June 1, 2024
It was also a link to unspoken language; the woman who would carve that certain pattern on the bottom of that I would look at and examine, then I'd look at her. And look at her batik outfit. That pattern is in her batik outfit. Then, if I followed her home, that pattern was painted on her hut. If I went into her kitchen, that pattern was all over the wall. I started learning about these women friends of mine, not by their names but by their patterns. So I began to make rollers. And I've never stopped making rollers, and I call them signature rollers. Because I don't sign my work, I put my roll in a pattern. And that's my signature.
Adam Chau, Generated Love, installation. Photo credit: Adam Chau.
June 1, 2024
In essence and methodology, I believe that AI is an extension of collage. As with genres before it, like Dada, this system pulls from previously formulated objects, symbols, and language that hold defined meaning to compile it into a newly formulated thing that either reinforces the original or redefines the object/symbol; either way, it transforms from its source, and AI follows suit.
Anna Cebular, Guards of the Wilderness (detail)
June 1, 2024
Intrigued by the fusion of AI with the visual arts, I examined artworks driven by words, exploring unconventional compositions and scenarios. This exploration extended to the walls of my studio, where I crafted intricate pictures of roots sprouting from frames, blurring the lines between art and nature. Meanwhile, my curiosity led me into the realm of artificial intelligence and its visual possibilities.
Pandemic Pills, 2021, Singapore Ceramics Now, Gillman Barracks, Singapore
May 1, 2024
Reflecting on her practice, which has now spanned over two decades, Madhvi questions the foundational concepts that define her artistic endeavors. We explore the cornerstones of her ceramic practice that are inseparable from the radical histories of craft and the geographies that bind us to the clay medium.
May 1, 2024
"I started thinking, you know, do I want this to be my legacy? Do I want my work to be about being a victim? I started thinking about conversations that I had with Mr. Gilliard (my first pottery instructor) and conversations that I had with Professor Stull about my African heritage. With Mr. Gilliard, we would talk about all the great things that African Americans have done for this culture and how they brought their African heritage to this country and made this culture what it is. And so, I started thinking about how it would be interesting for me to tap into that lineage of artistic tradition that I'm an heir to." This month's FREE article.
May 1, 2024
I think that as ceramic artists, we are always looking for acceptance, relevancy, and validation, if not from ourselves but from others both within and outside of our community. How we define acceptance, relevancy, and validation is, of course, different for each of us. I remember in a much earlier Studio Potter issue, Mary Barringer spoke of “longer threads of meaning in our work.” I always look for such concepts in my work, and after my lengthy career and small achievements, I still try to maintain some degree of relevance.
May 1, 2024
NEW EPISODE! To follow Studio Potter – The Podcast, simply subscribe or follow on your favorite podcast platform, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts.
Donna Ray introducing "The Three Goddesses" at her gallery talk.
April 1, 2024
Visitors were greeted by three goddesses imagined and interpreted by Ray based on mythologies from the continental Americas, the African continent, and the Asian continent. Rising from pedestals, they stoically greeted visitors. Imbued with powerful, feminine energy, Ray’s goddesses’ heads were not fixed in place, a nod to the feminine ability to transform.
Lanzhou City University Ceramics Studio
April 1, 2024
"Through intention, serendipity, and a dedicated commitment to ceramics education, Keaton Wynn, in collaboration with some equally committed educators in China, created a remarkable educational experiment in Lanzhou, China that began at Georgia Southwestern University in 2012." This month's FREE article.
Marie Sow making ceramics. Photo Credit: Ibrahim Cissé
April 1, 2024
So what does the future hold for ceramics in Senegal for younger generations if the traditions, crafts-woman-ship, knowledge, and material culture cease to exist?
 "Eleven Montana Potters," published in the June 1979, featuring Frances Senska.
March 1, 2024
"I'm not wildly in favor of teaching methods or educational philosophy - if you've got something that you want to do, and you know how to do it well, and love it, then you can get that across."
Warren MacKenzie
March 1, 2024
Warren MacKenzie was the Bernie Sanders of ceramics. He was a populist. He was honest and opinionated. He wanted the fruit of his labor to be everywhere, accessible and affordable. He encouraged his students, and he inspired many people outside of his field. But he also inspired people by getting up every morning and doing work that was meaningful to him.
The September 2023 drop, The Category Is…Color, introduced 14 glazes across 12 forms
March 1, 2024
We watched in deep appreciation of our contribution to the hive of the restaurant: bussers moved towers of our snack bowls from storage to the bar; chefs rapidly plated dish after dish on the pasta bowls I designed in close collaboration with them; waiters flitted from table to table, dropping off and picking up our custom-made bread plates. The restaurant comped the entire evening’s festivities and a spark finally caught fire inside of me – I wanted to do this forever.
First Collection Beads, NB Makes
March 1, 2024
"I remained haunted as I wound the dozens of ramps that ascend through the rest of the museum. Past the Buffalo Soldiers, a replica of Emmet Till’s funeral, the Freedom Riders, and Obama’s inauguration. Rising. Up. Up. Up. Back into the light." This month's FREE article!
March 1, 2024
How do we make relevant work that can help heal humanity? As a maker I want my work to be that thing that someone wants to keep around. Something that touches a part of them, challenges them, provides beauty, and over time is associated with joy in their lives. It should convey the human condition so that my audience can relate to the ideas encapsulated in the form or surface of the art. For me, this means the good and bad of the human condition from happiness to rage.
Keok B. Lim, Yunomi
March 1, 2024
In each creation, I strive to capture the essence of joy, offering a glimpse into my journey of finding happiness amidst life's challenges. Through these ceramic pieces, I hope to share the laughter, positivity, and simple joys that have transformed my perspective.
February 1, 2024
Black history is an expansive legacy that is so much more than a month. However, February is officially designated for celebrating it, and Studio Potter takes a closer look at the contributions Black ceramists have made, and continue to make, to the richness of American ceramics.
Members of Congress kneel for 8 minutes and 42 seconds in protest of police brutality, Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2020). Photo: Office of Congressman Colin Allred
February 1, 2024
Performative activism is done out of a desire to make oneself look better, rather than a desire to help the cause being promoted. While it is perfectly acceptable to utilize social media to amplify important causes, the problem arises when these efforts do not transcend into the real world.
February 1, 2024
Choosing a side between two groups of people who are in tremendous pain is only helping to polarize our beautiful community.
(left) Infographic designed by and courtesy of Misbah Ahmed; (right) Palestinian flag.
February 1, 2024
Staying silent in the face of violence against civilians in Gaza, half of whom are children, is an unforgivable act. I hope that learning about the rich history of Gaza and the Palestinian people contextualizes our struggle and humanizes us as people who want to live freely.
An 1825 cartoon shows a Frenchman who is offered a 13th cup of tea by a hostess due to the guest not being aware of the English tea etiquette (a teaspoon shall be left in a cup indicating "no more") Source Jane Pettigrew (2001). A Social History of Tea.
January 1, 2024
It would be easier to write about ceramics if there were more jokes about ceramists. The lack of humor surrounding ceramic technologies is due to the industrialization of ceramic production and the emergence of ceramics as an academic discipline. Before that, potters used to tell more jokes.
Left: Griots of Sambala. Middle: Ladi Kwali rolls a carved wooden tool called a roulette over the side of the pot. Right: The finished pot shows the same animal designs that Mrs. Kwali has always put on her traditional pots.
January 1, 2024
During my experiences, I thought about a church song’s chorus: “You are the potter and I am the clay, make me and mold me, this is what I pray.” My theology has always been about wrestling with the text and interpretation. My background in wheel throwing, in particular, sheds new light on this Biblical metaphor.
January 1, 2024
A story about Richard Nickel's favorite little clay buttons, given to him from a dear old friend in Buffalo, New York. "The little clay buttons represent all the moments we shared together and the ways she taught me to appreciate the small joys in life." – Richard Nickel  
Nathalie Royston, chicken and mushroom soup in brown stoneware bowl, glazed in alpine white, decorated with a leaf design.
December 1, 2023
Contemplating specific qualities of handmade ceramics fosters connections, embodies values, and provides comfort. I look to my experiences, both as a maker and as a user. Some memories trace back to my childhood, while others are more recent, rooted in conversations with those who integrate functional ceramics into their daily lives.
David Shaner, Shaner's Canyon, Shaner's red glaze, 1998. Photograph by Ann Shaner
December 1, 2023
If Shaner has an agenda, it is authenticated in the materials he works with, rather than existing apart from them, as doctrine, myth, or abstraction. At the same time, he supports environmental, peace, and human rights issues with the same passionate dedication he brings to the studio. Compassion and empathy, said to be important components in the making of strong functional pots, are equally active in Shaner's sense of himself as a family member and global citizen.
Local New York trout salted and packed with herbs on a clay slab. The trout is wrapped in the wet clay and baked in the oven. Chef Maricela Vega at Hartwick College Fall 2022.  Image Credit Stephanie A. Rozene
December 1, 2023
The morning of our last day at Hambidge was an exhausting one, given that feeding almost 100 the night before had been no easy feat. We gathered for breakfast not only to replenish our bodies but also to discuss our success of the past weeks together. As we sat on the front porch of Lucinda’s Rockhouse, we reveled in the memories of the delicious meal we’d created and served, a meal that was both hard-won and beautiful.
