Spotlight: Naomi Clement

Spotlight: Naomi Clement

Where do you currently live/work?

I’m a Graduate Student and Teaching Assistant at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

medaltaopeningWhat do you like most about your job? OR  What do you like most about where you live?

As a Canadian, I never imagined that I would be living in the deep south! It’s obviously drastically different from where I grew up (people, politics, weather etc.) but ultimately I love how family and community-oriented people are in Louisiana. They may have their differences, but when things get tough (such as the recent devastating flood), people really pull together to help out their neighbours.

naomiclement_04Where did you grow up?

London Ontario, Canada.

What was your childhood nickname?

I have a lot of nicknames actually, but Nomi is the most common (my family still calls me that).

How did you first find out about NCECA?

img_3932It must have been when I was an undergrad at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Because of the expense, going to NCECA wasn’t part of what we did as students in Canada, but NCECA was always something that we heard about and longed to go to.

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

My first NCECA was in 2013 in Houston, TX. I’d taken some time away from clay, and was starting to think about going back to graduate school. I went to NCECA to try and reconnect with the community and scope out schools. I was pretty overwhelmed by it all to be honest, but I just remember having this feeling as I was walking around the resource hall (laden with lots of new goodies for the studio and collection), and thinking “this is where my people are”.

studioshot_1What’s your favorite color?

This is a tough one… I love colour! (yes, I spell colour with a U, and I’m proud of it). I love intense, bright colours the best, and I suppose if I have to pick, peacock/turquoise blue is my favourite.

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

I love building community, and being an active part of whatever community I’m in. The NCECA Student Director at Large position seemed like the perfect way to do this on a larger scale. The idea that I could help shape the direction of the conference and all the other great things NCECA does was also really exciting to me.

Describe your position with NCECA

naomiclement_01I serve as one of the two Student Directors at Large (SDAL’s). Essentially my job is to represent the student voice on the board and advocate for student concerns and needs.

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

I’m sure everyone says this, but honestly my favourite thing about being on the NCECA board is getting to work with such incredibly talented people. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to sit at a table with over a dozen of the preeminent makers, thinkers, doers and educators in our field??? It’s pretty awesome.

naomiclement_02What’s your favorite part of your specific position?

I love being a part of shaping the future of the conference and working with all the talented students in our field who submit conference programming.

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

My two professors at LSU Andy Shaw and Mikey Walsh have been incredibly influential on my evolution as an artist – they continually inspire me to push my work and ideas further.  Another great mentor over the years has been Joan Bruneau, who I had the pleasure of working with years ago. She is a fantastic potter, and has been very kind and generous with her help and advice about navigating our field.

naomiclement_07Tell me about your work as an artist.

I make pots! For me, making functional objects is all about noticing: noticing the user, noticing the material, and noticing the process. It is about noticing the moments, and creating moments to notice. When you strip it down, function is about thoughtfulness—it is about thinking ahead, about caring and about noticing others. As a maker, I think there is great value in this—seeing and acknowledging are powerful acts.

besticecreamWhat’s your favorite ice cream flavor? 

The LSU Dairy Store (I love that my school has its own ice cream shop!) has a great chocolate Oreo ice cream that I love. The store is dangerously close to the studio which is a bit of a hazard at times…

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

Hmmm… I guess I’d be the Water Blue glaze – wide range of firing temperatures, bright, jewel-toned turquoise colour, but crazes a bit.

What are a few of your hobbies?

I really like to cook, whether it is for myself or for friends, it’s one of the ways I unwind. Reading is another hobby, though while I’m in school I don’t get a lot of time for recreational reading!

Spotlight: Russell Wrankle

Spotlight: Russell Wrankle

Where do you currently live/work?

img_1363Toquerville, Utah but will be moving soon to Cedar City, just up the road closer to where I teach, Southern Utah University.

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

The landscape and clear skies. We live near Zion National Park and other desert Red Rock landscapes and in just a few minutes you can be in alpine meadows at the top of the mountain. SUU is a great school, my colleagues are supportive and the students are thoughtful and inquisitive.

Where did you grow up?

Palm Springs, California. My dad was a gardener for the stars. I mowed the lawns of Steve McQueen, Barry Manilow, Liberace. And yes, I’m speaking literally.

file-apr-19-8-43-57-pmWhat was your childhood nickname?

Hmm, not sure I should say…Rusticles, Russell the Love Muscle and Radical Russell W. There’s probably more, but I don’t remember.

How did you first find out about NCECA?

Undergrad School.

