As one of the fortunate recipients of NCECA’s Graduate Student Fellowship in 2013, I served as an intern at Uriarte Talavera in Puebla, Mexico. This opportunity not only enabled me to learn a great deal about ceramics, it also enhanced my perspective on language, tradition, and culture, bringing clarity to what drives my career. I spoke Spanish all day at the factory and all night with my homestay “mom.” Reflecting on cuisine and the history of Talavera, I realized that Mexico is a mix of many cultures, not just Spanish and indigenous. I cooked with people whose heritage spans the globe and whose recipes combine traditional Mexican flavors with ingredients from their different backgrounds. I also learned ceramic techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation, tested and modified for success over hundreds of years. The relationships I developed made an indelible impact on me as a person and an artist. I feel that I have barely scratched the surface of potential for working at Uriarte and in Puebla. I hope to return to expand what I started and to further connections between cultures and within the community. 

Thank you to NCECA and all its supporters. I can honestly say this experience has changed my life.

-Lauren Karle


  • Do you want to participate in a network that cultivates great arts education practice that fosters perseverance through deep investigation of materials and process?
  • Do you care about supporting hard-working artists like Lauren who are destined to create compelling art and meaningful impact through their lives?
  • Do you want more opportunities to engage with the best the world of ceramic art has to offer?
  • Do you want to see ceramic art become highly visible as one of the 21st century’s most lively art forms?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably already appreciate the importance of giving to NCECA. If you believe that ceramic art enriches every part of our lives, inciting curiosity, encouraging creativity and inspiring community, you already understand that NCECA enables transformative experiences in the Arts.

NCECA has much to celebrate in 2013: the realization of exceptional exhibitions throughout greater Houston featuring the work of more than 1000 artists; an extraordinary national exhibition, Earth Moves: Shifts in Ceramic Art at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities; financial awards and national lecture opportunities to six exceptional Emerging Artists; Fellowship awards to three International Residencies, three undergraduate and three graduate students. A recent review of NCECA’s direct support to artists reveals that over time we have made more than $275,000 in awards to artists during critical developmental stages of their careers.

The recent losses of historic leaders in our field make this a poignant moment to reflect on how NCECA’s efforts enabled thousands of us to interact with and learn from leading visionaries and voices in ceramic art. Consider the meaning of these experiences in your own life and how NCECA-produced videos of masters like Val Cushing and Angela Fina enable the lessons, examples and minds of great makers to remain vibrant for future generations. Because NCECA is an IRS certified nonprofit organization, your year-end gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of your personal circumstances. As NCECA approaches its 50th anniversary in 2016, our Board and membership have envisioned projects and experiences that will enrich our organization and our field. Efforts like these are not ones that can be realized through membership and conference fees alone.

Making a donation online is easy and you can even recognize someone you love, wish to honor or commemorate using NCECA’s online donation system. When you make a gift to NCECA, you create an indelible mark that enhances ceramic art, teaching and learning.