Hamish Jackson, yellow teapot and teacup, 2023
December 1, 2023
Local materials offer endless possibilities and variety. A couple of years ago, I set out on a quest to make a palate of four stoneware glazes from one locally sourced rock. I did not want four shades of beige, but a palate of distinctly different glazes. The parameter I set was to use at least 50% of one single source rock in each of these glazes.
November 1, 2023
This month, our board members – who are all fellow ceramists – reflect on what makes a beautiful pot. It is this anthology of perspectives that represents the core of Studio Potter - these short narratives provide a window into the range of experiences, values, and comradery that unite us. 
November 1, 2023
It's beauty in the way that the beauty of our surroundings is created through natural forces. Undulations in sand that have been moved by the wind, rock formations caused by landslides, and the crackle and patina in the wall of an old house; all these owe their special beauty to the random hand of nature.
la flecha del tiempo (the arrow of time), detail shot courtesy of tenee’ hart, 2021-2022
November 1, 2023
The sculptural vessels I first began creating had the same idea as their historical custom and the traditional idea of the photograph: to create a cavity within a physical shell that could hold a particular component, a record, or proof of a specific event or moment in time.
Antique Japanese kintsugi soba cup restored with gold. Photo by Marco Montalti
November 1, 2023
Taken for granted; your eyes stray to me after every creation.
Illustration by Julianna Brazill
November 1, 2023
What makes a beautiful pot? The same thing that makes a beautiful person. Confidence.
Single fired double wall ceramic travel cups. (c) Olena Angelova
November 1, 2023
Caring for our planet isn't just a noble cause; it's a responsibility that touches every facet of our lives, even our beloved craft of pottery. Many artists working with clay start questioning their practice and how (and if) they can continue it in the age of the Anthropocene. This month's FREE article.
S.C. Rolf, large open bowl, wheel thrown, slip decoration, high fire reduction
November 1, 2023
There are pots that have an extra something that makes them so exciting. Pots are interesting in that there is tension between the inside and outside. Sometimes, we can sense parts of the pot before picking them up, and other times, we are surprised by what is revealed upon closer examination.
Jesse Albrecht LEFT: "Make A Wish," 2021; MIDDLE: "Front Toward Enemy," 2021;  RIGHT: "Jalapeno MRE Cheese N' Grandma Sissy's Willow Ware," 2022.
October 1, 2023
Through the lens of Ulf's experience as a combat veteran and at the top of a mountain, he illustrates how warfare becomes a mirror of our everyday lives. He offers a unique perspective on the convergence of trauma and creativity. Understanding why Ulf's writing has value in a pottery publication is more about my human experience and the way I think as a combat veteran. Communicating what it was like and what life is like now is incredibly hard and enigmatic.
October 1, 2023
Thanks to my father’s advice, I threw caution to the wind and gave myself permission to fail, and that was what allowed me to succeed.
Selection of test clays. Photo Credit: Paul C. Ballard
October 1, 2023
Ceramics is difficult enough. Our work is always on the cusp of failure; it will crack, warp, dunt, or explode. We, potters, have grown accustomed to disappointment because of the regularity of failure within our process.
October 1, 2023
Many of us are drawn to clay because of its capacity for creation, but it also humbles us. We can never be entirely certain. To be committed to ceramics is a commitment to the ebbs and flows in our life/studio balance, with our bodies, with our facilities, and with the tools and materials that are precious to us.
September 1, 2023
"Since the news broke about the budget crisis and the drastic measures that are now being proposed at WVU, I want to thank all of you students, alumni, friends, colleagues, and strangers who have reached out to offer support and help. You have reaffirmed that what we do matters and that art matters. Unfortunately, what is happening at WVU is not isolated, and I’m afraid it will continue as educational policies and priorities begin to shift in an era where publicly funded universities continue to receive less and less support from state legislatures." By Shoji Satake. This month's FREE article.
Sponsored Content
September 1, 2023
The Archie Bray Foundation campus teems with Robert Harrison's sculptures; his work is an icon of the Bray landscape and appears in every book, catalog, and tourist snapshot. Though Harrison has received acclaim for his sculptures, he has yet to be actively contextualized as a figure who, brick by brick, set the steadfast foundation for site-specific experimentation in the 1990s and program stability throughout the Bray's continued growth.
Artist Once Known, Memorial Head, circa 17th–mid-18th century. Ghana. Akan peoples. Terracotta, slip. Collection of Cheryl Olkes Collection at Chatham University. Photo by Chenoa Baker.
September 1, 2023
The final resting place of these effigies became an ancestral grove, "till the yard smells of ghosts," until it was disrupted by colonialism. For that, I grieve for the disturbed lost souls but rejoice that a child of the diaspora reconnects with the echo of home.
Lisa’s House, quilt.
September 1, 2023
Mexican folk art is the most pervasive influence in my artwork. Whether incorporated in my ceramic installations or mixed-media quilts, the compositional strategies of Mexican folk art and religious shrines are at the root.
Conscious Dreaming – Vicky Lindo & Bill Brookes. detail: Before Sleep
September 1, 2023
Nascent for some time, Conscious Dreaming as a concept began pre-COVID-19, in 2020, when Lindo and Brookes were invited by Aberystwyth University’s School of Art to make a new body of work using the institution’s collection of prints and ceramics as their starting point. Drawn to the work of the somewhat obscure printmaker Christine Penn and the early pioneer studio potter Frances Emma Richards, Lindo and Brookes referenced the former’s darkly-surreal iconography and the latter’s serenity of form through their ceramics.
Jonny Hamos, Built Memories, 2021. Photo Credit: Jonny Hamos
September 1, 2023
Over time, I began to notice how working with clay became an allegory for changes that I have observed in the creation, duration, and entropy of human relationships, the environment, and architecture.
Sponsored Content
August 1, 2023
It was during Steven’s Throwing Gestural Forms workshop that Katie, an entrepreneur and busy mother of two, learned about The Journey Workshop. "It’s a big investment, not just financially but also in time," she shared. "I knew from my previous experience of being in Steven’s classes what a wonderful teacher he is, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to follow through with this time commitment. I reached out to some people who I knew had previously participated in The Journey to learn more. Many of them were already signed up to do it again, which spoke volumes about the kind of growth they found from the experience."
Nick Vest buying two objects at the Ghost Market  to start work with. Photo by Wu Fan
August 1, 2023
I didn’t mean to come here; I "knew" about Jingdezhen, of course, about blue and white pots and porcelain, but I’ve never been a person in love with clay in THAT way. I fall into the "clay is a material" camp of ceramic artists and thought that Jingdezhen was a place for people more in the "clay is life from the earth" wing. I was wrong, and coming here was the best thing I’ve ever meant not to do.
Brittany Mojo, The Swell (nowness again), installation at Mindy Solomon Gallery, 2023. Photo courtesy of Mindy Solomon gallery.
August 1, 2023
And then the unthinkable happened. My father passed away suddenly during my second semester, which drastically impacted the way I thought about my work – what I was making and why I was making it. Coming from a thinking-through-making experience at CSULB, it seemed the exact opposite was true at UCLA. Everyone was reading Derrida, Solnit, and Lacan – gathering ideas and metaphors as the first step to realizing a piece. I, however, was in mourning, and I needed to rely on my practice to offer respite and on literature to offer answers to questions that have plagued humanity since the beginning of consciousness. Mourning became my life’s work. It was tragically difficult and incredibly lonely.
Pages from Commeraw’s Stoneware – The Life and Work of the First African-American Pottery Owner, By Brandt Zipp.
August 1, 2023
This cinematic volume will be steep reading terrain for all but the most empathetic, relentlessly inquisitive seekers of pottery forensics. Lacking such scholarship, crocks and jugs sit mute – defying us to imagine their origins: that synapse between touch and its evidence. To date, we have no comparable documentation of a single potter’s life.
Astour, near Zagora, Oasis region. These unique pieces, nearly 30” high, were commissioned by someone in a big city as decorative pieces in a hotel or mall. The white coating is ash from the fire pit.
August 1, 2023
"The weekly souk is a central part of rural life in Morocco. On an appointed day, established centuries ago, vendors congregate in a space, often on the edge of town, to sell their products. In a country that only has malls in the large cities, souks are the centers of commerce for everything locals need: livestock, food, housewares, clothing, bric-a-brac, carpets, and, of course, pottery." This month's FREE article.
Simone Leigh, Trophallaxis, 2008-2017. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami. Copyright: © Simone Leigh. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
August 1, 2023
Trophallaxis focuses on the breast as a site of labor. In that, there is the juxtaposition of comfort and discomfort, familiar and unfamiliar: the cracking nipples and boot prints showcase bodily violence and the physical impact of breastfeeding. Fecund breasts with gold-plated areoles and nipples, constructed from terracotta, porcelain, antennae, and epoxy, suspending from the ceiling.
Ehren Tool, "393," glazed fired and shot; one for each US combat casualty the first year of the Iraq War also called the second Gulf War.
July 2, 2023
No matter what Ehren says, his cups are more than "just cups;" they are an important contribution to contemporary ceramic art.