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

1-tortugaMinneapolis was a vessel-heavy NCECA with more galleries with great work than one could possibly take in. I was an undergraduate student at the time and I remember being inspired by all the vessels and atmospheric fired ceramics. Things were happening in ceramics in the northern reaches of the Midwestern United States. This was an era when the Mingeisota school in American ceramics evolved out of the impactful work of Warren Mackenzie, Linda Christianson, and Jeff Oestreich among others. Their influences on me were potent, and it was during this NCECA conference that I committed myself to making pottery. My work has evolved away from the vessel since then but that NCECA changed the direction of my life.

What’s your favorite color?

Depends on my mood and context.

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

3-two-finger-bang-bangMy awareness of the board grew over the past few years. I never considered myself the “Board” type. But three years ago, my wife was diagnosed with cancer(she’s fine now) and it changed my life. Life moves pretty fast and I don’t have time to wait around until I’m an expert. I now jump in and learn as I go. Plus, Cindy Bracker encouraged me and I like her energy.

Describe your position with NCECA

I’m thrilled to be a part of NCECA and pleased that my role is to facilitate the Gallery Expo. It’s my hope that galleries will continue to add to the commercial and educational component of NCECA, and that artists can find the gallery that best suits their work and values. My association with galleries has only improved my exposure to a wider audience and I look forward to helping NCECA and the Gallery Expo evolve to embrace the ever-changing world of ceramic art collecting and advocacy.

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

The other Board Members and having a look behind the scenes. I’ve only attended one board meeting so far, but I was very impressed with the concern and sensitivity the board has towards the issues confronting the NCECA members and our field. From gender equality to racial diversity to creating opportunities for all and making room for all voices.

What’s your favorite part of your specific position?

I’m still learning, but I look forward to getting to know the gallery owners and artists. And to help facilitate the success of the Gallery Expo and all that are involved.

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

My first art teacher, Von Allen. I still refer to her in the way I approach my work. Dan Anderson, grad school professor, work ethic and his deep knowledge of the field and art in general.

Tell me about your work as an artist.

As I referenced earlier, after my wife’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, my work changed. Not as a response to the experience but I became more daring and experimental. I now longer feel compelled to know the end from the beginning nor do I feel the need to know what my work means. I’m operating on a stream of consciousness level and the meaning in my work is implicit, but I don’t try too hard to figure it out.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?2-homological-theory

Anything with crunch and texture.

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

A buttery red.

What are a few of your hobbies?

I like to mountain bike but I don’t do it nearly enough. Teaching and Art making take up a lot of time. But I’m hoping to reinvent myself when we move to Cedar City, there’s great biking there and I need more balance.imgres

Social Media Team for #nceca2016

You’ve met the board, you’ve met the staff… but do you know who’s doing all those Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumbler and Facebook posts? It’s time to meet your NCECA social media team!

Amanda Barr, Social Media Director (amandambarr.com)IMG_1419

What social media-ing do you do? A little bit of everything, but my main job is the Instagram feed.

Where do you currently live/work? Seattle, Washington; I’m a resident artist at Pottery Northwest, teach Spanish adjunct at community college, and work as a social media consultant.

How did you first find out about NCECA? I’m pretty sure I saw a poster somewhere when I was first taking community art classes.

What made you apply for the social media team? A whim, I thought “I do that stuff, I can help!” And here I am now, three years later.

Tell me a story about your first conference I was supposed to go to Seattle in 2012 but I was sick and had to cancel, so my first conference ended up being Houston 2013. My hotel was a 45-minute bus ride away.

Tell me about your work as an artist. I am a porcelain person, mostly functional with a lot of surface decoration.

What are a few of your hobbies? Reading ALL THE THINGS. Gardening, cooking, and Netflix.

If you were a glaze, which one would you be and why? Crackle. Purposefully messed up.

Tim See (timseeclay.com)

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What social media-ing do you do? Facebook for NCECA, overall fan of fb, periscope, youtube and instagram.

Where do you currently live/work?Syracuse, NY

How did you first find out about NCECA?Went as an undergrad to San Diego 2003

What made you apply for the social media team? I had all the infrastructure in place to be a volunteer.

Tell me about your work as an artist. Wood fired with industrial motifs. I paint with mason stains; the current series is a storyline called the Bucketheads, a post-apocalyptic fable in which humans have been extinct for a long time. As the story has developed on my work, the Bucketheads split into two groups: one good and the other evil. Over time they began to exhibit behaviors aligned with their character.

What are a few of your hobbies? I make pickles, act as cat chew toy and camp when I can.

If you were a glaze, which one would you be and why? Shiny white, no one really likes it but you gotta have it around for when you need it.

