Inside NCECA: Vol 2, No. 2 – Volunteering

Inside NCECA: Vol 2, No. 2 – Volunteering

The NCECA organization and conference is powered predominantly by a team of passionate people that we call volunteers.  This level of involvement can be both eye-opening and even life-altering.  Volunteering has so many benefits, ranging from seeing the conference from a real inside view to meeting some incredible people.  And of course, there’s also a free conference pass and one year membership in exchange for (approximately) 13 hours of work.   What kind of work you may ask?  There are a WIDE variety of opportunities:

For those who live in or near Kansas City and are familiar with the gallery scene, we are looking for some folks to accompany the bus tours and act as guides, answering questions about the area, the galleries, and making sure people find the art they seek.  It’s a fun opportunity to be an ambassador of the great host city for our 50th anniversary conference.

volunteer.001There are also a lot of opportunities to assist in the many demonstrations and hands-on rooms.  This can be anything from wedging clay for the demonstrating artists, prepping and cleaning up between process room sessions or helping out in the interactive K-12 room.

If you’re an expert in packing pots, you might consider helping out with the K12 exhibition.  Additional opportunities with this project include UNpacking as well as assisting with setting up the show.

FNc6atetV_IxpJVB440qxvCcKB3538aKnpXjKel7qV4,opWDYif9mRZqWlg4zsxjE6eKUJ46IYfs7yL1Yr701qsGot a passion for sales? The NCECA merchandise sales area is always hopping with activity and is a great place to spend some volunteer time.

One of the best ways to get your hours in and still see the conference is to arrive early in the city and work as a packet stuffer.  These folks report on Monday evening to start unpacking the pallet of materials for inclusion or arrive Tuesday morning to then compile the materials to be included in the  conference bags that attendees will get.

There are several more jobs for volunteers beyond what I’ve described here.  And this really is a great way to attend the conference for free and simultaneously give back to the organization.  For more information and to apply to be a volunteer,

visit this link


Ceramic Artists bring people together, we want to share how you do this!

Ceramic Artists bring people together, we want to share how you do this!

We are having a sugar-filled week co-hosting Pots in Action, thanks to an invitation from Ayumi Horie! Our hosting ends on November 1, but watch for news of our upcoming challenge here and on Ayumi’s @PotsinAction instagram feed.

To keep up with EVERYTHING we are doing, make sure you follow us on Instagram @acrossthetable2015

This week’s challenge is SWEETS! Going into the weekend, be sure to add your pictures of sweets and ceramics –from Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and more!.

To participate in this challenge, you must have an instagram account.

Go to #PIAChallenge to see the call for the week.
Tag your photos with:
#potsinaction #PIAsweets #PIAguesthostsNamitaandMichael #candy #nceca2015 #nceca #acrossthetable #acrossthetable2015 @acrossthetable @nceca


We are documenting and sharing your stories via the webapp and on instagram @acrossthetable2015

Between now and January 4, here’s a new challenge to bring your stories into NCECA’s Across the Table, Across the Land:


Nom Nom's!

Nom Nom’s!

Ceramic artists are known for potlucks and feasts. These gatherings are more than pots and people sharing a meal. These meals create a sense of belonging, connect people who may not be part of the same circles and create a safe common space for conversation. Ceramics plus food can create community.

We want to SEE and HEAR the stories of how our clay community brings people together. We know these are already happening across the country. Take a moment and reflect on the potluck or potlucks you are participating in over the next few months. Are you connecting with communities that are new to you – or familiar family and friends? Why was the potluck organized. How are ceramics a part of the event?

Heading to a potluck or gathering? Bringing your contribution to the meal in a handmade ceramic dish? Great! It’s simple and you have two ways to participate:


First, take a photograph of the dish at the potluck.