White Gold, porcelain. The Latent Space, Chicago, IL April 2022
July 2, 2023
What was most hurtful about this experience wasn't the flurry of remarks disregarding my craft but more so the fact that I recognized that my art and concepts were not accessible to the people they were widely intended for. I believe artwork should have the capacity to be appreciated from many perspectives. Whether it's the craftsmanship, aesthetic beauty, or concept driving the work, there should be many avenues to invite a viewer to engage with the artwork and artist. This month's FREE article.
July 2, 2023
We’re moving closer and closer to that craftsman ideal but as a collective rather than as individuals. As a group, we are presenting our best in the spirit of social consciousness. We are honoring the traditions of the craft. We are passing knowledge on. Can shokunin apply to a collective? There is craft not only in the creation of pottery but also in the creation of community. We’re striving for both.
July 2, 2023
With over 30 years of travel throughout the world, we realized we had successfully documented the work of many potters, their pots, processes, and places where unique clay work is still being produced. Whether it is in the Amazon regions of South America or other far-off places in Central America, the Caribbean, China, Korea, Turkey, etc., along with other traditional works produced within the continental U.S. and Europe, our research and travels have allowed for the accumulation of thousands of images depicting the wonderful world of ceramics.
June 1, 2023
"I consider design an approach that needs and includes art. Many of my projects started as works of art that evoked the dynamism of African narratives. My creative process and the development of the projects have made me answer people's needs, such as tableware that tells their stories." – Faty Ly
Toad Light Print in Progress, by OCH Works: Isabel Ochoa and James Clarke Hicks
June 1, 2023
In any form of craft, there is an exchange that happens between the maker and the material by way of a maker’s tools. Digital craft is no exception.
Noe Kuremoto, Dogu Lady, Photographer: Kestutis Zilionis
June 1, 2023
"The problem that I saw or sensed was that these are very contemporary and personal problems that the modern woman faces. I wanted to speak to these dilemmas through my artistic process." – Noe Kuremoto
Mark Goudy, Origami Object (#1267), slip-cast unglazed porcelain and soluble metal salts (gold).
June 1, 2023
"These tools have opened a new avenue for creative expression in my quest to explore the mysterious language of form. As with any making process, the tools we use influence our ideas and what we make." This month's FREE article.
Wild Clay, by Matt Levy, Takuro Shibata, and Hitomi Shibata, 2022, page 90-91 featuring local pigments found by K. Jodi Gear.
May 1, 2023
Throughout Wild Clay, the authors' combined experience gives us a comprehensive look at clay deposits around the globe and how they share similar minerals but vary in important ways from one location to the next. Their geological exploration from Montana to North Carolina and across the globe to Japan perfectly illustrates the saying Hitomi brings from Japan, "Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur."
Images courtesy of the Clay Art Center
May 1, 2023
"Henry was beloved," said Reena Kashyap, director emeritus of the Clay Art Center. "He did his best. He was more concerned about the soul of the place than collecting rent from the artists. People who were there in those days remember it as an incredible environment."
May 1, 2023
As I look ahead to life after the military, I find myself reflecting more on a career that was unexpectedly full of art. By honoring those with whom I served and their families, I was able to grow as an artist and, for the most part, keep up with art industry trends. I realized that even though I enjoyed my time as a soldier, whether good or bad, I was happiest whenever the things I was doing involved art.
Illustrations by Atelier Pakawan. "Positive Artwork"
May 1, 2023
When we feel overwhelmed by the scope of misery or frozen by survivor's guilt from seemingly endless natural disasters that affect the world, Clay for Charity gives us a purposeful outlet. What can we do from the comfort of our homes and the sanctuary of our ceramic studios? Clay workers in my community tend not to have excess cash but have an excess of will – the will to help.
Simone Leigh, "Jug," 2014. Photo courtesy Tilton Gallery, New York.
April 1, 2023
What I learned while centering the clay and obsessing over the clay-to-water ratio in class for weeks is that clay particles are like platelets; water and earth dance around and are compressed in the process of sculpting. While the goal is cohesion, it starts as a suspension. White supremacist capitalist patriarchy, not to oversimplify it, is in suspension, as it is multiple different ideologies pulling apart rather than binding together. I learned this profound lesson from Simone Leigh’s "Jug" (2014).
Alexandra Engelfriet, "Mixed Blood," photo courtesy of Kathy Irwin.
April 1, 2023
"In the clay, I surrender to something bigger than myself. I search for a correspondence or even a merging with the material when my body becomes clay and clay a body, and the boundary between inside and outside, body and mind, dissolves." This month's FREE article!
The four local materials it took to make this mug, no industrial materials required.
April 1, 2023
Making pots from the same earth that grows our food is important; I want my work to connect the user to the place that sustains them.
Paul Wandless, "Haymens Studio," Clay Monoprint, triptych.
April 1, 2023
For those interested in building a sustainable society rooted in freedom and justice – issues that seem important to most of the potters I have known – we need to understand the threads that tie ideas together. We are at a moment in history when many disciplines must make choices, articulate a collective sense of concern, and consider the available paths toward voicing and acting on those concerns.
"Bank VI" filled with longleaf pine seeds, and buried in the subtropical forest of Louisiana (traditional lands of the Chahta Yakni- Choctaw peoples). Collaborators: Geren Huertin, Zach Fox, and Savannah Morales. Photo courtesy of Geren Huertin.
April 1, 2023
Founded in 2017, The Seed Bank Project honors the perspectives of individuals and their connections to specific regional lands and regional plants. Part of the mission is to create artwork that is accessible beyond the gallery, putting local voices and the community first.
Christina Erives, Cutting Board, 2021
March 1, 2023
My work often stems from my identity as a Mexican American woman and my personal family history. My interest in creating these objects arose from my fear of these processes – processes such as traditions in cooking, sharing a meal, language, and other daily rituals – being lost and forgotten through the generations; processes such as traditions in cooking, sharing a meal, language, and other daily rituals.
Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess, Untitled, 1989.
March 1, 2023
We are also past the arbitrary distaste for the decorative, the feminine, humor, and cuteness (among other aesthetic categories), which allows narrative content to flourish in the work of artists like Lindsey Lou Howard, Jennifer Rochlin, Roberto Lugo, Woody De Othello, Emily Yong Beck, Ruby Neri, and so many others. This month's FREE article.
Ian M. Petrie, “Not What, But How It’s Said” Lowball, 2023.
March 1, 2023
For the uninitiated, get a campfire lit and gather ‘round. I’ll start: "I was washing the dishes when suddenly the phone rang..." Now it’s your turn to be a storyteller. Where will you take the story in your next sentence?
Matt Nolen
March 1, 2023
These objects have held the full spectrum of my life’s experiences, but perhaps the greatest catalysts have also been my greatest challenges.
Richard Nickel, Face Jugs – Part One and Two
February 1, 2023
In part two of Richard Nickel's face jug animation, he looks at the region of Edgefield, South Carolina, renowned for the rise of the alkaline-glazed stoneware industry.
Jacqueline Bishop, The Market Woman's Story, 2022
February 1, 2023
This month's FREE article. It's a good place for artists to explore – those tender, unsure, and vulnerable places within ourselves. For one thing, it keeps us all humble. One thing I’ve noticed in these explorations [is that] we get universal. I often say to my students, "Your very individual story is what’s going to become your universal story."
Seven Artists - Vol. 26 No. 1, p. 40-47.
We asked Winnie Owens-Hart to recommend several ceramic artists to accompany her forgoing interview "Inside the Pink House – A Conversation with Winnie Owens-Hart." She chose the following seven ceramic artists: Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Sana Musasama, Yvonne Edwards-Tucker, Janathel Shaw, Syd Carpenter, Teresa A. Williams, and Barbara Madden-Swain.
Winnie Owens-Hart
I used to go to craft fairs. I remember going to the first Richmond craft fair, where I was the only black ceramics exhibitor. As I remember it, for a long time at NCECA conferences, Jim Tanner, James Watkins, and Richard Buncamper, and maybe two or three more African American students I did not know and I were the only blacks. White people would often come by at fairs and say, "You do ceramics? I've never heard of anyone black doing ceramics." I'd say, "Well, you haven't been around." Of course, I knew a lot of blacks doing ceramics.
Ayumi Shigematsu 重松あゆみ, "Jomon Recollection"
February 1, 2023
The more I thought about this title, the more I puzzled over time's material mysteries. What does it look like for a form or an object to exist in the future? Does an object, like the lived experiences of the hands that built it, always appear relative to the past? How do I see time through an object?
Katherine Choy in New Orleans, 1952–1955. Photo courtesy Robinson Archive. Jack Robinson, photographer (American, 1928–1997).
February 1, 2023
I believe that the artist-potter should question life. This requires a continuous breaking down and summarizing to express, to relate, to find one place and move with one’s own time, yet keep a universal entity. – Katherine Choy
Salt Cellar by Lindsay Oesterritter, in Will McComb's home.
February 1, 2023
Endless exposition could be laid down about the way a beautiful bowl or cup enhances the act of eating or drinking. Less is said of what to make of pots at rest. I propose that pots at rest are still engaged in a unique passive utility by defining and enriching how we experience our domestic space.
January 1, 2023
Figuring Space is the second major exhibition in The Clay Studio's (TCS) newly built, state-of-the-art home in the South Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.
