Gerit Grimm was born and grew up in Halle, German Democratic Republic. In 1995, she finished her apprenticeship, learning the traditional German trade as a potter at the “Altbürgeler blau-weiss GmbH” in Bürgel, Germany, and worked as a journeyman for Joachim Jung in Glashagen, Germany. She earned an art and design diploma in 2001 studying ceramics at Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany. In 2002, she was awarded the German DAAD Government Grant for the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, where she graduated with an M.A. in 2002. She received her M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2004. She has taught at CSULB, Pitzer College, Doane College, and MSU Bozeman, and has worked at major residencies including McColl Center, Bemis Center, Kohler Arts and Industry Program, and Archie Bray Foundation. In 2009 NET Television created “Fantasia in Clay” a Nebraska story about her. Grimm is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
I will focus on the potter’s wheel as a tool for generating sculptural forms. Through creating individual shapes that are then altered off the wheel, multiple parts can be transformed into figurative scenes, body parts, and everyday objects. I will also cover techniques for building complex forms through the use of structural supports and shrink slabs to aid in firing. In addition, I will provide examples that broaden the possibilities for making nearly anything imaginable with wheel thrown parts.
“Having been a production potter for four years, my favorite tool is the wheel. I build all of my figurative sculptures and installations using wheel-thrown ceramic forms, which makes my process extremely challenging and unique. The central idea for my newest artwork is to transgress the boundaries of folk art and fine art by the following method: appropriate historically significant folk art and theatrical genres and interpret them through visual idioms of contemporary sculpture. My work appropriates historical narrative subjects deriving from fables, and myths, and interprets them in forms that have visual and conceptual affinities with contemporary fine art—affinities that allow me to further explore and question the boundaries between pop art, kitsch, and high art. This new direction of my work would be a hybrid between ceramics and these traditions within contemporary sculpture. By risking technical failure in the process of creating the forms, I am able to attain a complexity, dynamism, and litheness of form. The technical risks are a corollary to another type of risk—one that reinterprets a folk figurine tradition and pushes it to its limits. My reinterpretation of this tradition combines both narrative and form—synthesizing pots with fairytales in a way that tests the boundaries of each. The result is often an uncanny union—one that evokes all manner of stories about dolls, puppets, and statues coming to life. It is a union at once wonderful, elegant, and fanciful but also at times uncomfortable and awkward.
As a sculptor, my work appropriates historical figuration derived from the content of fables and myths that are then reinterpreted and pushed to physical limits through the materiality of ceramics. My artworks offer a glimpse into the ominous side of fables that presents a history that is at once revealed and concealed through figurines, fairytales, and myths. The history of the figurine within art history in general, and ceramics in particular, is a complex and rich base from which to work. An often-overlooked art, these historical works offer an uncanny union at once wonderful, elegant and fanciful but also uncomfortable and awkward as stories about dolls, puppets, and statues come to life and illustrate the undercurrents of contemporary culture.”
Ayumi Horie is a full-time studio potter in Portland, Maine, who makes functional pottery with drawings of animals and typography, inspired by American and Japanese folk traditions and comics. In 2015, she was awarded a Distinguished Fellow grant from United States Artists. She runs Pots In Action, a curatorial project on Instagram that features international ceramics and guest hosts from all over the world. Her collaborative public art project, Portland Brick, repairs city sidewalks with bricks made from local clay stamped with past, contemporary, and future memories of Portland. In 2011, she was the first recipient of Ceramics Monthly’s Ceramic Artist of the Year award. Horie travels nationally and internationally to give lectures and workshops on social media and ceramics and has organized multiple online fundraisers including Obamaware in 2008 and Handmade For Japan in 2011, which has raised over $100,000 for disaster relief. She co-organized The Democratic Cup, a political fundraiser which raised money for progressive nonprofits and sought to catalyze conversation through collaborative cups made by more than two dozen artists. She has served on multiple boards including that of the Archie Bray Foundation and currently the American Craft Council and accessCeramics.org.
