, and glazing her own beautiful work, she is a master teacher, conducting classes for all ages at her Sarasota shop, a busy place called Carla’s Clay. Born and raised on a dairy farm in Lowville, New York, Carla grew up in a Mennonite family, one of seven children. Lowville was a dairy community, a town that had more cows than people. Carla remarks, “The clay studio is like a farm, almost. During the season, kilns have to run practically every day. We are always busy loading or unloading the kilns. There are supplies to be ordered, inventoried and shipped, glazes to be mixed, and clay to be recycled.” Carla has been an ardent supporter of the visual art programs in the Manatee County Schools. She provides professional development for art teachers and materials at affordable rates.