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ARTISTS:

MENTORS:

Blaine M. Avery Patty Bilbro Jason Bige Burnett Kyle Carpenter Naomi Dalglish Susan Feagin Samantha Henneke Michael Hunt Matt Jones Shaunna Lyons Stephanie Martin Kelly O’Briant Gillian J. Parke Ronan Kyle Peterson Ron Philbeck Emily Reason Amy Sanders Liz Zlot Summerfield Joy Tanner Julie Wiggins

Dwight M. Holland Becca Floyd Tom Bartel Michael Kline Oh Hyang Jong Linda Arbuckle Val Cushing Oh Hyang Jong Mark Hewitt Ron Meyers L.T. Hoisington II Tom Spleth Joyce Bryan Steven Forbes-deSoule Tom Gray Leah Leitson Jennifer Kincaid Margaret Bohls Linda McFarling Suze Lindsay


Ronan Kyle Peterson Curator’s Statement for “By Example: 20 NC Potters and Their Mentors” First, I would like to say that I am grateful and extremely honored to be asked to curate a show for the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art. “By Example” is such a dream show for me, getting together 20 of what I and many others consider to be North Carolina’s best potters and ceramic artists, who in turn invite 20 “mentors”, is a daunting task, but also a chance to showcase North Carolina’s vibrant ceramics scene. North Carolina has such a long and rich history in ceramics, with longstanding communities of ceramic artists such as Penland and Seagrove, producing both everyday utilitarian wares and aesthetic wonders, I feel honored and humbled to curate such a show. With such a rich history and active ceramics scene, how to narrow it down to 20 artists? When thinking about who to invite to this show, I held the following criteria in mind: the invited artists are in their 40’s and younger, from North Carolina, active and known on a local, national and international scale, and produce ceramic vessels known for good craftsmanship, functionality, and teeming with color, texture and imagery. Narrowing it down using these standards, I am very excited with the group of artists that have come together to make “By Example” possible. Each of the invited artists were asked to invite a “mentor”, or someone they feel has had a huge impact on them and their careers as ceramic artists. Interestingly enough, most of the invited mentors happen to also live and work in North Carolina, which again notes the rich and vibrant ceramics scene in the Tarheel State. The title “By Example” notes the relationship between an artist and their mentor(s) and how the teaching and learning of a mentorship comes through watching and listening. This benevolent “Do as I Say, and Do as I Do” system includes how to conduct business, as well as how to approach solutions to aesthetic issues. The invited artists of “By Example” are also being watched and learned from, because they are defining functional ceramics and ceramic expression for students, customers, and collectors within North Carolina’s borders and beyond. Despite the fact that nearly all the invited artists chose to invite mentors that are ceramic artists, particularly vessel makers, all of the artists’ work is informed and developed by drawing from many different sources. From contemporary painting to folk traditions in woodworking and textiles and family histories, to carnival rides and comic books, each artists sources for inspiration are as unique as the work they produce. Techniques and processes are also a myriad approach, from traditional brushwork and slipping and glazing applications to screenprinting, image transfers and inclusion of different media, these artists look outside their clay studio to give substance to their ideas. These artists are not simply making pots as they have seen others make pots, they are pushing the boundaries of ceramic expression, defining clear and important voices as ceramic artists and vessel makers, and pushing forward North Carolina’s legacy of outstanding ceramic expression.

Curator’s Biography Ronan Kyle Peterson grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a B.S. in Anthropology and Folklore in 1996. He first started working with clay in 1997 at John C. Campbell Folk School and continued his ceramic practice as a Core Fellow at Penland School of Crafts in 2000-2001. After the Core Program, he established Nine Toes Pottery in Chapel Hill, NC, and has enjoyed a vigorous and extensive exhibition and teaching schedule. In 2005, he curated “Refraction and Flux: Eight Rising Young Potters”, for the J.C. Self Genetics Research Center in Greenwood, SC, and currently curates exhibitions for Claymakers Gallery and Studio in Durham, NC.


