Lawrence Love

Lawrence Love

A hop, skip and a 45 minute jump from the convention center, in nearby Lawrence, KS, you’ll find three exhibitions showcasing the heart of the region.  Midwest Mentors, organized by Bracker’s Good Earth Clays, represents work from artists across the US and internationally, who have presented workshops there since the last Kansas City NCECA.  Although they have created a complete electronic catalog of this exhibition, this is definitely a show you will want to see in person.  Included artists are  Steven BranfmanJim Connell, Paul LewingDavid GambleIan CurrieRobert Piepenburg, Tim Frederich,  David Sturm,  Don Davis,  Pete Pinnell, Angelica Pozo.   Robin Hopper , Lana Wilson, Conner Burns, Linda ArbucklePaul WandlessSue MorseWally AsselberghsLinda GanstromKristin KiefferDan GegenRon RoyEric StearnsAndrew MartinForrest MiddeltonAdam Field & Marcia Selsor

A similarly themed exhibition also found here in Lawrence is  “701 Louisiana.”  Don’t be fooled by the title of the show, this collection is on display at Lawrence’s beautiful Cider Gallery, at 810 Pennsylvania.  The title of this exhibition references the home address of two incredible Lawrence art patrons.  All of the artists invited to this exhibition have stayed with Bird and Michel Loomis while in Lawrence, Kansas as demonstrators for the Lawrence Arts Center’s Ceramics Symposium. At some point each invited artist has enjoyed spirited discussions and cup of coffee while perched around the Loomis’ kitchen island. Bonds and unexpected connections arise from the warmth and energy in the Loomis’ Victorian home filled with contemporary art.  This exhibition is a ledger, a record, and a signal of paths that have crossed (despite any separation of time or distance).

The common thread in a sense is that “we were here.”

Included artists are: Dan Anderson, John Balistreri, David Hiltner, Mark Burns, Matt Long, Tom Bartel, Christa Assad, Josh DeWeese, Charity Davis Woodard, Pattie Chalmers, Akio Takamori, Chris Gustin, Stan Welsh, Sunshine Cobb, Auymi Horie, Liz Quackenbush, Roberto Lugo, Sergei Isupov, Steve Lee

Back at Brackers, you’ll find another exhibition organized by Marko Fields titled Kansas Clay Connection II.  This show is an encore to an exhibition that harkens back to the last Kansas City NCECA.  This show will feature work by 100 ceramists and potters who are from Kansas, or who have taught or were educated at a Kansas college or university including Andy Brayman, Elaine O. Henry, Linda Ganstrom, Patrick Taddy, Yoshiro Ikeda, Mika Negishi-Laidlaw. Marko Fields, David Hiltner, Ken Ferguson, Scott Dooley, Julie Galloway and many, many other accomplished artists.

While you’re in Lawrence, you might also want to check in and see:

Shakers: Salt & Pepper Shaker Show,  an exhibition that brings together contemporary artists to explore this form. Included artists: Lorna Meaden, Jennifer Allen, Doug Peltzman, Melissa Mencini, Brenda Lichman,Mike Jabbar, Jason Burnett, Beth Robinson, Jeremy Jr. Kane.

GrowlerFest Midwest: Project Art, exhibiting limited-edition growlers featuring decal designs by top artists working graphically on clay. Included Artists: Jessica Brandl, Carole Epp, Kathy King, Lauren Gallaspy, Sergei Isupov, Justin Rothshank, Paul Scott, Vipoo Srivilasa, Jason Walker, Kurt Weiser.

Poetics of Voids: Containers that Anticipate Together we explore the possible instantiations and evolutions of form through utility. It’s ‘void’ exchanged for its ‘contents’ shifts relations/bearings – (in)forming signification and utility; sensuously (re)framing symbolism and use. Included Artists: Jason Briggs, Julia Haft-Candell, Pauliina Pöllänen, Jacob Raeder and Malcolm Mobutu

Richard W. James MFA Thesis Exhibition This exhibition will explore the separation between the internal and external using a combination of both the made and found in clay, fabric, and wood. Artist: Richard W. James

Also in Lawrence are the three incredible shows at the Lawrence Arts Center that we told you about last week.

