Call for Entries! Ceramics Monthly to Feature Outstanding Ceramics Undergraduate Students in September 2009 Issue

Lance Thompson, a student at The Ohio State University, was featured in last year's Undergraduate Showcase.

Lance Thompson, a student at The Ohio State University, was featured in last year’s Undergraduate Showcase.

It’s summer time and that means the deadline (June 30 – write it down!) is fast approaching for Ceramics Monthly’s Annual Undergraduate Showcase competition. The competition is open to all undergraduate students enrolled in ceramics classes at accredited post-secondary educational institutions, including 2009 graduates. The winners get their work featured in Ceramics Monthly. And heck, I might just feature them in the Daily too. Pretty cool eh? So as a reminder for that deadline and simply to show you some great work, I thought I would feature the showcased artists from last year’s inaugural competition in today’s post. Do you know a deserving undergraduate? Do they need a nudge? Pass this along and help them get the recognition they deserve! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor

Download the Prospectus for Ceramics Monthly’s 2009 Undergraduate Showcase Competition!

I’m not sure the term undergraduate accurately reflects the nature of what it is to study ceramics at the post-secondary level. Really, it just says you haven’t graduated; it says nothing of the commitment you may have made to your chosen field of study, and it certainly doesn’t convey the level of achievement we see in the works submitted for this showcase. Perhaps we should have called it the “2008 Extremely Committed Post-Secondary Students with Tons of Ability and Potential Superstar Status Showcase,” but you can see how that’s problematic. I suppose we’ll leave it how it is, for clarity’s sake, on the condition that the reader understand that we feel the works presented here are not under much of anything, except perhaps the publicity radar.—Sherman Hall, Editor, Ceramics Monthly



William Pariso

University of Wisconsin–Whitewater

Instructors: Charlie Olson and Jared Janovec

I started at Whitewater studying biology, but after taking art history courses I gained an interest in making art. Once in the studio, it was easy to tell where I really felt comfortable spending my time. Ceramics is an exciting medium, blending the physical nature clay offers alongside a scientific approach. My observations of complex systems in nature and in man-made devices drive much of my thoughts relative to making. After college, I would like to pursue an M.F.A., but I’m open to other experiences and opportunities.

Momentum: Diurnal Motion, 12½ in. (32 cm) in height, porcelain, 2008.

Kathryn Livesey

The Appalachian Center for Crafts at the Tennessee Technological University

Instructor: Vince Pitelka

I might never have found the Appalachian Center for Craft if my high school art teacher, Wendie Love, hadn’t seen their table at NCECA and recommended them. The Center is part os TTU, which makes it very affordable, but it is located on a separate campus. I chose to come here because of the opportunity to learn a variety of crafts. But what really kept me here is the focus on good craftsmanship and the true community of artists who work here. It is a very supportive environment for me to focus on my work.

Teapot and cup, 8 in. (20 cm) in height, white stoneware, soda fired to cone 10, 2008.

Sarah Tancred

Bowling Green State University

Instructors: John Balistreri and Joseph Pintz

I originally came to BGSU as a fine arts major, but had very little experience with ceramics. I took a ceramics class during my sophomore year, and I became intrigued with working on the wheel and surface design. Microscopic images of plant and animal cell structures, bone marrow and viruses interest me and are screen printed onto my pottery. Although a pattern is created, what the image depicts, along with the function it serves both conceptually and in life, is the main focus in my work.

Microscopic View Cups 3, 4½ in. (12 cm) in height, thrown porcelain, gas fired, cone 10, screenprinted, underglaze, 2008.

This article was published in the September 2008 issue of Ceramics Monthly. To
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Ben Fiess

University of Wisconsin–Whitewater

Instructor: Jared Janovec

For me, the two specific draws to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater were low tuition costs and the relatively small student population/class sizes. I had no intention of studying ceramics or art, but discovered I had a great deal of interest in the possibilities of the medium.

The professors here both encourage and challenge me to make the best work I can. I would definitely say that the dedication and individual attention provided by the professors have been great reasons for attending this university.

set: M2, 4 ½ in. (12 cm) in height, porcelain, felt, 2008.

Natsue Makino

University of Washington, Seattle

Instructors: Akio Takamori, Jamie Walker and Doug Jeck

I chose to attend UW because it is a public university with a great reputation that was close to home. I grew up in a traditional, conservative family in rural Japan where it was not typical for women to receive a higher education. However, when I came to the U.S. with a high school education, I noticed that many women around me had a college education. So, my initial motivation for going back to school was to recover my confidence. I thought if I could cultivate within myself things I do not know, it would enrich the inner life of who I am.

Fox’s Wedding, up to 39 in. (99 cm) in height, handbuilt stoneware, acrylic paint, wire, animal hair, 2008.

Elliot Marquet

Ohio University. Instructors: Brad Schwieger, Alex Hibbit and Robert “Boomer” Moore

I chose to attend OU because I had heard that it had one of the finest ceramics programs in the nation. It was also close to home, so it was the ideal choice for me. My high school had a strong ceramic program and my teachers really pushed me to continue my studies at the undergraduate level. This fall, I will be enrolled as a post-baccalaureate at the University of Florida.

Purging Super–Mundane Intelligence, 2 ft. (61 cm) in height, stoneware, mason stain porcelain slip, cone 6 oxidation, 2008.

Chris Sneed

University of Mississippi

Instructor: Matt Long

I am interested in how pots can be used every day to bring art into one’s life and to enhance one’s experience with food by providing a daily ritual to feed the soul as well as the body. I enjoy playing with form and seeing how far I can take it. But as always, form has to follow function. I think in order to have a successful piece you must have good form, composition and balance.

