Christa Assad

Unfortunately, Christa Assad will be unable to participate in the Women Working with Clay Symposium for summer 2015.

Linda Christianson

Linda ChristiansonLinda Christianson is an independent studio potter who lives and works in rural Minnesota. She studied at Hamline University and the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts. She received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation. An itinerant educator, Christianson has taught at colleges and universities, including Carleton College and the Hartford Art School. She has conducted workshops and been an invited conference presenter and lecturer at schools and museums around the world. Her recent writing appeared in Studio Potter, The Log Book, and Ceramics Monthly. One of her goals is to make a better cup each day.

Demonstration description:

Using a treadle wheel in combination with hand building, I will be making utilitarian pottery. Parts will be fabricated on the wheel to construct cooking oil containers, buckets, baking dishes, cups, plates, and other pots for daily use. Idea generation and development will be addressed through accompanying visual images and discussion.

Artist Statement:

linda-christianson-work“Having made pots now for about 35 years, I am surprised that it is still both a hopeful and troublesome effort to make a decent pot. The qualities that I search for in my work are fairly straightforward. I am interested in a pot that does its duty well yet can stand on its own as a visual object. These pots are not sculpture; they seem to act more like engaging tools than anything else. Wood firing offers the exterior of the work a surface I find quietly compelling.  While the firing process is anecdotal to the pot’s life, I do enjoy making a woodpile and tending a fire.”

Cristina CÓrdova

Cristina CordovaOriginally from Puerto Rico, Cristina Córdova received a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez and an M.F.A. in ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Upon graduation in 2002 she was selected for a three-year residency at Penland School of Crafts, where she later served as a trustee (2006-10). Córdova received an American Crafts Council Emerging Artist Grant, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, and a Virginia Groot Foundation Recognition Grant, along with several International Association of Art Critics Awards. She has taught at Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School, Santa Fe Clay, Mudfire, Odyssey Center, and Anderson Ranch. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, and the Joseph-Schein Museum. She lives and works in Penland, N.C.

Demonstration description:

I will be demonstrating how to construct a large-scale torso and activate the surface using slips and underglaze transfers.

Artist Statement:

cristina-cordova-work“Through my work I seek to generate figurative compositions that explore the boundary between the material driven, sensorial experience of an object and the psychological resonance of our involuntary dialogues with the self-referential.

I am driven by the primal act of imbuing an inanimate representation with a sense of presence, transforming it into the inspired repository of our deepest longings and aspirations. My practice seeks to transpose and distill material sourced in the narratives of our culture, breaking it down and layering in search for new formal and conceptual possibilities to uphold insight and self-awareness. My goal is to have these compositions perform both as reflections of our shared humanity as well as question sociocultural notions of gender, race, beauty and power.”

Donna Polseno

Donna PolsenoDonna Polseno received a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute and her M.A.T. 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 exhibition in Certaldo. She has been teaching ceramics at Hollins University since the inception of the program in 2004.

demonstration description:

“My demonstration will concentrate on coil building and solid building techniques to create small figurative pieces, which are stylized and gestural, and assembled with other clay pieces to create an emotional narrative.”

Donna Polseno work artist statement:

“For many years my work has been an expression of the symbolic connection between the female figure and the pottery vessel. Both forms are the metaphoric “container of the human spirit” as expressed by the woman as the carrier of life and the vessel as the funerary repository of life in ancient cultures. The female form as fertility goddess and the classical pottery form both represent the concept of nourishment, hence the sustaining of life, and therefore life itself.  Originally schooled as a potter, my fascination with the relationship between the two forms developed over many years. My early vessels evolved slowly into the female form as I pushed the notion of the terminology one uses for pottery forms-the foot, the belly, the shoulder, the neck, etc. Later the inclusion of the bowl, vase or pitcher with the figure gave me another element with which to create more of a narrative rather than pieces representing only a universal symbolism.

The pottery vessel in the pieces accentuates the human attitude or experience. For example, a woman precariously perched on the edge of a cliff is also barely balancing a water jug on her head or a woman is gently cradling a vase in a peaceful meditation. I am striving for a kind of moment of poignancy for the complexities of the human journey and my interest lies in the essence of the figure representing human emotion as seen through the lens of a female perspective.”

Shoko Teruyama

Shoko TeruyamaShoko Teruyama grew up in Mishima, Japan. She earned a B.A. in education and taught elementary school two years before coming to the United States to study art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1997. Teruyama received an M.F.A. in ceramics in 2005 from Wichita State University. She finished a three-year residency at the Penland School of Crafts in 2008 and is now a studio artist in Marshall, N.C.

Demonstration Description:

During my demonstrations, I will first start a few forms with bisque molds. I will briefly show how the molds are made, cover them with slabs, and discuss different foot solutions. Next I will build up from these simple beginnings with coil and pinch. The forms will soon take on volume and be adorned with handles. Lastly, I will talk about my decorative sgraffito techniques and glaze solutions. 

For the discussion session, I will highlight how to develop personal narrative in your work. I will show my resource materials to facilitate a conversation. As a group we will practice drawing in our sketchbooks and search for the beginning to narrative.

Artist Statement:

shoko-teruyama-work“Growing up in Japan, I remember tradition being part of daily life. Temples and shrines were everywhere, even inside our home. These memories inspire my current work. Many of my forms allude to function and would serve food well, but are more comfortable being placed in sacred spaces of the home like the center of a formal dining room table, a hope chest, or a bedside stand.

I build using bisque molds, slab construction, and coil pinch. I decorate with a sgraffito technique to achieve ornamentation and visual movement representing water, wind, and clouds. I also create characters based on human relations and things I have experienced. Sometimes you might feel like the weight of a turtle standing on your head and sometimes you feel like an owl standing on top of the world. Some of my characters have a dark nature. I think that is life. Sometimes dark things happen. Overall, I want my work to have a sense of hope and a sense of humor because life goes on.”