January 1, 2023
Rae introduced me to a socially engaged approach to art that encompassed many fields, skills, materials, and concepts. Her kindness and support gave me the confidence to see aspects of myself I had viewed as flaws instead as strengths. She showed me that art can be a reason to make space and time for truly meaningful things. But most importantly, her mentorship showed me that being an artist extends far beyond the studio and can be a tool to create real change through the formation of ideas, relationships, and histories
January 1, 2023
As K-12 ceramic art teachers, we are the builders of a creative foundation that balances the push and pull between cultivating or harming a person's will to create. It is our responsibility to be cognizant of our students' needs and to always be aware of how we are reacting to the students' efforts and not just the result of their work.
January 1, 2023
Graduate school taught me to “fail.” Or maybe, more importantly, this was the first time that perfection and precision were questioned as conceptual elements, rather than feats of craftsmanship. With the absence of perfection, I was able to engage in deeper self-reflection and material exploration.
December 1, 2022
On the eve of Studio Potter's fiftieth birthday, I arrived in Shelburne Falls, and Mary Barringer walked me through the idyllic downtown of the former "world headquarters." From here, we sat together, and she shared her reflections on her editorship, on the journal, and on life after Studio Potter.
December 1, 2022
Recently, the vines have begun to seep their way over the edge of Shoko's pots. Crawling under feet and over rims into the interior of the spaces, they suggest a feeling of endlessness – something that cannot nor should not be contained.
December 1, 2022
Whether your work is rooted in environmental concerns or not, it is everyone's responsibility to be aware of how we affect the world around us. It is time for us to connect to the Earth through art.
December 1, 2022
So many emotions flooded me: pure joy, contentment, and the satisfaction of a wholesome journey. This month's FREE article.
December 1, 2022
Black Lives Matter; my life matters, and sharing my mission to continue documenting marginalized people's histories and advocating for positive change is what matters to me as an artist and educator. This process can begin in the landscape of a neighborhood where people learn to live together in harmony.
November 1, 2022
Milestones beg for reflection – The ups and downs. The successes and failures. The lessons learned. The experiences, the relationships, the turning points. The Work. When Peter Callas’ solo museum exhibition tour was going to coincide with his fiftieth year as a practicing artist, he knew it was time to do something special. Aside from preparing an enormous body of wood-fired abstract sculptures and vessels to be exhibited, Peter found himself with stories to tell...
November 1, 2022
This is a protest against the mindset of “It’s only them, and not us.” Because it can be everybody and because it needs to be all of us. The contemporary silent witness sees all of our communal experience and will tell our stories, transforming one of the darkest times of human history into something galvanizing.
November 1, 2022
The expressions of a handmade pot – the quiet and understated manifestations of Michael's legacy – created a thoughtful and intentional movement within contemporary studio pottery. Michael's ability to integrate a pot's purposefulness with artistic philosophy is a hallmark of his creative wisdom.
November 1, 2022
"Life has a particular orography. The gravitational forces that sediment our biographies are a complex brew of time and memory. The awe and fascination with which we experience our journey collide, more often than not, with the harshness of the terrain. In this constant flow of becoming, we crave order." November's FREE article.
 Von Venhuizen - The Gift
November 1, 2022
When I bring in a tea bowl to my class that Don and E.T. made, they are still teaching; they are still there at my side. Students hold these objects, and I get to tell my many stories about these guys. A picture doesn't do that. Only ceramic objects with the makers' energy can do that. We need more of those cherished pieces in the world.
October 1, 2022
The scenes described in this warmly written, sensitive, and engaging memoir could have taken place in any small town during this era. But ceramicist Owen Rye brings his reality to life for us as he fondly and not-so-fondly describes the people, places, and experiences that have influenced his rich and illustrious (albeit humble) life.
Drawing distinctions between art and traditional African societies, as well as the use of the term "non-Western," underlines the necessity to recognize changes that have occurred in Africa, particularly within the last century. To understand the limited relevancy of certain terms and to differentiate between ancient, traditional, and current trends in the arts, a categorization of African art into traditional and contemporary domains becomes a useful classification.
Otagaki Rengetsu: Tea bowl with incised poem. Glazed stoneware, 19th century. Collection of John Fong.
October 1, 2022
The nun-potter Ōtagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875) is widely considered to be one of Japan’s most remarkable women. Along with emperors, military leaders, and notable men of culture, she is among those portrayed in Kyoto’s Festival of the Ages (Jidai matsuri) each autumn. Despite her preliminary objections, collections of her poetry were published during her lifetime, and countless people in the Kyoto region visited her little hut to pester her for examples of her pottery and calligraphy.
Adamah wood-fire kiln
October 1, 2022
It was a moment in time, at a remote place in the middle of the rural Midwest USA, where three potters from far apart streams segued into one river. Before the current era of divisiveness, before the great illness that plagued the planet, beyond neighbor fighting neighbor, and before the world began to split apart, these potters, Joy Brown, Ching-Yuan Chang, and Ken Bichell, brought gifts of clay, fire, and spirit.
October 1, 2022
This month's FREE article. This was the largest exhibition of the medium at the time, the first Pan-American survey of contemporary ceramics, and it remains one of few US exhibitions that tried to characterize the varied approaches of Latin American ceramists. With seventy pieces of modern ceramics from the region, organizers assembled impressive examples made by leading artists; to name only a few, these included Marina Nuñez del Prado, the internationally acclaimed modernist sculptor from Bolivia; Diana Chiari de Gruber, who founded the National Pottery School in La Arena, Panama; the Paraguayan ceramist Campos Cervera who signed his work under the pseudonym Julián de la Herrería, and his wife, the Spanish-born Paraguayan artist and cultural influencer Josefina Plá. What follows is a layered story about Latin America’s influence on US studio ceramics before the post-war era.
September 1, 2022
FREE ARTICLE! “Even though we have creative artists, media, and consumer feedback now, as a society, we never backtracked the indoctrination of White supremacy on its people. We just kept moving forward … As a speck of hope, our work aims at decolonizing an art form that should have always remained intimate and unscathed by European inadequacies.”
September 1, 2022
"This is a legacy project around wood-fired ceramics that will create a depth of knowledge in the region with our students and artists. Each new artist that comes to load, fire, and share their process of wood-firing will add a layer of knowledge that we will be able draw on and share as a community well into the future."
September 1, 2022
"Our dear Antonio has been a pioneer, he has fought to the death to dignify ceramics, so that he occupies his rightful place within the current of art. A great defender of culture, he has cared for and safeguarded the identity of ceramics. With great effort he has ensured that everyone had access to ceramic knowledge."
September 1, 2022
"I could search for a storyline that would ground my practice and allow my work to be a new chapter in a long-running series. But I think it best to choose the stories I want to leave behind. For me that includes sea stories, tea, and any odds or ends that make me smile and reach for that cup in a sea of cups in an overstuffed cupboard."
August 1, 2022
Another animated short produced by Studio Potter's official Cartoonist Richard Nickel, showcasing the work of painter and ceramist, Zuzka Vaclavik. "The Kiln is a poem, a kind of curse against potters who choose to practice their craft in a less than virtuous manner."
August 1, 2022
FREE ARTICLE! I want us to be sensitive to the romantic propaganda that perpetuates the individualist culture and mindset that bell hooks warns us of in her book, All About Love; New Visions, “The rugged individual who relies on no one else is a figure who can only exist in a culture of domination where a privileged few uses more of the world’s resources than the many who must daily do without.”
August 1, 2022
Defining failure is an ambiguous paradox bolstered by its relationship to success. The two – failure and success – oscillate in a dichotomy without room for an alternative. They permeate normative ceramics through studios and art institutions as gatekeepers to creating in clay.
August 1, 2022
Listening to Clay will undoubtedly form an important resource for years to come. In the Introduction, the authors describe this “listening” as an “attitude of receptivity, collaborating with rather than imposing intention on the material.”
July 1, 2022
Robbie Lobell and Maryon Attwood are looking to forge new directions for Cook on Clay. Like the rest of the world, they are asking themselves a lot about transition these days. What does retirement look like for a craftsperson in 2022? How does one navigate from the pounding rhythm of production into a slower beat and still afford life?
July 1, 2022
The name Roxanne Swentzell may conjure sculptural images in your mind, but she is more than that. “We’re all sensing our world in unique ways; that’s scary for people who want to think we’re not diverse and unique. But even though we’re all part of this whole thing together, there are real differences in experiences. Allowing ourselves to acknowledge that will help us start to have self-respect, to give quality attention to our own unique selves, or others, in ways the label world doesn’t."
July 1, 2022
Definitions of theft, plagiarism, and appropriation became vital to this evolving dialogue — and again, the value of commingling showed itself. Each student, of course, had a distinct opinion on the question of morality that came from how intellectual property boundaries were drawn in their respective discipline. But collectively, the cohort agreed that learning from imitation was vital to understanding this discipline.
July 1, 2022
The interior design is minimal, the space – easily transformed. The objects do not dominate the space,yet everything operates in support of their display. Carefully arranged, a context is created. The showcase is a microcosm of Atelier Parter’s latest production.
July 1, 2022
My journey to uncover factors that influence crazing patterns attempts to provide a plausible explanation for a “puzzling” pattern in a Chinese Guan ware vase. Along the way, I ran across an interesting method to create new, unusual crazing patterns.
June 1, 2022
To talk about cultural appropriation alone means putting cultures in categories distinct and separate from one another. Each culture as an island, never influenced by another – reality just doesn’t support that.
