The History of Clay in the Master's Hand

Potter Jim Esway is the owner of Clay in the Master’s Hand. The work of pottery is a family affair. Jim enlists the creative assistance of his wife Kathy for creative design and color detail on his works on the wheel. In recent years he is joined by Nate Esway, his oldest son, to assist in all aspects of the business.

The work of Clay in the Master’s Hand is nestled in the Auburn foothills where each piece is created in the private studios located in Meadow Vista and Auburn California. Jim began working seriously in clay in 1975 at Sunnyvale High School where he learned the craft and was inspired by his amazing teacher Jerry Strong. He continued his education at San Jose State University where he studied Ceramics as a minor and Business as his major. During his college years, Jim worked with the famed “Owl Man” of California, Glenn Heath, where he met Kathy and together they apprenticed in soapstone sculpture. This background in sculpture has added a unique element and texture to their finished pieces.

Jim is an experienced potter with over 35 years working in clay. Jim’s specialty is in hand thrown functional ware using mostly white and brown high-fire stoneware clays. Jim’s wife Kathy is an accomplished designer and floral consultant with 2 Talented Sisters, specializing in wedding design and floral arrangements. When she is not busy designing and raising the couple’s 5 children, she manages to fit time in for carving and painting beauty into the work at the studio. Kathy also provides much of the creative vision of our work. Jim continues to have a passion and love for clay, second only to his love for Kathy, his wife of 32 years. Together they try to create functional pieces that will inspire your everyday living with style, form and function.

Jim is the owner of Crossroad Ventures Group which is his full time vocation in Commercial/Residential Real Estate Development, Management and Brokerage. Pottery provides a creative outlet to an otherwise taxing full time business endeavor.

For several years, Clay in the Master’s Hand has been featured on the Autumn Art Tour and annually hosts a holiday sale at their home and studio. Jim also enjoys speaking engagements where he provides and illustration on the potter’s wheel demonstrating a life worth living to schools and church groups alike. We are beginning to make available classes for those interested in learning how to work with clay on the potter’s wheel. At Clay in the Master’s Hand it is a lifelong dream of ours to be used as vessels for the glory of God. We trust you will enjoy our work and the transforming message found in clay.


"But now, O LORD, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand."

-Isaiah 64:8

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