ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Ryan McCullen, Potter

McRoskey Mattress Co. is proud to be hosting San Francisco’s Open Studios artists in our 3rd Floor Factory Loft on October 22nd and 23rd. In the lead up to the Open Studios weekend, we will be featuring the artists that are showing with us in our blog.

Ryan McClellen at Open Studios 2015.
Ryan McCullen at Open Studios 2014.



I’m not exactly sure how long clay has been stuck to me…

A row of whimsical banks made by Ryan.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed being able to make things. As a child with limited resources to build with, I had dreamed of somehow using the earth and dirt around me to build all that I could conceive of. I tried to work with clay a few times when I was a child, but I could only make a mess and lost interest quickly. Around the same time, there was also a part of me that felt guilty about the idea of destroying the earth for my ambitions.

With some time passing, I believe that what drew me back to using clay later in life was its seemingly limitless versatility and ability to undergo drastic changes. I originally wanted to pursue anything other than fine arts in college, but I now hold a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics and Printmaking. Additionally, I have been working professionally in multiple aspects of the ceramic world for roughly 9 years, with a great number of these years having worked in the world of production ceramics.

Up until a few months ago I was a teacher and the studio manager of The Clay Underground in San Francisco, California, where I also did the majority of my work. You can see my work online on my website.


Unfinished Concept Mug by Ryan


For awhile the work that I had been making sometimes involved elements of nature. More often than not though, my work just looked like your “average” handmade pots. I hadn’t really considered the importance of wildlife around us, until a co-worker from The Annapolis Pottery approached me and asked me to make a ceramic hedgehog for her. The cute and whimsical hedgehogs that I had made led to more animal related requests from others, and had allowed me to explore my ideas regarding wildlife a little further.

Before my fellow ceramic artists and myself were evicted from our clay home and studio, I had begun to try to think back to my childhood thoughts and that common human dilemma. How can we keep building, thriving, and existing in the world but simultaneously allow the rest of the planet and animal-kind to do the same? As a species we’ve done so much already to gentrify so many animals out of our world, some to the point of no return. That’s what fascinates me now, how some of these animals can somehow manage to survive around us. At the same time, I am saddened by the loss of rich diversity and a healthier world that we could be living in.


ryan logo
Ryan McCullen’s website

SF Open Studios @ McRoskey 10/22 & 10/23

October 22-23, 2016 McRoskey will host SF ArtSpan Open Studios. McRoskey Mattress Co. is overjoyed to be a host for Open Studios in San Francisco.
October 22nd & 23rd, from 11-6, we will be hosting these fantastic artists in our 3rd Floor Factory Loft. Come by and support the arts!

Here’s a list of the artists that will be showing with us:
Sandra Speidel – figurative paintings
Dawn Leigh – illustrator who uses unusual materials, like red wine
Liana Steinmetz – bold, landscape paintings
Jack Mattingly – flat bas-relief sculptures
Bill Lies – modern portraiture
Brian Huber – abstract artist
Fernando Reyes – figurative painter
Peggy Millar – collage and figurative painting
Walter Xu – potter
Ryan McCullen – ceramic art, animals and functional ware
Kaytea Petro – sculpture and illustration
Beverly Wagstaff – abstract painting
Larry Fowler – mixed media paintings
The Artist Hines – abstract painting

SF Open Studios, the oldest and largest open studios program in the country, is an annual, month-long art event in October and November that showcases over 800 emerging and established San Francisco artists in their studios. 2016 marks the 41st annual SF Open Studios event. The event connects collectors with artists for engaging dialogue and a glimpse into the life of the working artist; SF Open Studios simultaneously helps artists build their mailing list, gain new admirers, and ultimately sustain a living making art.