One thing we can all agree on about people who work with clay: they set a gorgeous table. Whether the cups, plates, and bowls are made by the host or other artists and potters, the presentation of food is usually accompanied by ceramic tableware. This is regardless of where the host’s own work is situated on the functional to conceptual spectrum. Eating together, sharing food and conversation – this is one of the places where ceramics helps make communities.

Across the Table, Across the Land is a project of the National Ceramic Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). This project, curated by Michael Strand and Namita Wiggers, is designed to reveal the breadth and depth of connections between ceramics and the community – around food and meals.

Michael and Namita will be available at a Field Station across from the cup sale on Thursday and Friday from 9-4:30 (5th floor). We are ready to hear your ideas, share a Field Guide, or just talk about the project and answer your questions. If you cannot stop by, email us anytime at

Three sessions also connect to the project:

Pass the Peas: Food, Objects and the Making of Community

Ballrooms D/E 9-10:30 on Thursday

Namita is moderating a panel with Fred Opie, Julia Galloway, Aruna d’Souza, and Vipoo Srivalasa. The conversation will give you a context for this year-long NCECA project.

Crafting the Experience

Ballrooms D/E 9-10:30 on Friday

Michael is moderating this panel with Jeni Hansen Gard, Forrest Gard, Cheyenne Chapman Rudolph, and Nicole Gugliotti to explore socially engaged artwork within the realm of ceramics.

NCECA Connections

Ballrooms B/C 5:15-6:15 on Friday

Learn how NCECA plans to illuminate our collective efforts in communities across the land. Join the curatorial team of Michael Strand and Namita Wiggers to learn how YOU can participate in NCECA’s 50th Anniversary project celebrating ceramics, food culture and public engagement.

Watch for the exciting launch of the Across the Table website after the conference.  In the meantime, enjoy this sneak peak:

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What IS Across the Table, Across the Land?

Specifically, it aims to showcase how you, as an artist, potter, educator, curator, gallerist and/or student create work that connects you and your work to communities. These communities may be small – extended family or your class. They may be personal – a mentor or community leader. Or they may reveal a larger web of connections, such as ethnic, religious, LGBT or other communities of affiliation.

Through an easy to use and easy to access app, Across the Table, Across the Land will archive images, photos, stories, and conversations about how ceramics link communities throughout the USA.

The result? A museum without walls with a growing, vibrant “collection.”

Drawing from this “collection,” Michael Strand and Namita Wiggers will curate an exhibition for Makers, Mentors and Milestones, the 50th Annual NCECA Conference in Kansas City in 2016.  The conference honors five decades of dedication to education in the ceramic arts. The app and accompanying exhibition will make just one short year of that lifespan visible through the app – showing projects and programs in which the ceramics community is engaged from March 2015 – January 2016.

From this snapshot of a year, what will remain is a digital time capsule – a website which can be visited and revisited as NCECA moves into its next 50 years. This “museum without walls” documents how ceramics is deeply invested in and connected to communities across the land.

We’ve set a place for you – what will you bring to the table?