Blaine Avery

Avery Pottery and Tilleworks, Seagrove, NC

Blaine Avery has been a studio potter since 1991. In 2002, Blaine moved to Seagrove, NC to open his own retail gallery/studio, Avery Pottery & Tileworks. Blaine is inspired by Southeastern U.S. stoneware and redware traditions, as well as Mayan and Mimbres cultures. Blaine's work has been exhibited in several solo and group gallery exhibitions, as well as in many fine craft shows, including the American Craft Council shows and Strictly Functional, an international juried exhibition. His work has been included in publications such as Ceramics Monthly and Lark Books' 500 Bowls.

Blaine Avery on mentor Dwight Holland: “I first met Dwight Holland upon moving to Seagrove in 2001, he was then as he is now welcoming and open to so many. Dwight has a wealth on knowledge regarding ceramics, art and history, his ceramics collection inspiring and includes a vast range of aesthetics and cultures. Every time I visit Dwight he seems to have a new pot along with a story of where it is from and who made that he has acquired in his travels. Dwight's passion for art and life is inspiring, our conversations cover such a broad range of topics but inevitably at some point get back to ceramics.�


Invited Mentor

Dwight Holland Asheboro, NC

Dwight Holland has been a working potter since 1975 producing slip trail decorated earthenware, stoneware and salt and soda stoneware.  Dwight also served as the Curator of Design at the NC Zoo, and also has been part of many national and international zoo and habitat designs. He retired in 1994, and has since been a consultant and potter. He founded the North Carolina Potters Conference and and has been its Chair for twenty five years and recently gave part of his extensive ceramics collection to East Carolina University to be known as the Dwight M. Holland Ceramics Teaching Collection.

Dwight Holland on inviting artist Blaine Avery: “Over the past forty years I have been privileged to be able to watch the development of young potters,  potters who had a developing understand of craft,  curiosity to learn and the skill to produce beautiful pottery.  Blaine Avery is one of those young potters that I met when he moved to Seagrove several years ago.  I was impressed with Blaine's skill using clay and the work he was producing.  He was developing his own voice in clay that was not forced or artificial.  Even though Blaine is a single father rearing a young son, his work still shows continued growth both in technique and surface decoration.”


Patty Bilbro

Foxfire Pottery, Baltimore, MD via Asheville, NC

Native to the south, Patty Bilbro was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and has lived in Asheville, North Carolina since 1992. Patty graduated from the Haywood Community College Clay Production Program in 1997 and continued on to complete her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In September 2008, Patty began a 2 year residency with Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts which she completed in the fall of 2010. Patty recently moved to be with her partner while she finishes graduate school in Baltimore, MD.

Patty Bilbro on mentor Becca Floyd “When I returned to clay in 2007 Becca began as a teacher but quickly turned into a mentor during my years as a resident artist at Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts. During this time Becca taught me how to develop a fruitful studio practice as well as a structure for growth. She instilled the philosophy that technique and aesthetic develops through a solid foundation followed by self discovery, repetition, flexibility and just plain showing up. It was through Becca that I learned how to look at my own work with a critical yet accepting eye, to enjoy the process and most importantly to just keep making things. “


Rebecca Floyd about inviting artist Patty Bilbro: “I met Patty during her Residency at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts in Asheville. She was always working, working, working, and I couldn't wait to see her pots evolve from week to week. Her work is so wonderfully functional, warm, and humorous, and I'm curious to see what will emerge from her new urban landscape. The pottery community is lucky to have her.�

In 1994, after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Fine Arts, Becca settled for a time in rural Bryson City and discovered the beauty and diversity of Western North Carolina. In 1997, she moved to the Asheville area where she became a resident artist at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts. North Carolina is a bastion of functional ceramics, and she has had the opportunity to work and learn from some of the best potters in the United States. She continues her relationship with Odyssey Center as a teacher and feels that teaching is an integral part of her growth as a potter and a person.