Habiba El-Sayed

IMG_0195What social media-ing do you do? I do the tumblr and Twitter pages for NCECA. I usually relog posts that seem innovative or interesting in the field and try to keep us connected with our Twitter followers.
Where do you currently live/work? I currently live in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I’m finishing my degree in ceramics at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
How did you first find out about NCECA? I first found out about NCECA in my second year at Sheridan College, when all my profs and peers raved about the conference. A year later I attended it myself and got to see what all the fuss was about.
Tell me a story about your first conference My first NCECA was Milwaukee (2014). I was just beginning to find my voice as a person of color in the art world. I got to hear Theaster Gates speak about the need for diversity in our field and all the amazing work he does, which was incredibly inspiring. It was a pretty emotional experience.
Tell me about your work as an artist. My work surrounds my experience of being a Muslim woman living in North America, and the issues facing my community in a post 9-11 society. Recently I’ve been exploring mixed media, particularly welded steel and clay. I’m interested in what happens when clay is pushed to its limit, when it’s exposed to external and internal pressures and using that to convey the issues faced by the Muslim community.
What are a few of your hobbies? My hobbies include binge-watching shows on Netflix, making handmade books, petting stray cats and playing video games.
If you were a glaze, which one would you be and why? If I were a glaze I’d be maiolica. Easy, stable and no-nonsense. Generally reliable, but a potential badass.
Sophia King (stoneleafpottery.com)

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What social media-ing do you do? Queen of Pinterest, all the pinning!
Where do you currently live/work? Westminster, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Sophia is the co-owner and General Manager of Stone Leaf Pottery. She is responsible creating and maintaining the website, writing and sending the monthly newsletter, and generating most social media content. Sophia is also the Vendor Coordinator for the Colorado Art Education Association.
How did you first find out about NCECA? Uh, my family owns a clay supply business.
What made you apply for the social media team? I believe strongly in contributing time to the clay community, and helping with NCECA’s Pinterest Page seemed like a good fit for my skills.
If you were a glaze, which one would you be and why? OMG. Uhm. Too many favorites but I’d be a cone 5 body with lots of depth, texture, and personality.
Awards & Honors

Awards & Honors

There is nothing like seeing a beloved and revered individual from our membership receive recognition for their impact on our field. This years recipients:

Stuart Kestenbaum and Nina Hole (posthumously) will be recognized as Honorary Members,

Steve Hilton and Glenda Taylor (posthumously) as Fellows of the Council,

Victor Babu for the Excellence in Teaching Award,

Linda Lighton for Outstanding Achievement

Bill (posthumously) and Anne Bracker and C Richard and Evelyn Craft Belger for the Regional Award of Excellence

This awards ceremony will prove to be an absolute highlight of the conference this year.  So, as you head to Kansas City for this 50th anniversary conference be sure to plan to be the Grand Ballroom 2501 A (Level 2) on Friday, March 18th,  from 5:15pm–6:30pm in to help us celebrate this important milestone for these makers and mentors.

Our community has the opportunity and responsibility to honor, recognize and acknowledge these individuals in the field who have made incredible contributions. These are folks who have left a lasting impact and legacy with their work, service, teaching/mentorship or outstanding projects. You will learn more about their incredible impact to the field at the ceremony, which has been scheduled without programmatic conflicts. Our awardees have contributed in ways that change the way we see and think and left an impact that surpasses the walls of their studios and local communities to our great collective benefit. The ceremony is a moment to hear from our award winners about their contributions to our shared discipline. Please join us for this important moment of reflection.

Board Bio – Spotlight: Patsy Cox

Board Bio – Spotlight: Patsy Cox

2EchoPark Where do you currently live/work?

I live in Los Angeles, California in the historic area called Angelino Heights, which is a neighborhood of Echo Park. It’s about 2 miles north of Downtown. I am Professor of Visual Art and head of the ceramics area at California State University, Northridge where I’ve taught for the last sixteen years.

 

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

The minority population at CSUN constitutes a majority of our 40,000-plus student body, of which 30 percent are first-generation college students. Approximately half of CSUN undergraduates are from low-income families. I love my job because I get to work with one of the most diverse populations in the country and draw from my own experiences as an ethnic minority from a working class family. Living in Los Angeles also allows me to be surrounded by the stimulating and diverse environment that many large urban centers can boast. Aside from the traffic, I feel very lucky.

3FamilyWhere did you grow up?

I was born in Ubon Ratchatani, Thailand.  I completed grammar school in Dracut, a small town in Massachusetts.  I then finished high school in Kearney, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, where my immediate family still lives. With such deep roots there, I’m especially jazzed about NCECA celebrating its 50th Anniversary in one of my hometowns!

