Talented Ceramic Artists Featured in Undergraduate Showcase 2010

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Ceramics Monthly recently published the winners of its popular Undergraduate Showcase competition. This competition highlights some impressive work by artists who are still in the very beginning stages of their explorations with clay. This year, along with showing the work of these artists, the editors of CM also included a little Q&A with the artists about the construction methods, technical challenges, or the motivations behind the work. Since it is back to school time, I thought I would share the featured artists in the blog today. Click on each of their names to learn more about the artists and their working methods. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


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This showcase of six current and recent undergraduate ceramics students is intended as a celebration of what can be accomplished in a short time. But it is not a forecast of future fame; it is a small (but successful) sampling of ceramics education. It is not unreasonable to expect that some of the undergraduates presented here may not even be making clay work in a few years. Certainly some parts of the work you see here will appear derivative, and some of that is to be expected, but neither of these are reasons not to show their work now. Our hope is that this will provide an opportunity for these young practitioners; an opportunity not only to show off a little bit, but also an opportunity to realize that, though they may get some bragging rights from being in print, this can be both a blessing and a curse. Don’t get overly seduced by it. Now is not the time to sit back. Now is not the time to enjoy this (well, maybe a little, but not for long). Now is the time build on what you have accomplished, to double down, to get back to work and take it to that next level. Oh, and by the way—nicely done!—Sherman Hall, Editor

Undergraduate Showcase 2010

Haakon Lenzi

New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

Adam Gruetzmacher

University of Wisconsin-Stout



Eric Wolever

Kansas City Art Institute

Mariko Brown

Kansas City Art Institute



Mary McKenzie

Sheridan College of Technology & Advanced Learning

Sean Larson

University of Wisconsin-Stout



This article appeared in Ceramics Monthly magazine’s September 2010 issue. To get great content like this delivered right to your door, subscribe today!

  • It is wonderful to see the new work that will be coming out of our schools. Haakon Lenzi the colors are beautiful I hope my granddaughter will learn to do that kind of work. This is her first year at Alfred. Good look to you all.

  • How so very much we would miss and learn from – if we could only show accomplished graduates or artists’ work. Inspiration – and that’s what I think this is about – comes from anywhere. So, thank you!

  • Well, this reminds me about when I made my five-sided Eye-Ball Box and I installed a voice in it to talk when one would open the lid. It was a sucess at my one man show at college and the thrown eye-balls that I filled the box with, were pretty nice, too. My work is more serious now—

  • Wow very impressive, makes me want to sign up. Glaze, clay body, firing all help the final result.

  • This would probably never happen in Japan. Beginners are never supposed to think their work is good enough to show, lest their little egos get prematurely inflated. But here in the West, we’re all about ego….students and teachers alike.

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