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Bone Dry Leather Hard – Stories from the Craft Art World

Introducing the second edition of Bone Dry Leather Hard – Stories from the Craft Art World, which includes artwork from Amber Pierce, Sydnie Jimenez, Janina Myronova, Natalia Arbelaez, Taili Wu, Amelia Butcher, Kathy King, Christina Margarita Erives, Haylie Jimenez, Nicole Marroquin, Zuzka Vaclavik, and Kristy Moreno.

In the coming four months, Studio Potter will release a comic series from this new anthology. This month, we feature the work of Janina Myronova, Sydnie Jimenez, and Amber Pierce.

Forward by Kathy King 

As someone who works narratively on the ceramic surface, I have cited graphic novelists and comics in the inspiration part of my PowerPoint. As a student, I began collecting comics because of their accessibility. They were not precious; they were affordable, allowing me to study how different artists told stories with text and imagery. Their stories spread over the entire page or presented in panels that we must navigate. Black Hole by Charles Burns embraced the horror genre I love so well; Dirty Plotte by Julie Doucet revealed the rawness of an imperfect life, and R. Crumb inspired me to counter his well-drawn yet overly misogynistic comics by developing my feminist, queer voice. I have been asked if I have ever considered creating comics, and I always answer, “Those take so much work!” I’ll take carving through clay any day over putting pen to paper, but I have the utmost respect for those who marry text with imagery to narrate a story. 

I am a true fan of the artists included in this issue. Natalia Arbelaez shares behind-the-scenes of an artist’s well-lived life, Doritos and all. Amelia Butcher takes us to heights, while Christina Erivas uses color to redefine “forever.” A chance meeting turns to friendship in Kristy Moreno’s tale, and Amber Pierce tackles history and technique in their quest for faience. Taili Wu partners the magic found in the classroom with the reality of the marketplace. These are just a few of the stories this incredible group of artists shared, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Thanks to Richard Nickel for providing us with a space to use our marks and voices differently and openly. 

Forward by Richard Nickel

We walked around Red Lodge beneath the mountain's shadow in early spring, witnessing wild turkeys lining up like football teams for mating in clearings. After their game, they'd nest in tree limbs to avoid predators. During one of these walks, I got the idea to create a comic about a young potter, inspired by my friend and fellow resident, Courtney Murphy. Our paths out of New York coincidentally merged, and we enjoyed a brief time walking together.

Knowing many artists shaped by friendships, travels, and residencies, I wanted to provide a space for them to share their stories. Comic art, a doorway to ceramics for me, allows for a strong personal narrative and humor, appreciated in the history of ceramics. I aimed to provide a platform for artists to share their stories, echoing Kathy King's sentiments on the accessibility and versatility of comics. Join us in this anthology as we blur the lines between art and narrative, inviting you to discover the vibrant voices of our featured artists.

Enjoy the second edition of "Bone Dry, Leather Hard: Stories Of the Craft Art World." Keep on your path, and may you meet amazing people on your journey.


Born in 1987 in Donetsk, Ukraine, Janina Myronova is a graduate of the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw and the Lviv National Academy of Arts. At present, she is a student of the Interdepartmental PhD Studies. She has participated in more than one hundred collective exhibitions and twelve individual ones. A laureate of, among others, the first prize in the 5th “Ceramica Multiplex” International Competition in the “Those to come” category; the Varazdin City Museum, Croatia (2016); the 1st-degree award of the Mayor of Kielce for her achievements in artistic work and popularization and protection of culture (2015); Grand Prix of the International Competition “the Most Interesting Space Form,” the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk (2012).



Amber Robinson Pierce (b. 1996) is a multi-media American artist and Virginia Beach, Virginia native. In high school, Pierce attended the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. After briefly studying at Virginia Commonwealth University, Amber spent time living and working in Richmond and Virginia Beach, where she eventually began interning at Utopia Feni Creative Studios and Gallery. She is currently an Old Dominion University student pursuing her BA in Art Education and BFA in 3-D Material Studies. Pierce is a recipient of a 2022 Undergraduate VMFA Fellowship Award. She is also a University Fellow of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Her habitual artmaking began well before she learned how to write, and this childlike excitement and desire to communicate fuels her art-making today. Combining multiple mediums, Pierce’s work addresses narrative themes of vulnerability, connection, and identity.



Sydnie Jimenez was born in Orlando, Florida, in 1997. She grew up in north Georgia, which was a significant source of her inspiration. In 2020, she graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus on ceramic sculpture and received the Windgate Fellowship in the same year. Sydnie is currently a resident artist at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago.