STUDENTS – We want you! Yes, YOU! 

STUDENTS – We want you! Yes, YOU! 

As a member’s organization, NCECA relies on the creative energy, vision and contribution of all of its members to create the fantastic conference content that we all look forward to each spring. As the next generation of makers, educators and visionaries, students are a vital part of that content.

The application deadline for Student Perspectives program proposals is May 4th, 2016, and students, we really hope you will consider applying.  Not quite sure exactly what Student Perspectives content is? Mary Cloonan, NCECA’s Programs Director, explains it in her Apply Yourself! post (Read the full article here):

“Student Perspectives is just that, lectures and panels given by students for (the most part) students. Any student enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students are encouraged to apply!  Too often, students don’t take this opportunity to present their ideas, projects and thoughts, which is a shame, since you have so much to share with fellow students and the membership at large. Don’t be shy, step up to the mic!”

Aside from allowing students to shape conference content, participating in Student Perspectives programming is an incredible professional opportunity and allows students to actively contribute to critical discussions in our field.

But don’t just take our word for it. We asked some of the Student Perspectives presenters from Makers, Mentors & Milestones to share some thoughts on their experiences as presenters: Elenor Heimbaugh, Linda Ganstrom, 2016 NCECA B

 “The whole process of making, applying, and presenting for student perspectives is a great way to foster meaningful connections with new people and contribute to the contemporary clay dialogue with your own research.”

-Eleanor Heimbaugh
Graduate Student, Fort Hays State University
Presented Beyond the White Cube for Student Perspectives, NCECA 2016

1458238028673“Presenting a student perspective panel at the 50th Anniversary of NCECA was a valuable learning experience for myself and the panel members, as well as a platform to share our work with a new audience. This opportunity to engage like-minded individuals within the ceramics community was a gratifying approach to start a dialogue on the importance of programs that nurture pottery making.”

-Adrienne Eliades
Graduate Student, Florida State University
Moderator for the panel Back to the Future: Making Pots in Graduate School

Students, your ideas matter and are what make NCECA great.

Please consider applying – we can’t wait to read your proposals!

Learn more about how to apply:

Mary’s blog entry covers all the various ways your ideas can turn into programing for NCECA 2017

Fab Friday – Greg Pugh & Max Kaeter from the 2016 NCECA Fab Lab

Fab Friday – Greg Pugh & Max Kaeter from the 2016 NCECA Fab Lab

Tethon 3D manufactures supplies and products for ceramic 3D printing. The company also provides 3D scanning, modeling and ceramic 3D printing services.
With the support of 92Y Virtual Clay, Skutt Kilns, Shapeways, Anne W. Bracker, West Virginia University, and presenting artists, Clay Fab Lab represents a new conference experience with clay, touch, and technology.

Emergence of new technologies and their application to ceramic art and learning represent exciting possibilities that will influence the field’s continued evolution in the 21st century. Many of these technologies are becoming more accessible and some are even DIY…

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Hello Teachers!

Hello Teachers!


Hello Teachers! This blog post is for you! Keep reading, and find out more about how you can lend your teaching talents to next years NCECA programming…

Education is one of the most important facets of NCECA-the word is even in our name, after all! Sharing old methodologies, new technologies, and proven pathways to artistic success is a cornerstone of our annual conference, and can be experienced officially through our programming, as well as casually by the generous spirit of ceramic artists as we meet over drinks. With so much to learn about our challenging material of choice, who couldn’t benefit from the experience and expertise of someone who has already tried, failed, and then succeeded?

Teaching art at the K-12 level offers many unique challenges, and NCECA is calling on our most talented educators to submit programming proposals for our upcoming NCECA conference in Portland, OR.  The call for K-12 proposals on the NCECA website states that, “the purpose of NCECA’s K-12 programming room is to share, promote, and discuss ideas, techniques and practices for those involved or interested in K-12 education. Proposals may incorporate content and discussion on best practices, arts integration, curriculum or program design, and/or other contemporary issues in K-12 education”.

The call also reminds us to consider the 2017 Portland conference theme Future Flux. “As we pass beyond NCECA’s first fifty years, the interconnection of mind, materials, and transformation at the heart of ceramic process, art, and education can serve as trail heads to our future. Our creative work in the 21st century engages with hybrid practices, issues of diversity, notions of community, and dynamic change.”

As we tackle the many changes in our education system today, we ask you to share your successes with all of us as we strive to establish a generation of thoughtful, creative, independent thinkers. How do you challenge your students to exercise their own creativity in the classroom? What are ways that you foster deeper understanding of the world we live in? How have you engaged the outside community in the arts? What have you done to create authentic learning? If you have some thoughts on these concepts or others to share, please submit a programming proposal by May 4th. Our future artists are depending on you…

For more information on NCECA K-12 programming proposals and to view a full prospectus, please click here


Deadline: May 4, 2016, 11:59pm MST

NCECA seeks diverse presenters that will appeal to conference attendees involved in K-12 education for its 51st Annual Conference, Future Flux, which takes place in Portland, Oregon, March 22-25, 2017.

Demonstrate at NCECA!