1.  Share your photograph a bit of context about the meal on the Across the Table WebApp here (you can use a mobile device or a desktop platform). Who, what, where, why the potluck is taking place. For example: Students from my ceramics class, Fargo, ND; my home; to celebrate the end of the semester with faculty, family and friends OR a meal at a Food Bank with new friends to share food with the homeless in Phoenix, AZ


  1. Share with us via instagram! Post the image and a bit of context on your own instagram feed, and tag as follows: @acrossthetable2015 #acrossthetable #nceca2015 #nceca #potluck

Selected works may be exhibited in Kansas City along with the instagram photo in the exhibition Across the Table, Across the Land in celebration of NCECA’s 50th Anniversary. If selected, we will connect with you via the info you entered on the webapp or instagram account.

Once the exhibition is over, objects are returned to the artists and the lights are turned off – but your project lives on. It will become part of a digital archive, a “time capsule” telling the story of how ceramic artists in 2015-16 are natural and powerful community connectors. A treasure trove of digital information for generations to come.

Click here for more information about this project.
Have a story to share? Go here!

Follow us on instragram @acrossthetable2015

Want to get your K-12 school and students involved? Download the student/parent permission form and Potluck: A Portrait of School Communities through Clay and Food to help guide your lesson plans and teaching.

Questions? Email Michael and Namita at
Across the Table, Across the Land, a project of the National Ceramic Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), is designed to to be a snapshot of what is happening today at the intersection of food, clay and community. From the conceptual to the every day, we are inherently connected to community, and have been for a long.. long time!



Board Bio – Spotlight: Dandee Pattee

Board Bio – Spotlight: Dandee Pattee

Where do you currently live/work

IMG_8941I live in Casper, Wyoming.  I am a studio potter, I adjunct teach at Casper College, and I am on the board for a local arts organization, ART321.

What do you like most about your job? OR  What do you like most about where you live?

There is no greater life than that of a studio potter in a truly gorgeous state like Wyoming.  I have the chance to think carefully about the work I IMG_0223am making and make choices about the work that are continually intriguing.

Where did you grow up?

Lander, Wyoming

What was your childhood nickname?

My sister used to call me Danner May, kinda cute huh?

How did you first find out about NCECA?

Jack McClennan was a potter and shop owner in Laramie Wyoming.  I took classes at his shop and he took a group of his students to Denver NCECA.  It changed all of our lives.

Tell me a story about your first conference (including city and/or year)

Denver (year?).  There were four of us crammed into a hotel eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  I heard people like Julia Galloway speak about their work on a level I had not realized existed.  It was really exciting.

What’s your favourite color?


What or who inspired you to get involved more deeply in the organization, and what was your “entry point” to the board.  

I had received scholarships from NCECA and I wanted to give back to the organization.  The first time I tried to get on the board, I ran for the Student Director at Large position and lost!  I am glad I decided to run again.

Describe your position with NCECA

IMG_1239I am in charge of the Expo portion of the conference. Expo has grown tremendously in the past few years.  We used to scramble to fill slots and now we are using an adjudication process to fill the spaces.  It is amazing to see all of the dedicated and talented people who make Expo possible.

What’s your favourite thing about being on the board?

I have met many inspiring and fun individuals.

What’s your favorite part of your specific position?

I love working with the galleries.

Who are some of your mentors, and how have they shaped you as a person/artist? (both in and out of the organization/field)

I was Gail Kendall’s studio assistant for two years.  My time with her was invaluable because she is intelligent and bold.

I was Silvie Granatelli’s apprentice, the apprentice experience taught me how to think about making a practical living in the arts and Silvie had high standards for our decorum.

Linda Arbuckle and Anna Callouri-Holcombe were two of my graduate professors.  They taught me professionalism and they continue to support my ambitions.

PatteePitcherTell me about your work as an artist.

I make sexy, voluptuous functional vessels.

What’s your favourite ice cream flavor?

Carmely chocolaty flavors.

If you were a glaze, which one would you be and why?

A Sung Dynasty Celedon.

What are a few of your hobbies?


