Featured Profiles Archive

The Marks Project Documents American Ceramic Artists

More than a few decades into the digital revolution, the expectation for instant information is pervasive.  At workplace water coolers, dinner tables, and social gatherings, cell phones and tablets are called into service to provide answers to questions ranging from the mundane to the obscure.  The 21st–century native wants answers now and answers fast. The availability and accessibility of all these answers depends on extensive and accurate databases.  Scientific fields have relied on data for centuries; the arts are newcomers to the party.  A Connecticut collector of ceramics is working toward changing that, at least regarding American ceramic artists.   Martha Vida, with a small team headed by Donald Clark as Research Coordinator launched www.themarksproject.org in 2015.   The Marks Project is an online research hub and compendium of ceramic artists – sculptors, conceptual artists, and studio potters – working in the United States from 1946 to the present and into the future.   A book designer-turned interior designer, Ms. Vida began to expand her own collection of ceramic art when she and her husband traveled in the United Kingdom during the 1980s and 1990s.  She was self-t...
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Akron Artists Part of Neighborhood Revitalization

Zeber-Martell Gallery & Clay Studio Claudia Zeber-Martell Michael Martell There likely is no independent artist who at one time or another hasn't longed for the age of patronage, imagining the luxury of creative freedom without the practical worries of paying the bills.  The challenge for artists today is finding an income stream that will support their art without cutting too deeply into time in the studio.  Teaching and the festival circuit are common solutions.  Akron, Ohio clay artists Michael Martell and Claudia Zeber-Martell operated a small sales room out of their Northside District studio for many years before economic development in the neighborhood presented an opportunity to expand into a full-scale gallery and shop.  This collaborative duo is learning ways to integrate a successful and growing retail operation into their lives as artists. Claudia and Michael met in the 1970s, when Michael was studying art in college and Claudia was developing as a painter.  They became friends and decided to shar...
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Artist Jay Strommen at The Chicago Ceramic Center

 "Jayzo" Strommen at The Chicago Ceramic Center For Chicago artist Jay Strommen, life is all about transforming the conceptual into the material.  Strommen, also known as “Jayzo”, is the founder of the Chicago Ceramic Center at the Bridgeport Art Center located just southwest of the home of the White Sox on Old Bubbly Creek.  A lifelong accomplished ceramic artist, Strommen opened the center in October of 2015 with a beginning wheel throwing class for about 15 students.  Just as Strommen’s clay pieces are sincere expressions of his artistic ideas, he sees the Ceramic Center as an evolving manifestation of a collection of his ideas about the usefulness of the human hand, the importance in mentoring, global politics, agriculture, and the petro-chemical industry.    Strommen tells his personal history with constant references to people, places, and experiences that helped to form and direct him.  The son of a Minnesota bicycle shop owner, he learned early to use his hands.  “Everything about my childhood,” he says, “was all about figuring out how to be useful, how to use your hands to make something useful. ...
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Skutt’s Mike Sievers to present Kiln Workshop

February’s Second Saturday at Ceramic Supply Chicago will feature Mike Sievers from Skutt Ceramic Products in Portland, Oregon.  Mr. Sievers is the Director of Marketing at Skutt and an expert in the operation and maintenance of kilns.  He will present a very useful seminar on various aspects of kiln use.  He says, “This information can be applied to all makes of kilns, not just Skutt products, and is useful for both teachers and potters, alike.”    Mr. Sievers will customize his presentation for the skill level of workshop participants.  He will cover a comprehensive range of topics, starting with how to properly, safely, and efficiently set up the kiln room.  He will discuss the importance and types of venting, for both the room and the kiln, touching on how this often-overlooked factor can influence kiln life and the quality of fired pieces.  Next, he will review programming the kiln, comparing the advantages of manual and automatic programming.  He will provide a pre-firing check-list, discuss things to do during and after firing, and go over some basic maintenance tips that will make the kiln last longer.  Finally, he will demonstrate how to make simple repairs, such as changing an element. With over 23 years of experience at Skutt, Mr. Sievers inevitab...
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  Glaze Formulation Class October 25 - December 13 7 weeks, no class November 22 Tuition: $185   This course will take you through the process of formulating glazes from scratch, as well as adjusting glaz...
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Chicago Ceramic Center   Pottery Classes and Handbuilding Workshops Nex...
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AMACO to Present Decoration Demonstration

AMACO to Present Decoration Demonstration
Second Saturday Demonstration Glaze Manufacturer AMACO to Present Decoration Demonstration Saturday, September 9
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Michael Harbridge Presents a “Puzzling” Mold Workshop on August 12

Michael Harbridge Presents a “Puzzling” Mold Workshop on August 12
Join us for August's Second Saturday Free Demonstration.     Michael Harbridge will give a demonstration of his Puzzler molds, an easy way to create forms by pressing wet clay into plaster molds. Fr...
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Join Us for the Next Second Saturday Free Demonstration

Join Us for the Next Second Saturday Free Demonstration
Brush Use and Care Demonstration Royal Brush Company 2nd Saturday, July 8th, 2017 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM July's Second Saturday at Ceramic S...
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