Invited Mentor

Rebecca Floyd

Mars Hill, NC


Jason Burnett

Gatlinburg, TN via Fletcher, NC

Jason Bige Burnett just received an artist residency at Arrowmont School of Craft in Gatlinburg, TN. Before this recent opportunity, Jason was a practicing studio ceramic artist in Fletcher, North Carolina and has taught workshops at the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts in Asheville, North Carolina. Originally from Louisville , Kentucky, he received B.A.’s in printmaking and graphic design and a BFA in ceramics at Western Kentucky University. Jason then had the honor of becoming a Penland School of Crafts Core Fellowship Student for two years. Jason’s work has been exhibited nationally in juried exhibits and published in numerous publications.

Jason Burnett on mentor, Tom Bartel:

“Tom Bartel was my ceramics undergraduate professor at Western Kentucky University. As an educator he taught me how to discover ideas and foster artistic growth. Active in his career exhibiting, curating, and instructing he’s exemplary in the ceramic field. Still developing my early career as an artist Tom Bartel inspires by example and continues to support me as a mentor as a friend.”


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Tom Bartel on inviting artist Jason Bige Burnett:

“In 2004 Jason Burnett cut through the ceramics studio on his way to the graphic design lab and never left. His curiosities for clay and for the camaraderie of the ceramics community have afforded Jason an arena that he is empowered by. In turn, I have seen Jason’s curiosity transform into a passion that makes the whole ceramics community a better place and whom I am proud to have mentored knowing that Jason is capable of anything. Not because of “what I taught him,” but rather by inviting him to think for himself.”  

Tom Bartel grew up on the Erie shores of Cleveland, Ohio and is

known for his disturbing yet humorous fragmented figures that take cues from a “shotgun blast” of influences ranging from antiquity to popular culture. He received his BFA from Kent State University and his MFA from Indiana University-Bloomington.   Tom has lectured, conducted workshops and exhibited extensively throughout the United States as well as internationally in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hungary and the Czech Republic. His work is included in numerous public and private collections and he has received Individual Artist Fellowships from the Pennsylvania arts council, the Kentucky Arts Council and the Ohio Arts Council.   He has numerous publications to his credit, including American Craft, Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, Ceramics Art and Perception as well as many other periodicals and books.   Bartel is currently an Associate Professor at Ohio University in Athens, OH. 

Invited Mentor

Tom Bartel

Athens, Ohio


Kyle Carpenter

Asheville, NC

Kyle Carpenter lives and works in Asheville, NC. He attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000. Kyle Carpenter Studio Pottery began in 2002. His studio is within the River Arts District at Curve Studios. Kyle’s salt fired stoneware vessels with his distinctive brushwork and bird images have been included in many national exhibitions, and he has curated the “Asheville in Atlanta” show at Mud fire Gallery in Decatur, GA going on 10 years straight.

Kyle Carpenter on mentor Michael Kline: “The first time I saw Michael Kline’s pottery was at Penland School of Crafts, where he was a resident in the late 1990s. I was a junior in college and on a tour of the school with a group of fellow university ceramic arts students. I remember the surface treatment on Michael’s pots. The layers of slip, paintings, glaze, and melted ash told a story, much like the rings of a tree. It was the type of pots that I became enamored with from then on. Michael’s painting background became more and more evident over the next decade, with beautiful botanical brushwork covering his well-formed pots. During that time, I would see Michael’s pots at local galleries, craft fairs, and in magazine’s. In 2005, I invited Michael to participate in a group exhibition that I was guest curating. This was the start of our friendship. Since then, we’ve become great friends and colleagues. I feel that the two of us are on similar paths, both in our careers and in our family life. His experience in both, and willingness to share that experience, has helped me in a myriad of ways. His eye as an artist and potter is admirable, as is his demeanor. I am honored to have him in this exhibition as a mentor.”


Michael Kline on inviting artist Kyle Carpenter: “I first met Kyle at a local clay supplier as he worked part time while he set up his own shop. He had just graduated from UNC-Asheville. It wasn't until a couple of years later that I took notice of the pots he was making. I had spent several years, many years, actually, searching for my own unique way of working in the clay, while it seemed that Kyle was making  fine work just out of school. Most of the patterns Kyle employed at the time were nice, but fairly common in the atmospheric/salt glaze palette. But at some point Kyle was uncaged and started painting fabulous birds  on his pots with an amazing realism. It was at this point that his work took on an identity all it's own and I took a particular notice and we began a dialog that continues to this day, exchanging ideas and encouraging one another. As far as the roles of mentor or student, it has always been my experience that the lines blur when both parties are engaged within their challenge and share a willingness and an open mind to learn.”