Check the NCECA Exhibition Guide for all the addresses and details, or just follow the yellow brick road!  🙂

(please note: that’s metaphorically speaking…there is not an actual yellow brick road to Lawrence, but it sure feels like it!)

Hashtag NCECA2016

Hashtag NCECA2016

Social media has gotten HOT this year. The NCECA Instagram account is about to hit 8,000 followers, our Facebook and Twitter pages are more active than ever, the blog is going strong- and we’ve even added Snapchat and Periscope accounts to round out the club, which also includes a Tumblr feed, YouTube channel, and Pinterest boards.

What does that mean for you? It means you can be part of  the conference year round, by joining the groups, following the feeds, and connecting with other members digitally. One of the easiest way to do this is through HASHTAGS!

Hashtagging is simple. When you upload a photo, video, or post about the conference, you simply add #NCECA2016 and are immediately made part of the digital conference feed. After the conference we’ll integrate all of those posts into a link for everyone to browse and see all of the great things posted. If you didn’t make the conference, this is a great way to follow along; if you’re there you know you can’t be everywhere at once so let’s all help make it possible to see it all!

As always, be sure to follow @nceca on all your favorite platforms, as well as






If you want more hashtags because you just love to ###, here’s a list of more tags and venue accounts that will be used during this year’s conference:















Process Oriented. Thursday’s Line Up.

Process Oriented. Thursday’s Line Up.

The Process Room has blossomed into one of the conference’s most popular offerings, way beyond the glimmer it was in former Program Director, Steve Hilton’s eyes three years ago. As those who attended NCECA in Providence know, the room was packed and we created an overflow room with live video feed. For those who couldn’t squeeze into either place, Our YouTube Channel offers highlights from the Jennifer Allen session and the Robert Lawarre session.  The remaining 12 sessions have been professionally edited into 3 compilations, each featuring four artists.  These should be available for purchase as a digital download later this week!

This year, the conference center is larger and boasts space for all to soak in the techniques and tricks our presenters are so generously sharing.  Artists begin at the top of each hour, offering a condensed 30-minute presentation on their specialty.

Gwendolyn_Yoppolo_Spoonbowl_service_set_7108_374Starting Thursday off is Considered Gestures” where gwendolyn yoppolo asks you to pay attention to the relationship between the ceramic objects we make, the food they contain and how we use them. Serving wares and utensils crafted from hand-built or molded elements with a focus on the ritual aspect of eating. She will not only show how to make objects, but delve into how that object interacts and becomes an extension of the body and is transformed by purpose. Or as she more eloquently states, “The heart of pottery’s conceptual content resides in the space that an object fills in our lives; the pot is a positive that fills the negative formed by the gesture of a body.”

jessica-putnam-phillips-porcelain-art3We then move from the quiet forms of yoppolo to the riotous and complex surfaces of Jessica Putnam-Phillips, “Using Laser & Commercial Decals with China Paint and Lusters.”  Jessica will teach you how to make laser printer decals with common office machines and how to combine these with commercial water-slide decals, lusters and china paints. Along the way she will discuss successful application techniques and the importance of their order, proper brushes, firing schedules and safety concerns. Besides the technical components, she will share her “decal collage” process and discuss how careful planning will bring balance to the composition.

d492c59a2cdf6cab4f829d8a22db04bcMoving to a more industrial mode will be Tim See, and his techniques for constructing ceramic oilcan. He will talk about his creative process, where the inspiration came from for them as well as planning out all the components into a cohesive whole. Tim will trouble shoot the attachment of multiple parts, show how minor adjustments can have a big impact on the attitude of the piece and mimicking a rusty, metallic surface.

