Ceramic houses from Sun Parlor Studio in Cleveland (photo courtesy of Sun Parlor Studio)

The Colorful Creations of Cleveland’s Sun Parlor Studio

Ceramicist Megan Young adds warm hues to everyday objects by way of her Sun Parlor Studio pottery pieces.

Megan Young is an artistic triple threat. The Cleveland-based ceramicist teaches private lessons, instructs group workshops and makes pottery under the name Sun Parlor Studio. She produces a vibrant, multicolored lineup of mugs, cereal bowls, ring dishes and planters, among other pieces.

After taking her first wheel-throwing class at the Cleveland Institute of Art, her love for pottery was solidified. She became hooked on the art of play and the joy found in everyday objects. She began assisting a local ceramicist, purchased a kiln, received a pottery wheel for Christmas and eventually started teaching classes at local art centers. Things continued to pick up speed until Young launched Sun Parlor Studio in April 2022.

“Ceramics was this perfect medium: a middle ground between being able to make a functional object that’s beautiful and also making something that could be seen as a work of art,” she says.

Sun Parlor Studio mugs (photo courtesy of Sun Parlor Studio)

Her pieces are eye-catching and distinctive, gravitating toward sunny color combinations and simplistic patterning. Young says she has long been drawn to playful forms, experimenting with scalloped edges, crafting egg spoon rests and building house figurines. She has a particular fondness for the latter, which are inspired by the ceramic villages that once decorated her mother’s home during Christmastime.

When Young is ready to make a new piece, she sketches ideas and puts together a mood board of glaze colors. Sometimes she’ll work with digital programs to flesh out the design, but most of the time, she gets her hands right into the clay. She weighs it out, throws her piece and lets it dry overnight.

She then trims her work and attaches or carves anything necessary, followed by another night of drying. The piece goes through a bisque firing, a glazing and a glaze firing. If Young is hand-building, the process looks the same, minus throwing and trimming. If anything goes awry prior to firing a piece, Young says she loves that she can always start fresh.

“There’s not many other art forms where you can recycle your work infinitely until it gets to a certain point,” she says. “With clay, you can just break [it] down and use it again as many times as you want.”

For more information, visit sunparlorstudio.com.