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Michael Kline has been a studio potter since 1993. He studied pottery, painting, and printmaking at the University of Tennessee and holds a BFA. He also studied under Michael Simon at the Penland School of Crafts in 1989. Michael began his business creating wood fired-salt glazed tableware with a botanical theme in Massachusetts until 1998 when he was awarded a Resident Artist position at the Penland School of Crafts. At the end of his tenure as Resident Artist Michael designed and built a kiln near Bakersville, NC, to fire his new body of stoneware. The kiln is designed to fire exclusively with remainder/ waste wood from local lumber mills. The kiln also is large enough to fire his large-scale pottery as well his tableware and is fired five times a year. He digs his clay from the field below his studio and his pots feature hand painted botanical themes.

Invited Mentor

Michael Kline

Bakersville, NC


Susan Feagin

Penland, NC

Susan Feagin was born in Burbank, CA, but considers herself a Southerner, with deep roots in both North Carolina and Georgia. She attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and hoped to become a layout designer for a magazine or to become a journalist after receiving her BFA in Design in 1992. While at UNCG, and thereafter, she developed a love for making pots. At the insistence of her great aunt Sue Rice, she attended Penland School of Crafts to further her experience and education in making pottery. She later received a Core Fellowship opportunity in 1998 and 1999, and after some time in Georgia working at a clay studio and sharing a studio with a friend, Susan attended the University of Florida and received her MFA in Ceramics in 2007. She then returned to Penland and serves as Clay Studio Coordinator, in addition to making her unique and highly personalized clay vessels.

Susan Feagin on her mentor Linda Arbuckle: “I met Linda Arbuckle in 1998 when I was a core student at Penland School. I took her summer workshop that she co-taught with her mentor Bill Brouillard. My core job was to drive students and instructors back and forth to the Asheville airport and I remember driving Linda to the airport from Penland in the pre-dawn hours. At that time, I had never seen anything like Linda’s pottery and I certainly had no idea what majolica was. Her graphic style, elegant brushwork, parceling of space, and bold color made an impression on me. I learned as much as I could about using a brush and making color relationships in that two-week workshop and I watched Linda decorate each and every item she made. In the years since I tried to decorate my porcelain wares with similar directness and panache. After I enrolled at the University of Florida in 2004 I came to know Linda better as an artist, educator and role model for women in the arts. Her intelligence, vast ceramic knowledge, leadership and eloquence set a high standard. Linda’s impact on me is ongoing and I, like many other generations of her students, continue to flourish in her shadow.”


Linda Arbuckle on her inviting artist Susan Feagin: “I loved working with Susan Feagin. She thinks on so many different levels, and is capable of making bridges between disparate resources in imaginative ways: printmaking and clay, text and visual art, function and decoration, parts and whole. She’s a wonderfully thoughtful person in all senses of the word, and I admire her.” Linda Arbuckle received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and a MFA, Ceramics, from the Rhode Island School of Design.  She is currently a professor at the University of Florida School of Art and Art History in Gainesville, FL. Linda has taught workshops at many venues across the U.S. and in several international locations. University of Florida has recognized her research with Graduate Research Professorship and Teaching Improvement awards. Recent activities include a one-month residency in the People’s Republic of China awarded by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and a chapter-length feature in The Penland Book of Ceramics: Master Classes in Ceramic Techniques, and a feature in Earthenware Masters, Matthias Ostermann. NCECA has produced a DVD of Linda’s studio life in the Spirit of Ceramics series: Linda Arbuckle: Fresh Color on Pottery.

