Jennifer Allen received her B.F.A. (2002) from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and her M.F.A. (2006) from Indiana University, Bloomington. In March 2008, the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) recognized Jennifer as an “emerging artist.” Among other awards, she was the recipient of the 2006-07 Taunt Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. In addition to keeping a home studio, Jennifer currently teaches ceramic classes at West Virginia University. She lives in Morgantown, WV, with her artist husband, Shoji Satake, and their two kids, Annelise and Finn, and three dogs Billie, Ella, and Jungle..
Demonstrations will focus on ways to alter functional pottery. Starting with wet-altering techniques using wheel thrown forms, I will cover simple methods of alteration such as stamping, pinching, stretching, and dimpling. Then, I’ll move on to more complex ideas like darting and using the wheel to construct lid solutions for non-round forms. Throughout the demonstrations, topics like ergonomics and tactility will help inform choices of both form and surface.
“As a lover of textiles and sewing, I use details such as folds, seams, darts, pleats, tufts, and ruffles to relate to the craft of a seamstress. It is important that these methods of construction are evident in each finished piece. Tactile surfaces and floral imagery are gathered from specific textile sources created during times of optimism: nostalgic childhood textiles, post WWII patterns, Arts and Crafts Era designs, and Edo period kimono fabrics. Determined to keep “handmade” an essential part of the contemporary home, my ongoing focus is to reinforce personal sentiments of beauty, joy, nourishment, and celebration through porcelain tableware. Whether it’s a festive meal shared by many or a cup of hot cocoa indulged by one, I remain motivated by moments when pottery is in use. By making thoughtful, useful handcrafted pottery for the domestic landscape, I am inspired to enhance the home, engage the hand, and enliven the spirit.”
Born in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1949, Beth Lo studied ceramics with Rudy Autio at the University of Montana receiving her M.F.A. in 1974. She assumed his job as professor of ceramics there when he retired in 1985, and has been twice honored with the University of Montana Provost’s Distinguished Lecturer Award, in 2006 and 2010. Beth’s ceramics and mixed media artwork draw from themes of childhood, family, and Asian culture and language. Her work has been exhibited internationally including the Main Exhibition of the seventh Gyeonggi International Ceramics Biennale in Korea. She has received numerous honors including the United States Artists Hoi Fellowship in 2009, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship Grant in 1994, a Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship in 1989, and an American Craft Museum Design Award in 1986.
Beth and her sister, author Ginnie Lo, have collaborated on two children’s picture books, Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic (2012) and Mahjong All Day Long (2005) which won the 2005 Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award. She has also collaborated with her mother, Chinese brush painter Kiahsuang Shen Lo. Beth is also active as a bass player and vocalist for several musical ensembles including The Big Sky Mudflaps, Canta Brasil, Western Union, and Salsa Loca.
I will demonstrate handbuilding or throwing functional forms from porcelain; surface decoration with underglazes; coil building vase or figure from porcelain; and surface decoration as time permits.
“My work in ceramics and mixed media collage revolves primarily around issues of family and my Asian-American background. Cultural marginality and blending, tradition vs. Westernization, and language and translation, are key elements in my work. Since the birth of my son in 1987, I have been drawing inspiration from major events in my family’s history, the day-to-day challenges of parenting, and my own childhood memories of being raised in a minority culture in the United States. I use the image of a child as a symbol of innocence, potential, and vulnerability.”
Liz LurieLiz Lurie has been a studio potter for 20 years. She was introduced to ceramics in Mikhail Zakin’s classroom at Sarah Lawrence College. After graduating with a concentration in dance and ceramics, she pursued her interest in pottery full time when she left her native Manhattan to become a member of a wood-fired kiln collective in rural Georgia. After setting up studios and building wood-kilns in both Dallas, TX, and Greene, NY, Liz settled down and established a studio outside of Chittenango, NY, where she teaches community classes and maintains a showroom. Liz’s work has been exhibited nationally, most notably at AKAR, Trax Gallery, The Signature Shop, Red Lodge Ceramic Center, and The Schaller Gallery. Her work has been published in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Technical, Studio Potter, and the Log Book. She is cofounder of the Dallas Pottery Invitational, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2017.
