There’s an extra level of excitement surrounding the May issue, which features the finalists of Ceramics Monthly’s annual Emerging Artist contest. Its production runs in parallel with the first hints of spring in Central Ohio, where we assemble the magazine content. The encouragingly warm temperatures and progressively longer days of this change of season feel fresh, invigorating, and full of promise. Reflecting on the contents of this issue, I am similarly encouraged and energized by the talent of this year’s Emerging Artists. They demonstrate the strength of the ceramics field, and I so look forward to seeing what’s to come from each of them in their bright futures.
The editorial staff was tasked with selecting a small group of artists from over 760 submissions to the contest. Entrants must have been pursuing a career in ceramics for ten years or less, and are assessed based on the following criteria: craftsmanship and skill in the forming and finishing of ceramic objects, the effectiveness of communicating ideas, an applied awareness of context appropriate for chosen areas of interest, originality and clarity of artistic voice, and quality of images.
The 21 finalists we selected represent all manner of making processes, areas of conceptual concern, and categories of finished work. In addition to sharing images of what they create, each feature includes the artist’s thoughts on working in the ceramics field and community. We inquired about their inspirations, the challenges they’ve faced, the techniques they use to make work, and their strategies for identifying and engaging audiences. Each artist shares their best advice learned and received, both pragmatic and philosophical. Collectively, their responses grant keen insight into starting and growing a ceramics career.
On a personal, professional note, this issue is the first for which I am interim editor—which feels fitting, as it is certainly an exciting moment for me as well. While I’ve been on the editorial staff of Ceramics Monthly for several years, this position is both a thrilling opportunity and a huge responsibility. I look forward to serving the ceramics community in this new capacity, and will strive to continue the magazine’s long legacy of sharing ceramic work and artists’ discussions that are informative, refreshing, and engaging.
It’s my sincere hope that the pages that follow spark in you the excitement of being inspired—by new work or by a bit of insight that is particularly resonant. As the days continue to shift from one season to the next, carve out some studio time of your own for newness and growth.