I will demonstrate dry throwing, where no water is used in the process of throwing. Sgraffito and the application of decals will also be covered, as well as conversation about using social media to promote fundraisers and small businesses.
“My work attempts to deepen connections between people and their communities, serving both a physical purpose and as a vehicle to open the softer side of a person. I want to explore individual vulnerability by drawing images that evoke an emotional response and also explore how public art invites a community to deepen their link to one another and to their sense of home.
My work has multiple directions- functional ceramics, tote bags, photography, social media, and social practice. My primary work for the last 20 years has been that of a studio potter. I use imperfections in form as evidence of human vulnerability to link the user to the maker. I am interested in the anti-masterpiece and the anti-monumental, because I think one kind of meaningful connection to an object, and by extension another person, takes place through daily interaction in intimate domestic spaces.
My pottery, photography, Pots In Action, and my collaborative public art project, Portland Brick, reflect my interest in relational aesthetics. The dialogue and impact on both parties is concrete. Much of my work is given as gifts, and the social exchange aspect of my practice overlaps with my explorations in community projects that have participatory elements, storytelling components, and even fundraising goals supporting social change.”
Julia Galloway is a utilitarian potter and professor at the University of Montana, Missoula. Her pottery is included in the collections of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC; Long Beach Art Museum, CA; The Huntington Museum of Art, WV; Archie Bray Foundation, MT; and The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada. Her work has been published in Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, Art and Perception, and Clay Times. Galloway has served on the board of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. In addition, she has developed service based websites: “Montana Clay” (http://montanaclay.org/) and the field guide for ceramics artisans (http://juliagalloway.com/field-guide/). She was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.
I will throw and hand build a variety of pottery forms including pitchers, teapots, salt and pepper pots, and teapots. I will also demonstrate different surface decoration techniques using slip application, resist, and inlay. In addition, I will discuss making pots that are equally as decorative as useful, along with idea development and developing a personal touch in clay.
“I am interested in pottery that is joyous; objects that weave into our daily lives through use. Pottery decorates our living spaces with character and elegance. Teapots celebrate our drinking tea; a pitcher decorates a mantel when not in use; a mug with slight texture inside the handle allows our fingers to discover uniqueness. Pottery is a reflection of us. In making cream and sugar sets, I am curious about their own inherent dialogue; the set itself is reminiscent of close conversations and their ritual celebratory use.”
Patti Warashina was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1940. She earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Washington in l962 and l964, respectively. After teaching 30 years, 25 of them at the University of Washington, she retired as professor emerita in 1995. The artist has a long and respected resume in the arts. She is a fellow in the American Craft Council; has received the Twining Humber Lifetime Achievement Award; the University of Washington Distinguished Alumnus Award; the Governor’s Award of Special Commendation for the Arts; and twice won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is included in national and international collections, including the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Art and Design, New York; L.A. County Museum of Art; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; and The Art Gallery of Western Australia at the Perth Cultural Center. In 2012 and 2013, Warashina was honored with two retrospective exhibitions celebrating her 50-year career in ceramics, at the American Museum of Ceramic Arts (Pomona, CA) and Bellevue Art Museum (Bellevue, WA), along with a published book, Wit and Wisdom, about her life’s work.
I will demonstrate and describe some of the techniques that I use in building my personal work. Because of the time limitation inherent in a workshop setting, I will quickly use methods that will expedite the process for completing a figurative image that I use in my narrative work.
“The human figure has fascinated me for most of my 50-plus year art career. My sustaining interest in the human figure is likely due to the fact that my own body is the closest resource from which I draw my ideas. The use of the body gives affirmation to my own daily existence, and serves as the subject of my own “visual diary,” which for me is a reminder, reflection, and observation of personal time and the civilization in which I live. I draw from daily life and have an abnormal interest in the absurdity and foibles of human behavior, in which my figures have become the actors in my introspective narratives.
My simplified figures have evolved from “realism” over the last 50 years. In addition, the “clothes” on the figures have become simplified abstract forms, as if “floating” over the figure. I want this abstract quality to remove any identification of time and nationality of the figure so that it speaks to a timeless mankind.”
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.