Around the Corner

Around the Corner

Around the Corner will exhibit the work of University of Missouri-Columbia Professor of Art, Bede Clarke alongside fifteen of his former students.  Clarke goes beyond teaching to become an enduring mentor for many of his pupils.  The fifteen former undergraduate and graduate students chosen for this exhibition are active in the ceramic arts field as full-time artists, artists-in-residence, and educators.

Clarke’s work ranges from wood fired pottery to surface-oriented conceptual pieces and his students’ work reflects this breadth.  Around the Corner will exhibit a wide range of work that all carries a thread put in place by the same mentor.  Bill Wilkey’s pots show a strong geometry while Mandy Salov’s delicate porcelain sculptures engage the viewer with their fleeting presence.  Each participating artist has a strong connection with Clarke, but also strives to enhance the ceramic arts field by passionately creating and educating.

Around the Corner will serve to honor a mentor in the field of ceramic arts while exhibiting the work of strong ceramic artists.  See this amazing show at The Beggar’s Table at 2010 Baltimore Avenue from March 14, 2016 – April 14, 2016

Around the Corner will feature work by: Bede Clarke, Leah Bowring, Eric Carlson, Jenny Dowd, Erica Iman, Joshua Kuensting, Fergus Moore, Norleen Nosri, Gin O’Keefe, Thomas Parker, Louis Reilly, Amanda Salov, Ian Shelly, Natalie Shelly, Iren Tete, and Bill Wilkey.



Michael Strand with Amy Smith Bowl

Michael Strand with Amy Smith Bowl

Just in time for Halloween comes a merger of two crowd sourcing projects – Across the Table, Across the Land and Pots in Action.

This week, Ayumi Horie invited Michael Strand and Namita Wiggers, curators of Across the Table, Across the Land to guest host her Pots in Action instragram project.



What better time to start a new tradition involving ceramics and candy, confectionary, pastries, and candied fruit? If you don’t celebrate Halloween, don’t worry, show us your local sweets from around the world!


What is Pots in Action?
Pots in Action  is one of many projects included in the Across the Table, Across the Land archive, is an evolution of Ayumi Horie’s origins Pots in Action that she began in 2005. She explains on her website that “Pots in Action is a crowd sourcing project that collects and features the best photographs of handmade pottery in use by potters and ceramic appreciators all over the world. Some are candid, others are posed; what they have in common is taking the pot off the shelf and putting it to work in the kitchen, out of the kitchen, wherever pots can be found.”

What is Across the Table, Across the Land?
Across the Table, Across the Land, a project of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), is designed to to be a snapshot of what is happening today at the intersection of food, clay and community.

Visit our APP for more detailed information about this project.
Here’s a link to download the webapp!
As part of the Across the Table, Across the Land project we have a special opportunity for k-12 educators and students to share.
Learn how to get you and your school involved here!

How to participate:
For this week (through November 1), tag your Instagram images with:

#potsinaction #PIAsweets #PIAguesthostsnamitaandmichael #PIAchallenge #candy #nceca2015 #acrossthetable

Not on Instagram? Well get on it!  Find more info about Pots in Action online and on Facebook!


@acrossthetable2015 submission by Shelley Martin of Vitrified Studios.

Work by Shelley Martin of Vitrified Studios.

Selected pots may be exhibited in Kansas City along with the instagram photo in the exhibition Across the Table,

Across the Land, in celebration of NCECA’s 50th Anniversary. How sweet would it be to represent Pots in Action in the exhibition at Charlotte Street Foundation?

Michael kicks off the challenge with the top image. “Is there a better use for an Amy Smith monumental bow than to deliver a heapin’ helpin’ of evil-candy goodness? Amy, the life loving, health and fitness focused potter may not have been intending her beautiful bowls to contain such a treasure, but they are perfect for grabbin’ a handful of sweets on Halloween!”

So for the next week, put a little sugar on your ceramics, top them off with Savoy Truffles, Candy, and sweet treats. We want candy and clay!

Submit via the app or submit via instagram by using the #’s above and tagging @acrossthetable2015 and @nceca