Demonstrate at NCECA!

You know you’ve got it, and we want you to show it! We need to see it! We want to hear it! And now we’re asking…Please consider applying to be the demonstrating artist for NCECA in Portland in 2017!

As we jump right into planning our 51st conference in Portland, Oregon, the NCECA board is encouraging accomplished ceramic artists to step onto the stage, make that stage their studio, and become the memorable makers of the conference. ALWAYS popular, anticipated with excitement, well-attended if not “packed”, the demonstrations and the demonstrators give our members something memorable, tangible and most of all inspiring to take back to their own studios.

If you have taught ceramics to almost anyone, you know how gratifying it is to be able to open up the world of clay to a student.  Think about those first encounters that you have provided for others: eyes widen, an expectant quiet descends, and for a brief period you are a rock star – you demonstrate your way of making. Then come the questions – “How do you…?” and a better one, “Why do you….?”, and you continually enlighten, clarify and unwrap the visual. You have just made possibility for students, and you’ve created an understanding of process and practice. You are TEACHING! And don’t you love how that feels?

Teaching to an audience who knows something of what you are doing as your life’s work, an audience who shares your love of the material, who values the dues you have paid, the kilns you have fired, the pounds – no tons – of clay you have wedged, reclaimed and transformed, would be gratification amplified. It will feel great. You will be able to tell your story, or the parts of it you want your audience to appreciate. You will be able to show some of who you are and why you have made critical life choices. You will be able to touch lives and make a difference – perhaps many times over.

So that is WHY you should apply to be a demonstrator for NCECA, and did we leave out making your work known to educators, curators and others who create workshop, lecture and exhibition programs for their institutions?  HOW to apply, including the compensation for being a demonstrating artist, is right here on the NCECA website.

The NCECA board will consider all of the submissions while seeking an overall balance of handbuilding, throwing, sculpture, functional work, male and female artists. It encourages international artists. At the end of the day, NCECA will choose based on the applications received that indicate artistic excellence and any comments that members have made on post-conference surveys.

Are you sold yet? Please give yourself, your career, and your colleagues the spark that you deserve. Click here and send NCECA your application to be a demonstrating artist for NCECA. You’ll be a rock star and the field of ceramics will thank you!

Inside NCECA: Vol 2 No 22 – Too many choices?

Inside NCECA: Vol 2 No 22 – Too many choices?

For the last week, we’ve had such a WONDERFUL exchange of ideas and opinions related to a single survey comment that I thought I’d see if we can repeat it.  This week, let’s address this:

I know this is beyond your control but I found myself twice having to choose between really great presentations. Thursday – Anomalies and Curiosities and the Roundtable discussion Fueling the Imagination. Friday Panel 50 Years of Women and Panel Strategies for Change. I am grateful that you will be putting these on the web so I can view them and I don’t have a solution because I am sure scheduling is a nightmare. Perhaps most important for you to hear is how many excellent panels were put on. Absolutely loved Pete Pinnell’s presentation. Love to hear him again.

First, as an aside, in case you don’t know, YES, we are getting conference presentations up online as quickly as we can.  About two a week are posted to our YouTube Channel, follow us there, or follow the blog or our facebook page to be alerted to all the new content (and Pete’s lecture went up just this past week!)  More coming soon also to the NCECA 360 Podcast, so check that out as well.

BUT, the crux of the issue here is the amount of conference programming NCECA offers, and my question for you is this….Is it too much?  But wait! before you answer that, let me give you a little background, insight and other things to consider.

About 6 years ago, we had three large lecture hall rooms for presentations (what we call concurrent programming), plus the big hall for the simultaneous demonstrators.  At that time there was also a room for slide forums and a room for video screenings, and the K-12 programming room.  Around that time, we added the student-led programming, and started to bolster the K-12 programming.  We realized that there may be TOO MANY choices, so about 5 years ago, I think, we actually reduced the number of concurrent session rooms from 3 down to 2.  Which helped, except then we created the Process Room…..and this year we added the Fab Lab as well.  So now we have the two big lecture rooms, simultaneous demos, process room, fab lab plus K12 programming, and student-led programming (the last two of those, incidentally, are often very popular with populations OUTSIDE of their intended audience).  So have we ballooned too much?  More people now attending the conference means we MUST have more options (or more space, which may or may not be possible since we sometimes can’t take a sledgehammer to a wall in a convention center), but with many options comes not only many hard choices, but also greater expense.  If you didn’t see it before, check out my conference cost breakdown from last year inside-nceca-vol-2-no-5-the-costs-of-the-conference.  Something I realized SINCE I wrote that post last fall is that when we add rooms, we also have to add additional A/V crew and equipment, which can get very expensive as well.  Many people already believe that the conference cost is too high, though I strongly believe this relates less to the cost of an NCECA Conference pass and more to the additional costs of attending, none of which NCECA benefits from.

So, that’s my opening volley.  Now I’d love to hear from NCECA members….we will be talking about this at our spring board meeting as we plan the program for Portland, so tell us what you think, either in the comments below or in our NCECA Facebook Group discussion!