Working together allows artists to pool resources and knowledge, share skills, create more efficiently and effectively, and explore ideas that might have been inaccessible alone. Working together can be simultaneously rewarding and challenging, but, at least in my experience, is always enlightening. In my own studio, I generally work independently. However, my time on the staff of Ceramics Monthly has proven time and again the value of cooperation and teamwork in producing something special. 

This issue focuses on collaborations and collectives. The artists and groups highlighted below have found success in combining efforts to realize common goals. 

With a desire to utilize materials sourced closer to home, Sara Howard partnered with Gabriel Lau, a property developer in London, to establish Golden Earth Studio. They intercept excavated clay that would otherwise end up in the landfill and offer it instead for use by artists. 

1 Ryuji Iwasaki House, 2013. Architect: Norio Yoshinaga, Office for Environment Architecture. Photo: Yuko Tada.

The Impostors Cup Show project tasks selected ceramic artists with creating convincing copies of another’s signature work. Bryan Wilkerson describes the obstacles and outcomes of this unique take on collaboration. 

Maggie and Tom Jaszczak have built a studio and a life on their property in Shafer, Minnesota. The repurposed barn out of which they work provides each artist private space to focus, while their proximity to a rich pottery community fuels their practices. 

The Village Potters Clay Center was started with community in mind. Expanding manifold since its start in 2011, the center offers numerous ways for members and the public to gain access to clay, skills, and opportunities. 

“Clay Holds Water, Water Holds Memory,” curated by Adero Willard, and reviewed by Heidi McKenzie, was collective in nature from its conceptualization, to fundraising efforts, to its installation. The resulting exhibition presented an impactful grouping of pieces that celebrated the voices of Black women and non-binary artists. 

2 Maggie Jaszczak’s vase with long trough, to 11 in. (28 cm) in height, wheel-thrown and handbuilt earthenware, painted slip, glaze, fired to cone 04 in an electric kiln.

Ellen Kleckner’s years of work with artist Linda Tien, The Im-ple-ment Archive, is one of several ways in which the concept of collaboration manifests in her work. 

D Wood discusses the work of Ryuji Iwasaki, who enlisted an architect to design an innovative and intentional home and studio for his work and family to thrive. Glen Brown shares a look into Michelle Ettrick’s influences and journey in clay, and her desire to empower others through autobiographical motifs. Stephanie Arnold describes the long career of Polo Ramírez, who fosters connection through traditional methods of forming and firing. 

If you’re heading to Richmond for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference, come say hello and meet a few members of the team who work together to bring you this magazine. 

Katie Reaver, Editor

Topics: Ceramic Artists