Periodically during the fall we will be issuing challenges in the form of assignments to inspire immediate ways to get involved with the Across the Table, Across the Land project. Please refer to the NCECA Across the Table, Across the Land site at and click on “Field Guide” for more information.

First Fall Challenge: Opportunity: Clay Could Make This Better

Opportunities to move hand-crafted ceramic objects into the world by connecting food and community are all around us. From restaurants and bars to weddings and food festivals, private and public events – we want to see where you think ceramic objects could add value to social situations.

For example, a potter I know is thinking about how a tradition of “wedding whiskey” takes place in North Dakota. This handmade whiskey, made by the family of the wedding party, is as much about tradition and experience as it is about “tyin’ one on”. How could a special hand made ceramic whiskey flask make this traditional ceremony even more memorable?

Consider situations in culture where clay might amplify, alter, or challenge the experience or encounter. Share an example to get us all started– no solutions necessary – just opportunities to inspire all of us to think in new ways about what we make and how it enters the world.


  1. Consider all of the places in culture where food is served and how ceramics can add value.
  2. Take a picture of this “situation” where you think ceramics should be present.
  3. Visit the Across the Table web app– at the menu, click on “Challenges”
  4. Click on Challenge: Clay Could make this better
  5. Click on the + in the upper right corner to upload your image, complete the text prompts, and voila! You are now part of the collective “think-tank” and the project.
  6. You can repost the challenge to your social media. If you tweet, instagram, or Facebook your submissions, be sure to tag it with #ncecaacross, #nceca, #acrossthetable and any other specifically appropriate hashtags so we can track the conversation and boost the signal!

Think of this as a collective brainstorming session, lets imagine together… new avenues for our work to exist.

  • Namita and Michael