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.
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
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
“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.”
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
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.