June 1, 2022
Resigned to the role of interloper, I show up to a firing with my modest collection of objects, sleep on the floor, and take the night shifts. All worth it because the information left on an object through wood-firing is something I respond to deeply.
June 1, 2022
By presenting art-goers with a dazzling array of objects, they are forced to think of themselves in their own space, and the relationships that they, as consumers, have with objects of both nominal or grandiose values.
May 1, 2022
Most people who move to Silicon Valley for work do so to work in technology; I moved there to teach ceramics. While many of the tech firms here have built their business models around the buzzy ideals of "disruption," I, too, feel a kinship with a model that pushes up against norms and creates new models of looking at the world, or in my case, mugs. My version of disruption is not about maximizing corporate profit; it's about finding new ways to see familiar objects.
May 1, 2022
Centering is a lifelong discipline that demands consistent practice, which is akin to spiritual practices across many world cultures. I've always taught wheel-throwing by emphasizing the tangible and physical parts. Method, form, and position need to become habit. In Japan, I always tell students, it is said you are not yet a potter until you make your first 1,000 pots. This adage is a commitment we make to ourselves about what kind of life we want, and it is a foundation for me.
May 1, 2022
"My artwork is a record of my experiences as an Afro-Latina American, I embrace my naturally curly hair, heritage, womanhood, and at times current worldly struggles." - Michelle Ettrick FREE ARTICLE!
April 1, 2022
What if value was not placed on objects but, instead, on investment in social restoration? Through discursive thinking, critical inquiry, and the functions of a cup, Hughes and Ginsburg have done just that.
The Last Supper at Bellevue Arts Museum
April 1, 2022
Green asks essential questions – both before and after their death – how do we care for fragile, shifting, and complex archives? And more so, how do we best care for the people, narratives, and ideas these archives represent?
Special Release. Studio Potter brings you the latest article from Ukrainian ceramic artist Oleksandr Miroshnychenko.
"I photographed this on the first day of the war. Now the  black funnel covers all of Ukraine" - Oleksandr Miroshnychenko
March 18, 2022
On February 24th, at about five o'clock in the morning, we were awakened by the sounds of explosions. As the sun rose, the smoke from the explosions became visible. FREE ARTICLE!
Richard Zane Smith, "Stomp."
April 1, 2022
Pottery wasn't made when there were threats of war and bloodshed. When examining ancient sherds and tool marks, one can sense the kind of peace and calm that it took to make long, unwavering parallel lines, to notch the rims with careful repeating indentations, and to spend the time making what was to become more than a simple container. It was a life-providing vessel used to feed the next generations.
March 1, 2022
On December 26, 2021, I held my breath as I dialed her number, hoping she would be satisfied and feel the pleasure of completion I was feeling. She laughed and said, "They are all done." We shared the joy of feeling the fulfillment of her artistic dream. We talked about each sculpture and admired them, and I made sure they were what she wanted. We talked about her upcoming birthday party on February 5, where I would help her present them to the last two-family groups.
March 1, 2022
Shenandoah Valley potter and writer Rob Barnard’s collection of essays from 1987 through 2014 are compiled in his new book A Search for Relevance. The book revisits some of Barnard’s past writings dealing with the philosophical aspects of being a potter and what it means to dedicate oneself to the craft. The book itself is the epitome of grace, with photographs of Barnard’s work before each chapter, which incorporates large portions of white space and gives the pages a respectful and solitary beauty.
March 1, 2022
"Even though you may not be doing traditional stone or wood carving, you still love the land and the community. You carry those inspirations that you learn from your mother and grandmother, and I think we have to keep educating people about their stereotyping of what Native peoples make and what they do. Like Lillian says, we have to keep doing it and keep educating those folks out there that have this cultural idea that we only make art this certain way." - Richard Rowland
March 1, 2022
The conference theme, Fertile Ground, references California's agriculture and the Farm to Fork movement, acknowledges the abundance of clay in the state, and celebrates intergenerational artistic growth spawned through academic programs and community art centers. We kept working on these projects and more while remaining hopeful that the Sacramento conference would indeed take place in person in 2022. Rallying the involvement of artists, galleries, and other art venues that were new to NCECA was a highlight. I encouraged their exhibition ideas, supported their inquiries, and fostered their participation in one of the largest art events to ever take place in the Sacramento region. FREE ARTICLE!
March 1, 2022
Make more art. That is what I thought I could do if I helped fellow potters ship their artwork. I'd save them money, they could buy more supplies and make MORE ART. That simple phrase ended up taking me on an exciting and life-changing journey. Today, for example, I have an artist that built their Uline crate inside their house only to find it is too large to pass through their doorway. Oh, those darn details.
The main purpose of this research was to develop a chart which would enable pot­ters firing reduction to accomplish three ends: 1) To reproduce desired results from one firing to another. 2) To convert from one fuel to another, in the event of fuel shortages, and still achieve the same firing results. 3) To conserve fuel by firing efficiently, without adversely affecting the end result.
February 1, 2022
As our conversation moved away from the work and towards these much more personal and deep sentiments, I was reminded that this is why we make work; to begin conversations that may start with clay but eventually evolve to how we operate as people.
February 1, 2022
We must each aim to understand our own carbon footprint and understand the impact of our purchases. Contact the companies that supply your material. Ask about their product sourcing. Often, mining companies provide a sustainability statement outlining how they will change to decrease their environmental impact by some future date. Let them know that change needs to begin now. FREE ARTICLE!
Chase Travaille, Shard Amphora No. 7
February 1, 2022
Conceptually, I considered how the process of building vessels from the broken shards of past residents and staff mirrored the process of reconstitution and rebirth, especially how we were all collectively rebuilding and healing after the events of the past two years.
January 3, 2022
Flash tattoo illustrations created by Studio Potter's own cartoonist, Richard Nickel!
January 3, 2022
This is what I do. This is what I make. FREE ARTICLE!
January 3, 2022
With the time-honored traditions of ceramics and tattooing we continue reinterpreting imagery and objects from the past.
January 3, 2022
Tattooing sings many notes parallel to the song of ceramics. Like ceramics, tattoo craftmanship exposes the fluency and experience of the maker. Drawing and putting in a great line is an example of fine craftsmanship. Pairing exceptional line work with the individual’s conceptual engagement of image elevates the craft, just as the potter’s concept of a mug elevates the form.
December 1, 2021
Being an apprentice has humbled me in understanding again what is to be a beginner, what it feels like to not know everything, to make mistakes and to learn from them. I see the apprenticeship is teaching me lessons that are helping me become a better human being.
December 1, 2021
I see all of Seisler’s works (whether it's her artwork or the programming she creates for A-B Projects) as a way of exploring the language of clay, investigating our personal relationship to this material, and its ability to connect us to others in the community.
December 1, 2021
During the 1940s Gadsden County was home to sixty-seven Coca-Cola millionaires, and a $100,000,000 shade tobacco industry. With a deep history of racial and agricultural inequality, ensuing decades would leave Gadsden County as one of the poorest in the state and the only county in Florida with an African American majority population.
December 1, 2021
Vessels made heavy by encrusted layers of gritted slip, balance like monoliths en pointe, defying gravity. Yet there is no question of teetering. They hold themselves, as the title implies, in perfect equilibrium.
November 1, 2021
I don’t trust anybody’s nostalgia but my own. Nostalgia is a product of dissatisfaction and rage. It’s a settling of grievances between the present and the past. – Murray Siskind in Dom Delillo’s White Noise In overwhelming times of uncertainty, as an artist, what I can offer is a coherence of values and priorities expressed in the tools of conviviality and of the solitude I craft. These pots inhabit the world I want to live in, nostalgic for a past that never was.
November 1, 2021
As makers in the modern era, we are no longer making out of the necessity of our communities. We now have the privilege to make based on what sings to our souls. And although the practicality of using wild materials in the modern age is low, for Zach Sierke there is no substitute for what these local materials can provide: connection.
November 1, 2021
Willa Cather wrote, “Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world: but here the earth is the floor of the sky.” Over the past year-and-a-half, Betsy Williams has delved ever deeper into sourcing and testing wild clays, specifically looking for high-fire clays and glaze materials. It did not take long before she realized that prospecting for and working with wild clay was where her pottery-making destiny lay.
‘On Earth, time is marked by the sun and moon, by rotations that distinguish day from night that had led to clocks and calendars. The present was a speck that kept blinking, brightening, and diminishing, something neither alive or dead. How long did it last? One second? Less? It was always in flux; in the time it took to consider it, it slipped away.’ - Jhumpa Lahiri "The Lowland"
November 1, 2021
FREE ARTICLE "I have never tired of it. There's always something more to explore in the world of clay and glazes and atmospheric firings. We're dealing with essential materials of earth and fire and water and air, and we're playing, but playing with a purpose – seeking more information," Daphne Roehr Hatcher.
October 1, 2021
Every risk has added to my development as an artist and human being. It’s the little things, the fragments of the journey, that make the destination that much more fruitful.
October 1, 2021
I looked her dead in the eye as I resentfully told her, “I will never be a potter.”
October 1, 2021
Gary and Daphne Hatcher have spent their lives wholly committed to each other and the shared belief that making art would sustain them financially and in all other facets of their lives.
September 1, 2021
Making a pot isn’t simply a mechanical construction, it is also the intention and energy of the person creating it.
