Perhaps the glow or jet-lag of NCECA has yet to fade, but what better time than this to think about applying to be a presenter at next year’s conference? You are bleery-eyed and tired and may agree to just about anything.  Remember! You shape the conference like you shape the clay, NCECA is created and driven by its member’s expertise and passion.

Next year’s NCECA Conference is in Portland, Oregon from March 22-25, 2017. The theme is Future Flux,  how you wish to interpret this is manifold. Is it about the shifting landscape in the field of ceramics, the myriad of possibilities the material possesses or about the ingredient that makes our glazes so gooey and glorious?

The deadline is MAY 4th for your PROGRAM PROPOSALS on:


It’s easy to find more details and apply online:

Just Click Here!

An important component to our conference is the K-12 presentations. Those teaching this population are instructing the future of NCECA and I hope you have lessons and programs to share that will inspire teachers and studio potters alike.  We are moving away from the hands-on heavy presentations to showcasing  exceptional  educators in the field who have novel  platforms for pedagogy, blockbuster lesson plans, arts integration into the academic subjects, engaging the outside community into the classroom, the essential role of art as expression and creativity with children.

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!

Moving the Topical Discussions and NCECA connections to the beginning of the conference seemed to be very successful, and we look forward to continuing the programming in this time slot.  There are so many great ideas for topics and groups out there, and this programming is a great way to take a baby step into the exciting world of presenting.

In order to provide a balanced conference for all, we have set up some general categories for proposals, this helps us ensure the conference will appeal to the interests of our broad population of artists, and are as follows:

  • Aesthetics, Criticism, Theory and Practice:
    • Lectures or Panels on concepts of beauty and value in the field of ceramics, art attitudes and movements, the function of art in society, content and interpretation, analysis and evaluation.
  • Art History:
    • Presentations about traditional and non-traditional artists and movements, styles, surveys of regional, national and international art in clay. Reflecting the depth and diversity of ceramic art and the people who made it.
  • Education:
    • Lectures or Panels delving into traditional and non-traditional curricula, ways to meet and measure goals, intriguing methods and pedagogy or showcasing an awareness of environmental concerns.
  • Professional Practices:
    • This can cover a lot of things important to surviving and thriving as a working artist. Business models, marketing approaches, and systems to be a successful entrepreneur. Methods to reach into the left side of our creative minds, the “eating your veggies and cleaning your room” part of being an artist. Ways to make the onerous task of taxes, websites and running a business more easy and hopefully more enjoyable.
    • You can also share with the members how your co-op or arts center works to promote a living as a ceramicist.  Or discuss ways to keep the studio and the body healthy with safety procedures.
  • Technology and Sustainability:
    • You may want to talk about advancements in CAD or 3-D printing processes, innovations with traditional and non-traditional materials or repairing and maintaining kilns and studio equipment.
    • There is also the magic and mystery of glazes and clay bodies.
    • We are also looking for talks with environmental themes; ways to lessen the impact our craft has on the earth through innovations in sustainable systems and studio practices.  There is even a Green Task Force you can become a part of to help spread the word.

Besides the usual lectures and panels, we are looking for artists who have a nifty technique they’d be willing to share within a 30 minute timeframe in our Process Room.  This is becoming our most popular offering, with the room to bursting capacity, so you want to demonstrate something that will appeal to many, can be concisely communicated within the half-hour allotment and could bring a fresh perspective to how one may approach clay.

Demonstrating Artists presentations are the Process Room on steroids, larger stage and longer time to work,  it features mid- to late-career artists whose work has been widely exhibited, nationally and internationally.  With a longer resume you get longer time on stage!

When crafting your presentation, keep in mind how NCECA is a wonderful and eclectic mix of people who love clay: academics, studio potters, collectors, instructors and their students.  Our members span the ages, some tread the traditional path and others are digging the new-fangled technology, but all keep an open mind for exploration and experimentation.  And just like the wide range of clay bodies we use, NCECA is a diverse family of races and your presentation should take into account all the contributions and pioneers who are part of our rich ceramic realm.

I am looking forward to reading all your proposals…yes, I do read them all. So make them zippy, memorable and keep the kiln fires burning!