Sayge Carroll

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Artist and advocate Sayge Carroll has been tending the soil of community through art for more than 20 years. Throughout their career, they have harnessed the tools of visual art, sound/music, and civic engagement to create work that links ancestry to the present and honors the historic contributions — from its notable figures to natural resources to cultural traditions. In their public art and events, Carroll works outside traditional art spaces to reach people in the context of their lives and communities. They hold an MFA from the University of Minnesota. They have presented in colleges, NECCA, and elementary schools, hospitals, and business meetings.

Sayge Carroll believes in and values our need for creative outlets, and our inherent ability to create. As a maker and teaching artist, they share their love for the tactile, manipulation of tools to create, by offering activities and experiences that are rich with innovation, imagination and support.

More About the Artist

Maya Angelou “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Toni Morrison “If there is a book that you want to read, but hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

To introduce the basics of clay, Sayge walks each class through hand building, pinching, coils, and slabs to build with clay. There is a short demonstration of each technique. The participants are then guided in the creation, development, and presentation of a work of their own.

Program Offerings

Virtual and Remote Programs

Build A Cup Make Ornaments (Art Kit/Workshop)

The art of making with clay is also available in personal clay kits, customized to the project’s needs. In this activity you will learn to build a cup, sculpture, or design a tile. Put your creative spin on it, then bring it in for firing. In the end you will have a handmade object for display in your site’s common space.

Materials in Kit: Tools needed for the project. Enough clay to make each piece. The underglaze and plastic to cover your piece while working on it. You will need to provide, water, towel, rolling pin or dowel.


Introducing “Clay”: A Beginner’s Guide

An introductory course that presents the fundamentals of wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramics as forms of utility and creative expression through the potter’s wheel, slab construction, coil building, and pinching. Individual concepts and idea development using clay is emphasized in addition to techniques. This class will involve three- dimensional problem solving with a focus on the methodical aspects and the physical craftsmanship relative to the medium of ceramics. Students will learn about clay as a material, basic glaze chemistry, and firing techniques in addition to learning about clay as a medium.

Residency best for high school age or older. Lessons can be adjusted for ages 9+ or special needs. Students need basic motor skills. 7-15 students in each class.

Ideally a 3-hour class, with at least three installments. First class focus on making, second class refining or underglazing, third class glazing.

Sounds and Clay

Learn to make a clay flute, whistle, drum, or shaker. These lessons are wonderful for young and old. Lessons can be adjusted for ages 9+ or special needs. Students need basic motor skills. 7-15 students in each class. 

Ideally a 3-hour class, with at least three installments. All classes can be made into a semester class. First class focus on making, second class refining or underglazing, third class glazing.


Clay Play

This class is to learn surface treatments, sgraffito, inlay, underglaze. This is a class that is right for all ages and different abilities, easily accessible. Ages 7-99. One two-hour class. Paintbrushes, sgraffito tools, metal rib, clay, rolling pin, needle tool canvas covered tables or canvas covered boards to work on. Students will learn sgraffito techniques, inlay, and underglaze techniques. They will learn vocabulary related to ceramics. We will use collective assessment critique for evaluation of learning goals.

Note: program can be done as a residency.


In this class we will bind a leather journal. We will cut and size the paper, leather and bind 5 signatures into a personal journal for sketching or writing. Leather, paper, book bone, ruler, leather hole punch, string for binding, and needles. The goal is to learn how to make a journal and fill it with thoughts, drawings, ideas of one’s own.

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COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.