Copper Island Clay Works

A place where ideas are explored and expressed through engaging with clay in historic downtown Calumet, Michigan.


What We Do

We produce and retail quality handmade functional ceramics, art, and jewelry.

soda fired teapot featuring yellow slip

We offer classes for all ages in both ceramics as well as polymer clay.

Polymer clay pendant by Sherri Thompson of LunaMeraki Studio

Copper Island Clay Works mission is to provide our local community and visitors with access to quality handmade items as well as opportunities to learn, explore, and create with clay themselves.

About the owner

William Rush Thompson


Graduate of Finlandia University BFA program with ceramics concentration


Artprize10 artist for “Manifest pottery” an examination of Manifest Destiny in ceramics


Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts instructor’s assistant


Multiple award winner at Finlandia University Juried Art Show to include purchase award and best in show.

Artist Statement

Working in clay makes me present, mindful, and focused. Simultaneously in the moment and aware of the history and traditions of the past.

Why You’ll Love Us

At Copper Island Clay Works our love of creating, attention to detail and playful approach create a fun learning environment as well as a line of products that are whimsical, considered, and unique.

  • Handmade
  • Considered
  • Functional
  • Whimsical
  • Unique

Rating: 5 out of 5.

We are proud owners of two pieces of Bill’s pottery in our home. Each piece is one-of-a-kind–handmade–pieces of art that displays Bill’s passion and talent for his craft.  We are looking forward to owning many more pieces in the near future. 
KC Crawford, San Diego, Ca.

William is an exceptional ceramic artist. His works are as creative as they are expertly crafted. I have become a bit of a collector. I now have two teapots, many beautiful containers and bowls, and quite a few mugs. I’ve given some as gifts, one gifted to an accomplished ceramic artist was greatly appreciated, that is how extraordinary the piece is. William utilizes many techniques, my favorite being his sgraffito featuring fabulous colors.

Recently I attended a ZOOM meeting during which we all held up our William Thompson mugs and agreed that they made our days better. Thanks William! J D Slack

I have bowls. I have pots. I have a wonderful whimsical teapot. And they are all fabulous. A wonderful up and coming potter!

Nancy Mongeau DeMarois, Calumet, Mi.