adbaa4_21165f11273b467f991cef82ed7d9ab5Jumping from machine to human form is Kyungmin Park’s “Expressive Facial Features” presentation on non-verbal communication through emotive sculpting. Touching on the importance of contemporary and historical figurative works and then bringing that knowledge into the studio. Kyungmin will cover how to form the basic head shape, sculpting an opened mouth with teeth and tongue and move onto forming the eyes and eyebrows.  The demonstration will show the impact of different facial expressions altering the theme of the work and how exaggerated facial features can carry stronger messages.

fujii-dinnerset_23f07c76-ad87-45ba-93d0-0c18bc3cf4c8_1024x1024Meticulous hand-carved porcelain by Yoshi Fujii will be demonstrated from start to finish. Designs on leatherhard wares are plotted out, sketched in pencil and carved with small loop tools. These edges are then refined with a sponge and additional touches, carved or slip-trailed are added. The result is a surface of valleys and hills for the glaze to pool or break providing an incredible amount of depth in a shallow surface.

imagesJeff Campana will show his signature technique of thrown, sliced and reassembled wares. The seams of each section are left as part of the design for the glaze to flow and accentuate. He will help avoid structural failings that can occur with such a challenging building method through his experience and almost scientific approach to making.

tumblr_nnhc64Lql71u2zbd8o1_1280Brett Marshall Tucker will help you activate your surfaces with some “Graphic Relief” in the form of sgraffito combined with strong design. A clean aesthetic of black slip on white porcelain will assist to illustrate the process. Sgraffito is painting the clay with a contrasting color of slip or underglaze and then scratching back through to reveal the clay beneath, creating your design.

His demonstration is for all levels: the doodlers and carvers in the crowd as well as for those who are unfamiliar with the term or uncomfortable with drawing, he will help you to translate an image onto the surface. When you approach the clay as a canvas it can open up all sorts of possible forms and possibilities.

lori_watts_mugsLori Watts, will close out the first day with her thrown, stretched and assembled oval butter dishes. Using the wheel as the start, she will then toss the forms to elongated and alter into a tray, an open cylinder and slumped lid. Altering, attaching, finishing and embellishing steps will be covered resulting in the exalted butter dish. Mmmm, butter.

Inside NCECA Vol 2, No 10 – The Resource Hall

Inside NCECA Vol 2, No 10 – The Resource Hall

If the conference has a palpable pulse, the heartbeat is the Resource Hall.  I’m excited to tell you that we have redesigned the layout for this year to improve the flow and create a new level of interest.

If you’ve been to the conference before, you probably already know the allure of the Resource Hall.  If you’re new to the NCECA experience, let me warn you that the resource hall seems to be the source of a temporal anomaly, because hours pass like minutes in here.  With so much to see and few clocks to be found, it’s easy to lose track of time.  Add to that among the thousands of other people in the room, you’re sure to run into a long lost friend or twelve and before you know it, you’re hearing the announcement that the hall is closing.  Advice from a seasoned vet?  Set an alarm on your phone/wristwatch (or the NCECA App!!!  Coming soon to a mobile device near you!) for at least a half an hour prior to any programming event that you REALLY want to see.  It WILL take you that long to get there!

The Resource Hall is where you will find over 80 Commercial Exhibitors, 120 Non-profit institutions and organizations plus 9 galleries and 3 projects space installations.  NCECA encourages you to stop by and visit with the manufacturers and suppliers from whom you procure your pottery supplies.  We hope that you always chose to support the companies that support NCECA.  If you don’t find your favourite brand or clay business in the Resource Hall, consider asking them to attend!  (complete list of companies at NCECAas of 12/24/15 below) This year, the commercial exhibitors will be situated around the perimeter. In the center of the NCECA Resource Hall, you will find our educational tables.  Whether you’re looking for a grad school or post bacc experience, a summer residency, or sabbatical location, or a new teaching post, this is the place to find the best of ceramic learning. (complete list of non-profit exhibitors at NCECAas of 12/24/15 below)