September 1, 2021
I hope, now, that my ongoing research and future publications will highlight this model of community building both within and beyond the contemporary art world, in a way that could serve society at large, helping researchers in the humanities build a better understanding of how and why people choose to work together, and more importantly, how they do so productively.
September 1, 2021
When my sense of depersonalization is at its strongest, I feel as though I have become virtual and dreamlike myself and have lost my presence in real time and space.
September 1, 2021
I’m speaking for myself; [Chicano] resonates with me and gives me a sense of belonging I couldn’t find before.
September 1, 2021
Do you want to use an O’Brien? Please try it. Tell us how it is for you and if you make improvements. It’s a team sport, rah rah. It gives everyone something to do: one person to pull the brick, one person to spray, one to load the next shot, two vampires to vamp the dampers in and out.
August 1, 2021
Success is the mindset that the things you would like for yourself are coming to you. Failure is just a test to see how much you wanted something in the first place.
August 1, 2021
Awake and distraught. Rather than charging, my phone has drained to a dim 2%. I remind myself that I’m not superstitious. By 9:30 AM, I’m fully set up, my power bank, phone, and Square are all communicating. I find some courage, hang my sign. Ready.
August 1, 2021
Over the course of fifty years Mata Ortiz Pottery became an outstanding artistic movement and one of the most relevant ceramic expressions in the world. But how did such a young pottery tradition emerge, seemingly from nowhere, and quickly evolve? The most popular narrative, the “single story” distilled from a larger, more complex narrative, involves only a few men. What follows is our history, the multi-layered narrative, as told by the people who have lived it.
August 1, 2021
We will probably always wrestle with the thorny question of how contemporary efforts to honor the beauty and complexity of traditional ceramic art can operate on a deeper level than merely “sampling” visual aspects of past achievements for individual purposes.
July 1, 2021
Welcome to the vibrantly intentional world of Brian Vu.
July 1, 2021
. . . To work with a plan that is pre-set is one way of avoiding subjectivity. . . . The plan would design the work. . . . the artist would select the basic form and rules that would govern the solution of the problem.
July 1, 2021
“A work of art is a thesis. Every decision that the artist makes supports their thesis. In order to discover that thesis, it is the job of the critic to interpret the visual language used by the artist."
July 1, 2021
“When I get to be by myself with the kiln and be in the process of it, I feel like I can hear my thoughts a little better. I have time to hear my responses to what's going on with the fire. What an amazing thing to try to learn. The whole experience, the sound, the sight, the physicality of it, and the sky, having to be outside – I think I fell in love with a squirrel once. There is so much quiet and so many opportunities to pay attention... That’s just such an amazing gift.” -Meredith Kunhardt
July 1, 2021
My family’s story has been one of resilience and hope, of making the most from the least, and of appreciating the smallest of things.
June 1, 2021
To point out the act of speaking with precision can appear redundant and excessive, but within the need to overemphasize there is immense intentionality.
June 1, 2021
An intimate sense of materials allows a place to influence my work and to fix the unique nature of a place into my memory.
June 1, 2021
The possibility and potential of apprenticeship as a mode of training was of key interest to Gerry Williams, founding editor of Studio Potter.
June 1, 2021
You can learn much about the quality of an environment by the number and type of birds that pass through it or call it home. Similarly, the character of a culture is revealed through the objects it produces. When pots and birds intersect, you get unique insights into how the maker sees the natural world.
May 1, 2021
During the last decade there have been more and more concerted efforts to decolonize our notions of what working with clay means, and while it is a difficult point in our history to feel optimism, people who make things out of clay are always in community...For those seeking positive changes in our society, we must remember that there are steps backward and forward, the path is erratic and often uncertain, but the arc has been toward justice – we just don’t have enough of it yet.
May 1, 2021
I found a bat with her handprint on it. It was a bit uncanny – just how perfect it was. I keep it right above my wheel, leaned on a little ledge of brick. She was and will forever be fundamental to my connection to pottery. I know my grandmother would be proud of the potter I am today.
May 1, 2021
Deeper inside the tree, a wine-dark sea of grain fading to a gentle indigo, lavender, and deep green make up the heartwood. The wide range of color in melted ash surfaces that can be seen at the unloading of a wood kiln are continually surprising. I’ve found myself thinking, “How can such color come from simple wood ash?” Well, it seems it had been in there all along.
May 1, 2021
She apparently needed us, but so did we need her. She was earthbound, and, like us in our pandemic prison, unable to go far. But if she could break free, then perhaps so could we shed ourselves of this hermetic existence and return to our kettle.
May 1, 2021
Touch – not touch as we know it, but touch defined by adding something to soil with my effort, my touch. From this point of view, I have touched the soil of Iğdır.
April 1, 2021
A new animated comic from Richard Nickel for Studio Potter about the life of Adelaide Alsop Robineau and her masterpiece, The Scarab Vase.
April 1, 2021
I am fascinated with the laser beam as a heat source and how it "fires" the red clay surface, revealing its many true colours without the suffocation of glazes.
April 1, 2021
There is an unbelievable amount of untapped potential in the digital market of ‘’branded” companies who need handcrafted items.
My dreams enabled a strong sense of empathy and openness to different ways of thinking. They have fueled a fearless, and sometimes reckless, desire for new experiences. They have allowed me to visualize possibilities and embrace opportunities.
April 1, 2021
Then, the Last Prisoner Project came onto my radar. Their purpose is to free the 40,000-plus nonviolent prisoners who are in jail for cannabis. These nonviolent offenders remain in jail in states where marijuana is now legal.
March 1, 2021
I found myself awestruck and absorbed, drawn across the room by smallish pyramid-shaped gems – the brilliance of "Glaze Flow Blocks" by Karen Thuesen Massaro had me gripped.
March 1, 2021
The time away from career obligations has allowed my thoughts to freely wander from present to past to future.
March 1, 2021
Open-firing, despite being regarded by some as an archaic technique, has much potential for interpretation by the contemporary potter. It is a ceramic technology that has lasted, unbroken, for thousands of years...
March 1, 2021
The Shakers pursued perfection through purity, goodness, equality, kindness. I wanted to create pottery that embodied that same aesthetic...
February 1, 2021
"You have to be mindful. You have to be cautious, but it doesn't always have to be a hard no," Tish Agoyo.
February 1, 2021
"As an artist trying to work with galleries, you should never feel like you have no power," Donté K. Hayes.
February 1, 2021
"I think it's really helpful if you can have an idea of what you want your life to look like, day-to-day, and also a year from now," Sue Tirrell
February 1, 2021
“The world has been turned upside down.” The inversion has created pain, instability, and fear. Marion Angelica wondered whether it might also foster creativity and innovation. To find her answer, she issued a call to our field. Twenty-one artists responded.
January 4, 2021
Although 2020 was a challenging year that exhausted us all, 2021 needs to be the year that we move forward to create impactful change. The change that we need – the anti-racist ideals that we should all strive to embody – require deliberate action, attentiveness, courage, discomfort, conflict, and ultimately a release and restructuring of power.
January 4, 2021
...as I sat at the computer, feeling the void of the nonexistent National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts 2020 conference, I clicked and signed up for the online three day, twenty-four/seven ceramic marathon.
January 4, 2021
A kiln lies at the center of this story, a brick arch built on a concrete slab next to a needing-to-be-painted red barn.
January 4, 2021
Spoken of en masse, essential workers become nameless and removed, unknowable – an anonymous soundbite in the media. When things and people are anonymous they, by default, become disposable.
December 1, 2020
"How do you make something beautiful?" "Get out of the way."
December 1, 2020
"I don’t think we can escape the complexities of our history. My small life experience can be extrapolated in any direction to encompass many different stories and people from all over our country and world. Our human histories are woven, complex, and blurry."
December 1, 2020
"My worldview as an artist has grown and changed. I no longer think of art in terms of craft, livelihood, discipline, practice, or process. Art is BISQUE. Believe, Include, Sustain, Question, Understand, and Evolve; I am all this."
December 1, 2020
"As I interpret it, Keats’s idea speaks to the endeavor to share a vision of artistic beauty even when it leads to intellectual uncertainty. True beauty lies in ambitious uncertainty. Negative capability encourages artists to boldly explore a world of uncertainty – a world where there are no clear-cut distinctions. This is a world where authentic work can be done."
November 1, 2020
Studio Potter's Jill Foote-Hutton sat down with Sunshine Cobb and discussed the changing marketplace for studio artists.
November 1, 2020
The first installment of a series on navigating the market as a studio artist, wherein we will share the wisdom of field and consider what the gallery/artist relationship might be in the future. Inspired by an inquiry from Osa Atoe.
November 1, 2020
"I like how the glaze reminds me of our pet’s warmth and mottled look, complete with some imperfections, and how it offers some comfort during the quiet days in the studio."
November 1, 2020
"I may start with some ideas and questions, but the wisdom is in the soil, just like the wisdom is in the clay. This properly humbles me, reminds me what my capabilities are, what my limitations are, and how generous the material is, how fortunate I am to continue exploring."
November 1, 2020
“I think anybody can get really good at anything they’re interested in at any age if they have a good mentor and spend enough time doing it.”
October 1, 2020
Fueled by a curiosity about the limits of clay explored throughout human history, I know that everything I make exists within a larger context.