I will be demonstrating thrown, altered, and carved pots as well as hand built forms working reductively from a solid block of clay. I will make handles, lids, and carved and pulled spouts. We will discuss everything from pushing the lines of function to making a straight forward cup.
“Central to my work is the desire to communicate a strong sense of muscular physicality, harmony, and a quiet beauty that reveals itself slowly. I am interested in the subtle changes in form that happen over time; a slightly different angle, a lowering of volume, or an addition of an appendage. These nuanced variations give rise to the evolution of form. I find deep satisfaction in working within the limits of function. For me, there is freedom in the structure that use provides. It is always my grounding starting point. There is directness to their intention as they fulfill their lives on counters, cupboards, and dish racks. It is my hope through form, texture, and color that my work might provide a moment of slowness, comfort, and intrigue, giving nourishment whether they are empty or full.”
Tip Toland lives in Vaughn, Washington. She received her M.F.A. from Montana State University in 1981. Tip is a full-time studio artist and a part-time instructor in Seattle. She conducts workshops across the United States, Europe, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, and the Middle East. She is currently represented by Traver Gallery in Seattle. Her work is in public and private collections, including: the Yellowstone Art Museum, The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian, Nelson Atkins Museum, the Crocker Museum, St. Petersburg Museum of Art, the Daum Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I will create a twice life-size bust on an armature in a gesture which is in sync with the expression I apply to its face. Hopefully I’ll demonstrate hollowing it in the time allowed.
“I am and always have been attracted to the human figure in its private, unguarded, and vulnerable states. The honesty of depicting the figure in these conditions is to view our humanity openly and unapologetically. My hope is that each sculpture will strike an empathic chord in the viewer. I believe it is grounding and puts us all in the same boat to be able to witness what it is to be human and to find relief in that as our shared common denominator. Perhaps one day we will embrace each other as full equals.”
Donna Polseno, Director
Donna Polseno received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and her MAT from the Rhode Island School of Design. She moved to the mountains of Virginia after graduation and has been a studio artist since 1974. She started her career making pottery which she continues to do, but diverged to a parallel career of making figurative sculpture in the 80’s. She has received two National Endowment of the Arts Grants and a Virginia Museum Fellowship. Essays about her work have been published in many magazines including Art & Perception and Ceramics Monthly. She is in several books about pottery and sculpture including Sculptural Ceramics (cover photo) by Ian Gregory. She has taught many workshops and summer programs at schools including Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Crafts, The Bascom, Appalachian Center for Crafts, Long Beach Foundation, and Anderson Ranch Art Center. She has been an invited participant at a symposium in Izmir, Turkey, has taught twice at the WVU exchange program in Jingdezhen, China, and teaches each summer at La Meridiana- International School for Ceramics, in Italy, as well as showing in the second annual “Concreta” exhibiton in Certaldo. She has been teaching ceramics at Hollins University since the inception of the program in 2004.
Dara Hartman, Assistant DirectorDara is a full-time studio artist based in Salt Lake City, UT. She received a B.F.A. from Virginia Tech and an M.F.A. from Montana State University. In 2005, she was an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. After graduate school she moved to Washington and was an adjunct professor at Clark College in Vancouver, WA, and at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR. While in Oregon she was commissioned by Marriott to create 70 figurative sculptures for their Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center hotel. Most recently, Dara’s life has taken her to Salt Lake City, where she worked for three years as a product designer and as a design team leader, and traveled to China to work with factories on model design and production.
“Growing up in a family of makers, Dara was raised with paints, pastels, clay, yarn, thread, and fabric in her hands. The women in her life made things for the home. This desire to make utilitarian objects has stayed with Dara over the years but it wasn’t until a ceramics class in college that she realized that clay was her medium. In one of her first ceramics classes, her professor talked about the subtle nuances of a cup: how the rim of a cup rests on the users lip, how the cup is held, the shape of the handle, the volume of the cup, how it sits on the table, and how the intended liquid looks in the cup. Think about that for a minute, how complex something as simple as a cup can appear. These ideas on form and function have been a consistent thread in Dara’s work over the years. Dara’s designs are an exploration of form and surface with careful considerations of details and of how each piece can be used. These pieces are finished with luscious glazes over subtle textures that add a tactile experience to the work. Dara’s work connects with the user in a way that allows them to slow down and enjoy the moment whether that’s an afternoon tea or dinner with family.”