***Entry to the commercial and non-profit exhibitors in the Resource Hall does require your NCECA badge.***

The front part of the Resource Hall, however is free and open to the public.  We make this area free as a way of giving back to the community that hosts our conference.  NCECA is committed to leaving a footprint behind in the cities we visit.  To this end, we seek out funding to enable us to offer some parts of our conference free to the residents of the local city.  Of course we also hope that the people that take advantage of the free events will find themselves intrigued by the ceramic arts and pursue this interest in their own community after the conference is over.

In this free area you will find the NCECA Gallery Expo, which brings an array of national galleries exhibiting some of the highest quality ceramic art into Hall D  where representatives will interact with all of those interested in learning more about collecting contemporary ceramic art.

Featuring: 18 Hands Gallery Inc, Baltimore Clayworks, Kansas City Urban Potters, Lillstreet Art Center, Northern Clay Center, Red Lodge Clay Center, The Clay Studio, Spinning Earth Pottery, Objective Clay, and Artstream Nomadic Gallery

Additionally, we have three special areas in the front of the hall called the Projects Space.

Projects Space will involve three different artists working individually or within teams to develop new works involving clay, time and change where they will engage visitors in the creative process. The artists were selected through an international call for proposals for experimental and innovative work that stretches the confines of the contemporary ceramic field.

Glenda Taylor Active Memorial Mural by Alexis Gregg and Tanner Coleman
Celebrate Glenda Taylor’s life by making a pot in her memory! Come throw or hand build a piece to be added to the Active Memorial Mural being created in her honor. The finished mural will be installed at Washburn Univ. depicting Glenda doing what she loved surrounded by people that love her.

Collective Confluence by Brian Kluge
This is an ephemeral installation of unfired tiles covering the floor of an exhibition space. Audience participants will fill the space with works created to reference a personally meaningful artwork. Participants will then record their path upon the clay tiles as they place their work and explore.

Appearing the Clay Wall By En Iwamura
In the project space, an artist is making something simple cylindrical form from floor directly during the NCECA 2016. Audiences can see and communicate with this artist. Appearing each layer has different records of different moments. Intention of the artist is being human scale ant.

Commercial Exhibitors as of 12/24/15

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 3.35.12 PM

Non-Profit Exhibitors as of 12/24/15

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 3.35.40 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 3.35.32 PM

Glenda Taylor Memorial NCECA ride update

Glenda Taylor Memorial NCECA ride update

Lots of folks have been asking me about this ride, and I am thrilled to be able to say that Women’s Free State Racing, which was the team Glenda raced with, will be hosting the ride. (If you missed the initial post about this ride, you can check that out here) Many cyclists who rode and raced with Glenda from this area are excited to participate and meet their “counterparts” in Glenda’s clay family.  I can’t help but imagine how happy Glenda would be about bringing together all the people she loved.  I am absolutely certain that the huge smile that always lit up her face will be beaming down on us from above.

Please keep in mind that in Kansas City, it might be 60 or 16 on March 15th…probably somewhere in the middle of that, I am going to guess 45ºF…(we can maybe start a pool on the temp separately….)  But I’m a firm believer in the quote “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”  🙂

We are currently working on planning the routes & figuring out what support we need for the ride right now.  Please help us out by filling out the form below.


Fields marked with an * are required

Thanks for your interest in this event.  We believe that Glenda would LOVE the thought of her cycling friends and her clay friends co-mingling and getting to know one another.   Please fill out this form so we can get a full count of riders, which will help us plan the necessary support for this ride.


Please note – information regarding this ride appears on the NCECA blog as a means to get the word out to NCECA membership who want to stay informed about all opportunities surrounding the conference.  This ride is not an official NCECA event, rather it is being planned by the local community.