 

What was your childhood nickname?

I was not lucky enough to have a nickname bestowed upon me but my actual name worked well… “Patsy”…  I got blamed for everything!  I’m named after my father, Patrick.

How did you first find out about NCECA?

When I was an undergraduate at Missouri State University it was just an “automatic” thing to do…follow the poster and the NCECA postings to the other side of the rainbow, or whatever exotic locale NCECA was being held.  Of course, because my main cohorts in the studio were going —  Gary Wilcox and Nathan Falter, two undergraduate students also studying with Professor Keith Ekstam – there’s no way I could stand by and watch them going without going myself.

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

My first NCECA was the 1994 conference in New Orleans. I drove down with a couple of friends from Springfield through Austin, TX. With pennies between us, one of the nights we camped on the beach somewhere on the coast before rolling into New Orleans. My car got buried in the sand and we had to replace the rotors on the car before continuing the journey. It was right after Mardi Gras and my friends felt bad for me because as a very young looking, shaved headed, androgynous looking art student, it was difficult to land any beads.

What’s your favorite color?

Gray and grey, I just can’t decide which I like better.

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

Paul Wandless is a good friend and a champion of diversity. It was through our conversations and his example and support that I was inspired to run for a Director at Large position in 2003. I used to fancy myself a rabble-rouser back then and decided to put my money where my mouth was, boy was I naive. Working with the board at that time taught me so much.

4cloudjumpDescribe your position with NCECA

As Past President, I am in the last remaining months of a presidential cycle that began in 2010. My primarily responsibility is the nominations, awards and fellowship review process as well as helping to organize our Past Masters session.

 

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

They say that the most successful relationships are built upon shared goals. I’ve had my own special bond with each of the individual board members that I’ve gotten to work with. There is a certain polish that this kind of work does. My most favorite thing has been watching the personal and professional evolution of my colleagues in service as we worked toward those shared goals. I have built long-lasting relationships with people whom I might not otherwise have had the opportunity to know. I respect and cherish them all.

5NCECABoard 6PCatTurnbull

What’s your favorite part of your specific position?

Playing a small part in acknowledging the superheroes in our field and their work is such an honor. Supporting our members through NCECA Graduate, Regina Brown Undergraduate and Multicultural Fellowships has been an incredible experience and watching the educational programming of Past Masters is one of the most emotional parts of the conference. It is ALL my favorite!

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

Victor Spinski was the first person that championed me as a young misfit. His example impacted me in immeasurable ways and I think about him every day. Glenda Taylor and all the women who served as NCECA president continue to shape my everyday perspective and values –  Marge Levy, Mary Jane Edwards, Anna Callouri Holcombe, Elaine Henry, Susan Filley and Deborah Bedwell – many of whom I’ve had the honor of working with in service. They are beacons to me each for their own specific way of navigating the world. Sometimes you have to see someone do something before you have the wherewithal to know you can do it too. It was Keith Williams that thought I might be a good NCECA president and I blame him for everything.  He is my “Patsy.”

Tell me about your work as an artist.

I love the ceramic process and deep down I am a potter.  Eventually I will get there.  For now, my focus has been on creating immersive environments that capture my perceptions of the urban landscape. I use modular units to create something I think of as monumental, piece by piece, rather than one piece in and of itself. My large multi-part installations grow and reconfigure each time they are installed in a space.  This summer I’ll install 50,000 pieces at Long Beach Museum of Art.

8Romanesco 7IMG_0070

Currently, I’ve been investigating 3D printing by digitizing my sculptural work and printing it in scaled colored PLA plastic versions. My newest piece and the work I’m most excited about is titled Rabbit Hole at the Lawrence Art Center in Lawrence, Kansas. It totals at only about 900 pieces. Some of the objects are thrown and hand built; some are slip casts from molds that were made of work that was thrown and hand built. Those objects are intermingled with almost eight hundred 3D PLA plastic prints at various scales of one of the thrown and handbuilt pieces in the installation that was digitized. Some of the objects come directly from my hands, some once removed and some twice removed.

10IceCreampicWhat’s your favorite ice cream flavor? 

Pistachio because that is my father’s favorite, really, for no other reason.  I’m not sure I even like the taste of it.  I really like strawberry.  But I like gelato the best.  And, my most recent favorite is shaved snow, birthday cake flavor with cream on the top.  This treat cannot be found in Los Angeles – Kauai ruined me for life.

 

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

ANY Shino. When my students use it, it ALWAYS crawls in the weirdest places, chips off their work before firing, shivers, pits, blisters or pinholes during the firing or has any number of other issues—it’s just NEVER quite right but for some reason the students think they have something special in their hands that magically went “wrong” just for them. Crazy cats.

