Syd Carpenter received an MFA from Tyler School of Art of Temple University. Her work is included in numerous collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Atlantic Richfield Corporation; Nabisco Brands; the University of Illinois; Art in General, New York; Philadelphia Convention Center; Bell Atlantic Corporation; Canton Ohio Museum of Art; Erie Museum of Art; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute; Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen, China; African American Museum of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center and in numerous private collections.
She has been invited as a guest artist to the Vermont Studio Center Press, Rhode Island School of Design, Maryland Institute of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Watershed Center for Ceramic Art, University of Florida-Gainesville, University of Arizona-Tucson, Northern Illinois University-DeKalb, Haystack School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Colorado, Peter’s Valley Art Center, The Manchester Guild, Pittsburgh, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
She is currently Professor of Studio Art at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
“My demonstration will include the construction of one or two farm and garden sculptures measuring approximately 24x20x10 inches. Using the details recorded in topographical maps as a source, I will produce a series of slab built, press molded and wheel thrown elements that will be altered and combined. The combination of these elements will result in a landscape that is evocative of a specific place. The process is initially guided by the maps but will become more improvisational as the piece evolves. The resulting sculptures would then be combined with steel pedestals at a later date or may be viewed as finished pieces for the wall.”
“The Places of Our Own project is a series of ceramic portraits of farms and gardens. After learning my grandmother was a well-known gardener in Pittsburgh during the 1940’s and connecting that history to my own intense interest in making gardens, I began researching the history of African-American farming, eventually visiting several legacy farms in the south. The work that resulted was a series of farm “portraits.” Each portrait includes shapes and objects evocative of Georgia and South Carolina farms or gardens. The farms, owned by several generations of the same family, share not only their produce but also their farming legacy with younger generations. The titles of the sculptures are the names of the people who own the farms and gardens including “Helen and Joseph Fields,” “Sará Reynolds,” and “Lucille and Leland Holley.”
Michelle Erickson has a B.F.A. from The College of William and Mary. Her contemporary ceramics in museums collections include The Chipstone Foundation, The Museum of Art and Design, The Long Beach Museum of Art, The New-York Historical Society, The Peabody Essex, Yale University Gallery, The Carnegie Museum, The Mint Museums, Seattle Art Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Cincinnati Art Museum, Arkansas Art Center, The Potteries Museum Stoke on Trent, UK, and the Victoria and Albert Museum London. Her work has been featured in numerous national and international publications.
Erickson is renowned for her research into 17th– and 18th-century ceramic techniques, has published extensively in Ceramics in America and has lectured and demonstrated her work widely for scholarly groups and institutions. She has designed and produced ceramics for major motion pictures and the HBO series John Adams. As Artist-in-Residence at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2012, Erickson created three videos now on the V&A Channel. The films were shown at Ceramic Arts London 2013 and the International Ceramics Festival UK. She received a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 2013-14 fellowship. Michelle gave a Friday Focus presentation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 25, 2014. In addition to several recent group exhibitions, Erickson has had two solo exhibitions since 2014 Potter’s Field at Clay Art Center, New York, April – June 2014, and Conversations In Clay at Virginia Museum Of Contemporary Art May – Aug 2015.
Michelle Erickson is a ceramic artist who brings tremendous scholarship to the field. Internationally recognized as someone who has feet in both camps, Erickson’s career long work in experimental archeology is integral to her narrative that connects the ceramic history of colonialism to 21st century issues of globalization, social injustice, and environmental geopolitics. She will demonstrate her practice in the rediscovery of lost ceramic arts and illustrate arcane functional forms, slipware techniques, agatewares, and life casting. In the process, Erickson will emphasize unlikely parallels between 18th century Staffordshire pottery industries and industrial design giant Nike, 19th century abolitionist ceramics and modern child slavery. She will further underscore the enlightenment era obsession with the discovery of fossils as prescient to our modern addiction to fossil fuels and the cataclysmic effects of their excavation and consumption.
“My career-long fascination with ceramic history during the period of Western exploration, expansion, and dominion began with exposure to archeological ceramics in the “colonial triangle” of Virginia. Fragments of British, European, Asian, and Native American pottery unearthed in early colonial excavations embody a remarkable global convergence of cultures in clay. My practice in the rediscovery of lost ceramic techniques and the context of this history define my approach as a contemporary artist. I use the depth of history through the art of making to draw parallels through time such as the 18th-century Staffordshire pottery industry and global design giant Nike, Wedgwood’s abolitionist ceramics and 21st child slavery, the colonial discovery and obsession with fossils as prescient to our perilous addiction to fossil fuels. I make objects of the past from an imagined future in the present.”
Liz Quackenbush is a Professor of Art at the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania, where she has worked for the past 20 years. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Colorado and her M.F.A. from the School for American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has been included in the Minnesota Pottery Tour for the past 15 years. She has taught at numerous craft schools, lectured at universities nationally, and participated in residencies in the U.S. and abroad. Liz enjoys friends, food, gardening, baking bread, and spending time in her studio exploring the grounds of functional pottery.
With a passion for intricate surface embellishment, which draws heavily on the history of decorative arts and ceramics, Liz will demonstrate her way of applying abstract visual language based on metaphor and symbolism using maiolica glazing techniques. Slide presentations and discussions will include European and Islamic decorative clay traditions.
“Over time I’ve developed a non-hierarchical vocabulary of imagistic inventions that embrace the salient features of many stylistic languages. In the midst of these I’ve found that it is my profound and personal immersion in nature that allows me to discover oddly familiar truths in each. I believe that I’m able to move between these languages easily, and without affectation, because the visceral realities of the natural world exist for all of us equally and may, if one is able to embrace them fully, serve as an interpretive bridge of great depth and resonance. Embellished functional pottery forms remind people of their proximity to the remarkable world of plants and animals.”
Tara Wilson is a studio potter living in Montana City, Montana. Wilson received a B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2000 and an M.F.A. from the University of Florida in 2003. She has been a resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation and The Red Lodge Clay Center. Wilson was selected as an emerging artist for the 2006 NCECA conference, was a presenter at the 2006 International Woodfire Conference in Flagstaff, and a demonstrator at the 2009 NCECA conference in Phoenix, Arizona. She has given lectures and workshops throughout the United States and her work has been exhibited internationally.
Tara Wilson will demonstrate her throwing and altering techniques that she uses to create her animated forms. Throughout her demo she will discuss the firing techniques she uses to finish the forms.
“Quiet pots initially speak softly yet reveal complexity in both form and surface through continued investigation and use. Embodied in my atmospheric fired vessels is the serenity that I experience by surrounding myself on a daily basis with a rich natural environment. While the surfaces of the vessels represent the natural world, the forms often relate to the figure. Pottery’s inherent relationship to the figure is accentuated in my gestural forms. The dialog between the forms changes as the pieces are used.”