Ash Cup, 4 in. (10 cm) in height, Korean celadon with Boone slip porcelain, wood fired to cone 12, 2008.

Leslie Plato Smith

Laney Community College

Instructor: Susannah Israel

A background in archaeology has shaped my world view. I try to bring a sense of universality, cultural diversity and timelessness to my pieces. I work quickly so the clay body influences the final form as much as my own ideas. Texture is more than just a surface; it changes the shape and feel of each piece. I try to invoke a gut response from the viewer; something that comes from deep inside the primitive part of the brain, rather than a refined, analytical assessment.

Ringed Tower, 99 in. (251 cm) in height, mixed clays, glazes, underglazes, washes, stains fired to either cone 6 in oxidation or cone 10 in reduction, installed on steel structure. Photo: Paul Parkus.

Madhulika Ghosh

Australian National University, Canberra

Instructor: Janet DeBoos

I used to live in Bangkok, Thailand, and, despite the amazing contemporary and traditional ceramics tradition prevalent there, I was unable to avail myself of a ceramics education locally due to language restrictions. Self-tutoring wasn’t an efficient way to answer the ‘what if’ and ‘how do I’ questions that were plentiful. Around that time, Janet de Boos headed a Distance Ceramics Diploma program that proved perfect for my needs. We were required to attend classes on-campus twice a year for ten days, and I remember boarding the return flight from Canberra to Bangkok at the end of each semester with gratitude because this course justified every kilometer that I travelled for it.

Where Does the Fire Go When the Fire Goes Out? Objects of Contemplation, 1 ½ in. (4 cm) in height, Southern Ice porcelain ‘butter lamps,’ plaster intaglio, woodblock printing, copperplate etching, silk-screen tissue, laser transfers, water soluble salts, 2007.

Stacy Jo Scott

University of Oregon

Instructors: Tom Rohr and Sana Krusoe

While I began college immediately after high school, I took time off in the middle to run a teaching and production ceramic studio at a retreat center. This allowed me the opportunity to explore the full range of ceramic processes and to gain experience in running a studio. After college, I plan to continue to maintain a studio, either through residencies or apprenticeships, where I will be able to further push my work in preparation for entering graduate school.

TopoMind, 24 in. (61 cm) in width, solid earhenware blocks, majolica, incised drawings, laser-cut stencils, slips, stains, 2008.

To see more great work by up-and-coming ceramic artists and potters, download your free copy of Emerging Ceramic Artists to Watch: New Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture!


<br /> Lance Thompson

The Ohio State University

Instructors: Mary Jo Bole, Rebecca Harvey and Steve Thurston

I was initially drawn to OSU because of my family history. My grandfather and several aunts and uncles are Ohio State alumni, so it was natural for me to follow in their footsteps. The facilities, faculty and ceramic history at OSU were also deciding factors in my choice. Upon graduation, I plan on continuing to make work and expanding my portfolio while researching graduate schools with the hopes of attending next fall.

Grater, 32 in. (81 cm) in height, stoneware, silver platter, 2007.

Kalika Bowlby

Alberta College of Art and Design

Instructors: Greg Payce and Katrina Chaytor

Handmade pottery celebrates the simple activities of daily life. The forms are known and familiar, they are reinventions of objects that have been made to serve basic human necessities for thousands of years. Dishes make their way into our personal living spaces and become witnesses to the conversations, routines and experiences that occur there. Our most mundane daily routines have the capability to reveal the sensual potential of existence. Rather than a focus on speed, efficiency and homogenization, hand making as a method of manufacture in modern industrialized society is a social and political action valuing sustainability and embodiment.

Individual Serving Dish, 9 ½ in. (24 cm) in height, slips, stains, glazes, soda fired to cone 10, 2008.

Benjamin Kraemer

Lawrence University

Instructor: Valerie Zimany

Objects made in porcelain are often fragile, feminine, commercial, white, pure, upper-class and sometimes luxurious and elaborate to the point that they become non-functional. Porcelain objects in the installation make the toys inaccessible, just like ultra-fancy-china-closet dinnerware

The installation is designed to combine the cheap with the precious, the delicate with the fanciful, and craft with installation art. I hope to challenge people’s relationships to specific materials through recontextualization. This body of work also serves as a callback to memories of arcade birthday parties, elementary school bag lunches and summer days at the beach.

China Closet Childhood, Floaties, 8 in. (21 cm) in height, slip-cast porcelain, clear glaze, cone 6, commercial decals, 2008.

Barbara Rose

Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Instructor: Bruce Cochrane

After teaching elementary school and raising four children, I returned to school full-time to study ceramics and turn a hobby into a career. At Sheridan I worked on design. I’m currently setting up my studio with the mentorship of Scott Barnim, a former teacher at Sheridan College and owner of Barnim Pottery, where I work part-time. I will also be teaching this fall and winter at the Burlington Art Centre.

Ash Garniture: Pilgrim Vase and Two Jars, 16 in. (41 cm) in height, porcelain, glazes.


  • Jessica W.

    I have to admit, I am truly disgusted by the words that I saw commented here last that were recently removed. Whomever wrote comments such as that obviously needs some help. This is a web site dedicated to the insight and education of ceramic artists, not the slandering of artists by idiotic people who odiously have too much time on their hands. To whomever wrote that comment, maybe you can instead turn your attention to another site where you will be surrounded by other idiots such as yourself. All the work I see is fantastic, and I admire them all.

  • your works are great. i’m studying in university of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka as a ceramic design student. i like to join with u

  • Steven P.

    How about showing ceramics of the other potters of the world, who either never studied ceramics in college or never had any formal education in any subject, in any school.

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