Animal Bowl, "Paul", 2009. Anagama-fired dark stoneware. 7 X 14 x 10 in.
October 1, 2020
...take leaps of faith to experiment, during this time while no one is around to watch.
October 1, 2020
An excerpt from Women, Surrealism & Abstraction – The Poetry Project, at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art on the Utah State University campus in Logan, Utah.
October 1, 2020
In the year of the suffragette centennial, a passionate collector lifts up women ceramists and considers the aesthetics of her holdings against the backdrop of her quarantine garden, "As often as I have the opportunity, I proclaim it time to aggressively advocate for the commitment of art institutions, collectors, schools, and professional associations to support women clay artists..."
October 1, 2020
...the stimuli that catch our attention in a moment in time are not actually ‘things” but rather the emotional and psychological association that the thing has triggered.
October 1, 2020
Their ceramic objects serve as repositories of technique, mobility, potential, and function, enhancing our understanding and appreciation of situations afforded by domestic environments. Creating meaningful relationships with objects enables us to envision more sustainable worlds with fewer, but, better, things.
September 1, 2020
The Value of the Vessel
September 1, 2020
Studio Potter dedicates this story to all the teachers and students returning to the studio classroom this fall, whatever that may look like for you.
September 1, 2020
Rather than lean in to an oppositional response, the administrators who chose to be interviewed by Studio Potter here, have allowed themselves to be vulnerable by sharing their honest struggles as they grapple with systemic racism.
September 1, 2020
It all has to do with who the person is. It’s about you. It doesn't deal with the school. It doesn’t matter if it’s the pedigree or the bucket. If you don’t know why you’re there... there ain’t nothing I can say.
September 1, 2020
What follows are some highlights from two evolving conversations with Courtney M. Leonard and Paul S. Briggs as they grapple with our roles as makers, educators, and culture shifters in this time of COVID-19, civil uprisings, and an impending election.
September 1, 2020
Haas doesn’t create traditional crockery or Asian ceramics, but he is informed by them. He isn’t making radical ephemeral sculpture, but he is informed by it. In the collide lies Haas and his evolution.
September 1, 2020
There was an old index card box labeled “Deaccessioned, Missing, or Stolen Works” sitting on the top of a filing cabinet. I loved everything about that blend of categories...
August 1, 2020
“What is normal to the spider, is chaos to the fly.”
August 1, 2020
Cooking in clay cannot be sped up. One must slow to the speed of the technology you are using.
August 1, 2020
There seemed to have been a greater freedom for the makers to explore variations in form during the developmental stages of a civilization.
August 1, 2020
It’s easy to think outside of the box when you were never in the box in the first place.
August 1, 2020
The kiln temperature was crawling past 2100 degrees Fahrenheit and we were running out of wood. It felt like we weren’t going to make the last two hundred degrees.
July 1, 2020
An excerpt from a collaborative letter, "I refuse to sign any contracts to teach from this day forward without holding the institutions accountable for how they are actively pursuing/enacting an antiracist agenda."
NCC teaching artist Angie Renee assists residents at Martin Luther Meadow Woods memory care facility, 2017. Photograph by Alison Beech.
July 1, 2020
In comparing three articles, from the Studio Potter subscription, from differing time frames, I’ve come to understand a connection to art and ceramics that is more than skill building. I know the reason why my brain was has been so happy to have my hands in clay.
July 1, 2020
... a 1780, red jasperware beaker with a Chinese flower pattern was a chance find... It sparked a musing so enticing, with fresh eyes, I forged a new obsession and path in my practice.
July 1, 2020
Three films by Culture Colony featuring Walter Keeler (The Making of Flailed), Adam Buick (The Making of the Intertidal Jar) and Claire Curneen (The Making of Touched).
July 1, 2020
I thought it was important to see Black folk dancing, loving, teaching, and playing on pots, because I felt our life and joy was not something you expect to see on pots with depicted narratives.
July 1, 2020
The shift from artist to entrepreneur can be a challenging one, but the beautiful thing about artists in business is that they are almost never in it alone.
June 1, 2020
“I’ve always had an insatiable appetite to learn and to connect with new activities, and I have benefited very much from it,” Paul J. Smith once said, looking back on his extraordinary life in the arts, and the passion that drove it.
June 1, 2020
The power of art lies in its capacity for alchemy, the ability to reach beyond given circumstances and change perception. For both Santiago and Hefetz, the power that propels their work transcends technique. Unflinchingly direct about sadness, they reach for hope, speaking to the inner core of our being. Santiago’s figures reach for re-humanization and dignity. Hefetz’s work asks us to recontextualize experience. Implicit at the heart of their work, however, is the idea of freedom.
June 1, 2020
I have defined happiness as being at peace. I am at peace with myself while working on my sculptures in the studio. All life’s problems are still in my mind, but working in clay puts them in pause. I feel excited, productive, and with a purpose in life, but in these uncertain times the connection to my artwork feels different. Baking sourdough bread has become another way to be at peace with myself.
June 1, 2020
It’s kind of an old-fashioned dream. Not obsolete, but grounded in tradition and backed by a love of labor that comes from knowing you hold the ability to make something from nothing.
June 1, 2020
The Im-ple-ment Archive is simultaneously a collection of objects to be used, a collaborative method of making, an interrogation of craft practices and intersections, and an ongoing contemporary artwork.
June 1, 2020
Visually inspired by textiles, patterns, and illustrations, my journey toward finding my artistic voice came from a desire to create pottery that was colorful, graphic, and well-defined.
June 1, 2020
She recalls how she wanted to be a geologist before discovering clay as art and continues to tell herself there is a beautiful connection there.
May 18, 2020
In sharing my story of managing depression as an artist, I intend to break down some of the isolation caused by trauma ... and reveal how well-being and creativity share a symbiotic relationship.
May 18, 2020
A timely reminder for those working in traditional craft disciplines that handwork can be deeply resonant beyond the categories used to define the works it produces.
May 18, 2020
Seeing the problem of woodfiring’s lack of exposure and accessibility to the general public, I set out to find a solution that provided engagement in this immersive experience to my immediate community.
May 18, 2020
The connection between ceramics and food came with just a four-letter word: salt.
May 18, 2020
Light streamed into the dimly lit world of my convictions, and with it, in time, came myriad possibilities...
April 27, 2020
Trying times inspire revolution and innovation.
April 27, 2020
“The Cup Library was created by students and faculty working with the Ceramics Apprenticeship Program as a creative response to a perceived community understanding of functional ceramics as an economic commodity.”
April 27, 2020
I had been following the mosaic fabrication of Montreal-based Mosaika for years. In February I invited myself to visit their studio for a behind-the-scenes tour. Graciously, they accepted my invitation.
St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour  Jan McKeachie Johnston, Mike Helke, Naomi Dalglish, Randy Johnston, Linda Christianson, and Lisa Buck.
April 27, 2020
Pots come to life when they are in use at the table and kitchen sink. The story of how pots come to us and worm their way into our lives can be an added bonus.
April 27, 2020
Un-Broken, the essay, is a record of myself and an offering to my family while I am alive.
April 27, 2020
Writing a new book is like a new love. Initially, you find yourself infatuated. You can’t stop thinking about it, and you feel driven to talk about it. But the more you do, the more you see your family and friends’ eyes glaze over, and you decide it would be better for your real relationships if you divert your talking to writing.
March 24, 2020
I do not intend my voice to be the voice of all women. In this significant time of convergence between ceramics and fine art, we have the opportunity to contribute a more critical voice to our culture, which demands that we are represented by people from a wider range of perspectives. We must make space for critical writing from less represented viewpoints. We need to make space for more stories.
March 24, 2020
Perhaps it is years of conscious determination that create an air of inherent intuition. The first installment of a new Studio Potter series.
March 24, 2020
Collaborative and open sharing is an upside to all we are currently experience. Shades of World War II efforts come to mind: rations, women working in factories, and victory gardens, among other things. Imagine the days to come when we are past the pandemic. What will we have learned about ourselves as people, as a nation, and as a world?
March 24, 2020
Four artists use their artistic research to challenge the homogenized art narrative that has privileged those in power.
March 24, 2020
The world is facing a crisis. I don’t know what the situation will be when this gets published, but somehow the issues I raise might get lost in the shuffle. There is a reason bottom-line thinking is so highly regarded: it solves problems.
March 24, 2020
At a very early age, I was orphaned and placed into the closed adoption industry. In 2018, I was able to secure my true identity. My studio practice has been the key to building a bridge to my past while constructing a future with the family I thought I had lost forever. For all those non-believers out there, it turns out that art does have the power to change lives. It certainly did mine.
March 24, 2020
Being on a platform; as, kind of, the token transgender individual in the clay community takes its toll. When I lectured at NCECA in 2017 on the panel "Gendered Clay," I had no idea what would happen. I could only tell my own story. I thought it was worth sacrificing my anonymity.
March 24, 2020
"I have been a student of the possibilities of the materials ... So many variables, so many decisions to make, and so many opportunities to make them. You learn failure is a part of success. Just like not every play will work as drawn out on paper, not every pot will make it through the process as desired, but each time you learn something that feeds into the next attempt. You are playing the law of averages. If you keep at it, something will start to work out."
Mulberry Bridge with Diana Kersey, 2011. Photo Credit: Seale Photography.