 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Ms. Danielle Carrig (A&E) and Ms. Patsy Cox (Guest) during the Christmas holiday Press Reception #1 in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Dec. 10, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Ms. Danielle Carrig (A&E) and Ms. Patsy Cox (Guest) during the Christmas holiday Press Reception #1 in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Dec. 10, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

What are a few of your hobbies?

Running, spinning, gym, decorative terrier-mix herder, family, home restoration and being a good plus one.

11ThreeMusketeers2

Board Bio – Spotlight: Deb Bedwell

Board Bio – Spotlight: Deb Bedwell

Where do you currently live/work?

Yoshi Fujii and Deb in the Clayworks Gallery with a Japanese show that he curated 1/15

Yoshi Fujii and Deb in the Clayworks Gallery with a Japanese show that he curated 1/15

Baltimore, MD

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

Which job? I have When I was executive director of Baltimore Clayworks what I liked most was putting together partnerships that put clay in the hands of individuals who had no opportunity to experience ceramics. I loved to see the magic happen. Now that I am solely a teacher at Clayworks and other places, I enjoy that same kind of connection that develops creativity and focus among our students. I also do some contractual and volunteer fundraising for small social service non-profits. I love seeing the excitement and capacity grow as the resources increase.

Where did you grow up?

Bluefield, West Virginia (highest city east of Denver; cold as a stone every month but August)

What was your childhood nickname?

Dee. It stuck and is the name my family calls me.

How did you first find out about NCECA?

I attended Super Mud with a group of Baltimore glass blowers. I was the only clay person.

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

Same as above; it was at Penn State. I was piled into a motel room with people I didn’t know…BUT I saw Curt Hoard make and decorate those fabulous huge cylinders and watched Betty Woodman make those pillow pots. I was blown away. No turning back.

What’s your favorite color?

Blue – really a deep blue sometimes called cadet blue or cerulean …Ooo but what about those buttery yellows/

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

My entry point to the board was serving as liaison, with Leigh Taylor Mickelson, as on-site for NCECA 2005 in Baltimore. I truly wanted the conference so badly to raise the profile for ceramics in our city, and lobbied board members to bring Baltimore to their attention. (how I did that is another story). Mission accomplished. In my present role, Patsy Cox dragged me kicking and screaming into the president-elect “contest”. I’d do anything for that woman.

Describe your position with NCECA

I am NCECA’s current president. In this position, I preside over meetings, of course, but I also get to work closely with Josh and the EC on decisions and policies that affect not only the well-being of NCECA presently, but also on guiding principles that will assist the organization in the future.

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

I have entrée to so many very smart, savvy people – co-board members, Josh and the staff, volunteers, donors, our members –  whose experiences in the field give shape, texture and perspective to the organization. This board is especially collegial, respectful of divergent opinions and willing to listen and to work toward consensus. It is also empathetic; in my four-year period, I have experienced several life-altering personal setbacks, and board members and Josh have shouldered my responsibilities. I have eternal gratitude to them.

What’s your favorite part of your specific position?

This is answered above. I could say that I get to broker the speakers list during meetings.

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

My first ceramics teacher, Lois Long, adjunct at U. of Md. College Park and a former employee at Amaco, required documented gallery visits and taught me to love raw materials. A fabulous mentor was John K. Smith, longtime board chair at Baltimore Clayworks who, by example, instructed me about the value of strategic thinking. Patsy Cox is also a mentor; she sets the bar on the board so high that I constantly aspire to reach it.

Tell me about your work as an artist.

Earthenware Sectional Succulent PlanterMy work is pretty simple. First, I love to draw, and I enjoy painting with watercolors; I have a little studio set up for this in my bedroom. In clay, I make two kinds of work, and everything starts on the wheel and is altered. Porcelain gives me functional pots that make a simple meal special – teapots, cups, bowls, vases. I decorate the greenware with slips and commercial underglazes, brushed and trailed, sgraffitoed through, and back onto bisque with pencils. I use a transparent glaze and fire to cone 10 in a gas kiln. The red earthenware is thrown as very wide, bottomless cylinders. Cut through vertically, they become slabs that I use to build shaped and chambered planters for succulents, fired to cone 1.  (photos attached)

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

The darkest chocolate that I can find.

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

I would be Shaner Clear. Why? It has stood the test of time.  It is transparent, and everything it covers is visible. It is tough and resilient, yet very forgiving

What are a few of your hobbies?

NCECA ☺. Watercolor painting. Flower gardening – no good with vegetables. Reading Grandchildren. Considering each day as a gift, every morning.