Gerald Thiebolt



       Gerald, or Jerry as he is known around the studio, is one of the founding members of Clay Associates. Jerry grew up outside of Washington DC, then attended Virginia Tech and graduated with a BA in Architecture in 1967. Soon after, he served in the Peace Corps from '67-70 in Iran as an architect in the small city of Chalus. Upon completing his Peace Corps duties, Jerry traveled Afghanistan and Pakistan, then spent 6 months in India and Nepal, eventually reaching Japan where he taught English for a year and a half.

      Following his years of international travel Jerry returned to the states to land in San Diego with friends from his days in the Peace Corps. Here he again worked in architecture, but soon broke his leg in an accident on the job. Serendipitously, while laid up in recovery, a friend gave him some clay as a way to keep him from losing his mind with boredom. Jerry fell in love with the medium so much that in 1975 he joined Rhoda Lopez's Clay Dimensions studio at 1735 Adams Avenue and also returned to school, starting at City College and then graduating with a MA in Ceramics from SDSU in 1979. Rhoda and Jerry started working together designing unique ceramic murals in the same year, including a large memorial wall at First Unitarian Church in Hillcrest that has grown in the following decades to over 400 square feet as well as several other large works on the premises. Ceramic mural commissions are a large part of Jerry's work to this day. You can find his work all over San Diego County and beyond. Jerry is one of our beloved wheelthrowing teachers at Clay Associates, having taught the class for 41 years and counting. 

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