February 24, 2020
Last month, in Part I, we left studio potter Diana Kersey, having just broken into the practice of public art. This month, while sharing her background from star athlete to ceramist, we explore further her approach to design, content, and community engagement as she completes her first major public art commission.
Signs and accessories in Jason Hartsoe in his Penland studio, January 2020. Photo Credit: Madalyn Wofford.
February 24, 2020
"Just when it seems the incline and hairpin turns won’t end, deep forest opens up to a passenger-side view of Horner Hall, the recently renovated home to the Penland gallery and visitors center." Join Sarah Kelly in conversation with Penland Resident Jason Hartsoe; captured last fall. A grateful recollection of deliberate advancement toward a goal.
A dinner set for poet Mary Ruefle’s April 2020 reading at UMass Amherst has as a centerpiece a plate set inspired by her short prose piece “Old Immortality.”
February 24, 2020
This past fall, I needed to learn how to make plates. Specifically, plates similar in form and decoration to those from Staffordshire, England, in the early 1800s.
Robert Harrison, Potter Shrine. Helena, Montana. Photo Credit: Robert Harrison.
February 24, 2020
I believe that most of us are responsible for what we do, and make objects of worth that will be valued by future generations. Such objects will remind our grandchildren that the ceramists of the early twenty-first century were caring, careful, and future-thinking artists wishing to sustain the environment and lifestyle in a manner that is answerable and accountable for the future. – Janet Mansfield, 2012
Hannah Walters, “Inkwell,” 15.75″x12″x6″, porcelain and crank clay with tin glaze
February 24, 2020
Modest in appearance, simple in its curation, but big in intention; this gallery is a gem. Long may it, and shows like Tanio/Ignite, continue.
Janet Koplos What Makes a Potter
February 24, 2020
Jack Troy reviews Janet Koplos's new text, What Makes a Potter: Functional Pottery in America Today, featuring fifty interviews with contemporary potters.
January 27, 2020
Greetings from the new Studio Potter Editor, "Let's not be reductive. Let's be expansive. If we make a list, let's do it to parse out the options rather than create an oppressive hierarchy. We can all benefit from the beautiful mosaic of potential within the ceramic medium. This is what Studio Potter has always done." Send your story proposals to editor@studiopotter.org
Eri Dewa Forest Porcelain Sculpture at Lacoste Keane Gallery
January 27, 2020
Lucy Lacoste generously shared the following catalog essay with Studio Potter, drawing our attention to the next generation of Japanese women in ceramics. The exhibition was inspired by two important past exhibitions; Soaring Voices (2009 – 2012) which traveled to 10 locations in the USA, and Touch Fire (2009) at Smith College, Northampton MA.
Porcelain Extension Lighting Collection by Nick Moen and the Bright Angle
January 27, 2020
Nick Moen is discovering and designing bridges between materials, craft and design, and communities at The Bright Angle in Asheville, North Carolina.
January 27, 2020
A three-part series on the ceramist as public artist. "Completing private and public commissions, in addition to creating, decorating, and firing thousands of vessels during my career as an artist/potter, is not unlike how I learned the game of basketball: through practice, study, failure, disappointment, victory, and determination. This artistic path, in addition to my recently completed public art projects, has allowed me to master my ceramic process and has prepared me to take on a project of any scale." – Diana Kersey, 2015
You may have noticed that I had not even breezed through the studio before committing myself to Craigardan, but it was love at first sight, as I mentioned, and the place proved to be like the creek that flows through the property – lush, crisp, and fully flowing in the summer and, from what I hear, cold, covered, and clear in the winter.
For Ruberto, the aesthetic of her work is a sensorial experience that coincides with the sound and feeling one acquires during a quaint moment of twilight, an atmospheric stillness when one reawakens into a new part of the day. Illustrated on much of Ruberto’s work is a vegetative element that can be attributed to the subtle essence of fog.
I never intended to collect ceramics and nothing that I was given or purchased was viewed as an investment.
The assortment of mugs and cups grows each time I travel, attend a clay conference, enjoy a studio tour, or visit a gallery. My collection is not comprehensive, but rather a personal grouping of unique vessels that instill wonder and appreciation for creativity and design.
November 27, 2019
Many of the challenges we are facing are not that different than those our mentors dealt with in academia. The next generation is becoming responsible for continued reshaping of the field, as they strive to uphold the standards and beliefs of our predecessors, while also trying to adapt to an ever-changing culture.
November 27, 2019
We decided our first trip to the UK would be to St. Ives and Leach Pottery. This started our love affair with British studio ceramics
November 27, 2019
If Bernard’s Leach’s A Potter’s Book was the old testament for many aspiring studio potters internationally, Daniel Rhodes’ Clay and Glazes for the Potter was the new testament for those living in North America.
November 27, 2019
Pottery often has a relationship to its environment, from the wild clay potters of North Carolina to regional aesthetics like the ubiquitous Minnesota brown pot. Like most people these days, potters are also concerned with climate change.
The illusion is that with plastic 3-D printers and how you have this tool, it can potentially fabricate anything in the world that you could possibly imagine.
When students rush into the classroom in the morning, beaming with excitement about a new technique they saw on Instagram, something good is happening. They are hooked on ceramics and fully engaged in the process.
Brightly colored columns stand throughout the industrial site of Mission Clay Building Products on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. Their presence, amidst outdoor horizontal stacks of terra cotta pipe, signals that artists are at work on eight-footextruded clay pillars.
It was maybe 10 years ago that I was talking with a book editor who asked what I was working on. I told him, but then said, impulsively, that what I wanted to do most was a book on functional pottery.
Jay Lacouture, foreground, and Harriet Brisson, background, in 1976.
November 27, 2019
Since her passing, I have continually pondered, “What would my life be like if I had not met Harriet Brisson?” What follows are some of the personal memories that come flooding back when I think about my Role Mother.
Illustration by Zoe Pappenheimer for Studio Potter journal, 2018.
September 30, 2019
It has been my pleasure to serve as the Editor of Studio Potter journal for the last five years. ... My parting request, dear readers, is that you get more people to read this journal.
Ahrong Kim. “Kimcheese,” 2017. Porcelain, stoneware, luster, stone. 7.5 x 8 x 19 in.
September 20, 2019
People read a visual artwork through many different things: a title, prominent color or patterns, etc., but they react quickly to something that’s more familiar to them.
Watkins in June 1962, location unknown.
September 20, 2019
Watkins's accomplished career, spanning four decades, included achievements in the academic, studio, curatorial, and scholarly realms. It’s a wonder that someone with this breadth of experience and success has received only modest attention in the ceramics and crafts fields.
Ray Brown. Low Pitcher, 2018. Soda-fired stoneware, flashing slip, black underglaze, glaze. 2019 NJSE Merit Award. Photo by SP.
September 19, 2019
There is satisfaction in developing the best iterations of a form, creating an aesthetic harmony among them, and making decisions that fulfill my desires for their function as utilitarian objects.
Harriet Harriet Brisson. Clouds, 1990. Stoneware clay, reduction fired to Cone 10, 7x7x7 in.
October 21, 2019
Others will praise and remember Harriet for her teaching or her studio work, but the extraordinary person she was loomed largest, for me, in her role on the Studio Potter board.
Harriet Brisson Cube Striped in Half, 1989. Raku; 6 in. sq. 46th Concorso Internazionale, della Ceramica D'Arte, Faenza, Italy. From Brisson's 50NOW retrospective exhibition catalog.
September 15, 2019
Harriet had a mathematical mind, richly reinforced by her artwork and the life she created with her husband and fellow artist, David Brisson. Her modular ceramic creations, with components that fit together effortlessly, are evidence of her keen logic.
July 31, 2019
Studio Potter journal is now publishing exclusively online. Read any SP article anytime, anywhere, from any device, and save a personalized list to read later, too. Subscribe for just $5/month.
Timea Tihanyi mentoring student intern Wanna Huang at Slip Rabbit Studio, Seattle, Washington, 2019. Photo by Mark Stone, University of Washington.
August 1, 2019
We don’t know if and how objects will matter in the distant technological future. This poses interesting dilemmas for ceramics: How do we hold on and innovate at the same time? How do we imagine a new future of tactility with clay?
The Heinos in front of their salt kiln, Ojai, California, 1992. Photograph by Bill Dow.
July 24, 2019
Equally celebrated in New Hampshire and California, Vivika and Otto Heino's ceramics are part of a continuum that stretches back into history, and continue to inspire those who follow along the path of clay.
The Lugos - Roberto, Ashley, Theodore, and Otto, 2019. Photo courtesy of the author.
July 19, 2019
I come from a large family: fifty-seven first cousins, and each of them have children of their own. Early on, I knew that I wanted to be a father—apart from my knack for the ill-advised pun.
Santiago Isaza working in his home studio. January, 2019. Photo by author.
July 20, 2019
On a research trip to Medellín, Colombia, I met a thirty-five-year-old anthropologist and ceramist who enlightened me to the role of indigenous ceramics in contemporary culture.
Animal Bowl, "Paul", 2009. Anagama-fired dark stoneware. 7 X 14 x 10 in.
A language teacher once told me that in order to learn a new word you have to forget it five times. What I love about this statement is the idea that forgetting is integral to learning, an inseparable part of the journey to acquire knowledge.