Posted by Cindy Bracker, Communications Director

Where do you currently live/work

I currently live in Carbondale, CO, and I rent studio space with over 20 other local artists at SAW (Studio for Arts and Works).

MT Sopris_Carbondale_Oct 2015What do you like most about your job? OR  What do you like most about where you live?

Carbondale is an amazing town to be a maker. There are many great artists who live in our valley, and we are all working in support of one another- including organizations such as the Carbondale Clay Center, Anderson Ranch, SAW, Harvey Meadows Gallery, and the ArtStream. Plus, it is absolutely gorgeous around here!

Where did you grow up?

Winnetka, Illinois

What was your childhood nickname?

Jillo

How did you first find out about NCECA?

My ceramics teacher at Hamilton College, Bob Palusky, said if I was going to major in ceramics, I would have to go to NCECA. He also sent me to a workshop at Anderson Ranch in 1990 that changed my life.

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

My first NCECA was in Philadelphia in 1992. I remember being overwhelmed by all of the activity, all of the clay artists who all seemed to be friends, and all of the amazing artwork I saw. I also remember seeing Paul Soldner joyfully skipping down the street by the Clay Studio, arm in arm with a friend, laughing loudly. Before that, he was just a man in a book.

What’s your favourite color?

clothes: black

sky: blue

water: blue

sand: white

mountains: red

glaze: black

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

I have attended every NCECA conference except two since 1992, and have grown to love it for a great ceramic and social resource every year. I am happy to give back for all that it has given to me. Deb Bedwell was the first to suggest Board service, and I feel privileged to be involved.

Describe your position with NCECA

I am the NCECA secretary. I take minutes at our meetings, I have oversight to voting, and I am recently the Chair of the Curatorial Task Force.

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

I am continually impressed by the intelligence and integrity of the board as a working group. Decisions are made after thorough discussions that consider a variety of viewpoints, opinions, and outcomes, and are executed with the best intentions for the NCECA community. Then, we take that professional camaraderie out with us to dinner after a long meeting, and get to know more about each other. This group seems to know how to work hard and have a good time, too. It is an honor to serve alongside such talent and dedication.

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

This is a hard question to answer, as so many people have helped me grow along the way, and I hate to leave anyone out…

I consider a mentor to be someone whose voice I can hear over my shoulder while making work and developing my career. I am grateful to Bob Palusky and Rick Hirsch, who were my teachers in college and grad school. Bob gave me my beginning clay construction instructions, and also supported me in deciding to major in ceramics. Rick Hirsch taught me how to see, and how to talk about what I was seeing. Doug Casebeer, and the Anderson Ranch have been invaluable in forming the artist and person that I am today. Doug is always there when I need to talk something out, and has helped me brainstorm when things are challenging in the studio and in my life. The Ranch has given me so much, including technical information, work experience, and community that feels like family. I have also benefited from the mentorship from my peers and studio-mates. I have learned from and love you all, but have been most deeply affected by friendship and support from Julia Galloway, Jess Parker, Jenn Reed, Ayumi Horie, Pelusa Rosenthal, Emily Ward Bivens, Tai Pomara, and Rick Parsons. We’ve been through some stuff together, and I could not have done it without you. You all rock!

BloomTell me about your work as an artist.

I make minimal, subtly narrative ceramic sculptures for the wall that are like windows with a beautiful view. My most recent work explores the idea of an “absent presence”, where I use wax resist to paint imagery on my forms to create a situation where what is most important in the narrative is that which is no longer there…

What’s your favourite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate

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

Matte black is my favorite, with celadon a close second

What are a few of your hobbies?

I like to bake and to knit

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