It’s exciting to see how the NCECA conference evolves to meet the needs and desires of its attendees and the field of ceramics.  Premiering a new piece of programming is exhilarating but overwhelming too.  This year, NCECA has TWO brand new platforms to entertain and educate you.  In case you missed it last week the NCECA Blog shared information about Blinc 20:20.  This week, we’re telling you all about the new Clay FabLab, which joins material and technology to artistic tradition, expression and innovation.

The idea stems from the fact for the last several years we’ve had some great panels and lectures about 3D Digital Technology at NCECA but really no one showcasing it. This project is to show the wide array of ideas, studio practice, and curriculum opportunities for a wide range of our members. All of us in the NCECA Fab Lab see these things as another tool in the bag like the potter’s wheel. It is to help further a dialogue about the potential and possibilities of the artists creative ideas…

As a new feature of the conference NCECA is working with leading artists and educators in the field of contemporary ceramic art to develop Clay FabLab, a new presentation environment within the annual NCECA conference. This space will operate from 9am-5pm, Thursday-Friday, March. The Clay FabLab program will feature a line-up of 60-90 minute presentations by leading artists working with clay and new digital technologies:

And speaking of clay and technology, there’s MORE good news about this brand new piece of programming…

Thanks to 92Y Virtual Clay, Skutt Kilns, Shapeways, Anne W. Bracker, West Virginia University for their generous sponsorship, Clay FabLab presentations will be LIVE STREAMED! If you are unable to make it to Kansas City for NCECA’s 50th Conference, we invite you to join us for a live-stream, hosted by 92Y Virtual Clay.

FabLab LIVESTREAM click here

available 10am-6pm EST, Thursday-Friday, March 17-18, 2016

Why clay and technology, why now?

The response to new technologies and their application to ceramic art and learning represent underexplored and exciting aspects of the field that will influence its continued evolution in the 21st century. Currently, only a handful of programs in higher education across the United States are beginning to integrate new technologies with traditional media. With the emphasis on STEM education in the K-12 environment, many are seeking new ways to stimulate creativity and innovation in young learners. Whether adapting traditional arts practices to embrace new technologies or bringing new technologies into the art studio, educators must embrace the fact that the current generation of learners will view the nature of creativity differently.  Creativity’s role in higher learning and the work place are viewed as essential rather than optional add-ons to enrich core curricula.

Despite the rapidly changing environment for art and learning, many are confronted with obstacles to acceptance and application of new technologies. Cost, accessibility to resources and expertise are contributing factors. While dozens of initiatives are springing up in communities across the country, there has not to date been a concerted or direct effort to engage artists and art educators in a direct way on a national level. The inclusive and engaged environment of NCECA’s annual conference represents an important opportunity to expose more people to how new technologies are being used for creative purposes within the context of ceramic art and education.

Clay, one of Earth’s commonest materials, is also the embodiment of our most enduring cultural expressions.

Click here for more details on Fab Lab