Invited Mentor

Linda Arbuckle

Micanopy, FL


Samantha Henneke Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC

Born in Tallahassee, Florida, Samantha Henneke moved with her family and celebrated her first birthday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Samantha attended her hometown college, Virginia Tech and while searching the halls for her place in life she finally found it her junior year while taking a pottery class, in the spring of 1991. After completing one more year at Virginia Tech she transferred to the New York State College of Ceramics in Alfred in the fall of 1992 and graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics in 1995. Samantha Henneke moved to Seagrove, North Carolina in 1997 with her husband Bruce Gholson where together they manage an open pottery gallery called Bulldog Pottery. Her studio art pottery aesthetics are traditional with a flare - a dotted mug, an insect on a plate, or swirl on a covered jar. With her unconventional imagination of life in a garden she composes glaze paintings of scenes such as a red dressed girl working with a dung beetle, a larger then life red-eye fly, or girl skipping through a garden of flowering shoes. It is obvious she loves what she does. She participates in exhibitions throughout the year, has appeared in a number of publications, and has ceramic work in national museums such as the Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama.

Samantha Henneke on mentor Val Cushing: “I truly appreciate the opportunity I had to study under Professor Val Cushing during the mid 90’s while working to obtain my BFA at the New York State School of Ceramics.  Through his passion for teaching and making functional ceramics, he bolstered my confidence and helped foster my determination to become a professional studio potter.  As my senior advisor, Professor Cushing’s critiques were subtly profound and thoughtful. He taught me to ask questions, to consider the complete form, and most of all, he taught me an appreciation for glaze chemistry and all of the myriad possibilities that come from the ongoing discipline of testing glazes.  During one of my first classes with Professor Cushing, he suggested to us to spend as much time in the library as possible researching and reading. I took this to heart and whenever available time presented itself to me I spent it at the library reading, looking, and absorbing information.  I have many great memories of Alfred University and my time spent in the Scholes Library is among the most lasting. Thank you Professor Cushing for assisting me in developing the mental tools that have helped me solve problems and explore possibilities while on my journey as a studio potter.”


Val Cushing on inviting artist Samantha Henneke: “Samanatha Henneke was an ideal student and a pleasure to have had in my pottery classes. She devoted many hours in the studio to practicing. She had the discipline and motivation to keep focused on learning as much as possible about mastering the basic skills and techniques concerning materials and processes. She was entering the “clay world” with courage, enthusiasm and passion.”

Val Cushing received both a BFA and MFA from the State University of New York College of Ceramics, School of Art and Design at Alfred University, Alfred Station, New York, and then served there for 40 years as Professor of Ceramic Art (1957 - 1997). He has given over 300 lectures, workshops, and presentations the world over, and his ceramic work has been included in over 300 exhibitions on an international scale. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his contributions to education and research in the field of ceramics from the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts, and received the Fulbright Award for excellence in teaching in 1975.

Invited Mentor

Val Cushing

Alfred Station, NY


Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish Bandana Pottery, Bakersville, NC

Michael and Naomi live and work in the mountains of western North Carolina. Using many local materials, they collaborate in making wood fired utilitarian pottery. Although they make and glaze the pottery together, individually, Naomi makes the figurative sculptures, and Michael makes the large jars. Michael got hooked on clay in high school, and became a student at Penland School of Craft shortly after graduating. It was there that he met Will Ruggles and Douglas Rankin who became teachers and mentors to him. Several years later he was invited to go to Korea to learn the traditional method of making large Ongii storage jars with master Ongii potter Oh Hyang Jong. Upon returning from Korea, Michael began setting up a studio and building a large Thai-shaped wood kiln in the Penland area. Naomi began making pottery with her grandmother as a child. She studied clay at Earlham College with Mike Theideman, a former apprentice of Warren MacKenzie. She spent a semester in Mexico, where she studied with Mexican potters and discovered precolombian clay figures. In addition to making pottery, she began making sculptures inspired by pre-colombian and Japanese Haniwa figures. After college, Naomi came to Penland to take a kiln building class and met Michael, who was building a kiln at his studio. Michael and Naomi discovered they shared a similar passion and approach to making pottery. Now they work together as full time potters, firing their kiln four times a year, and occasionally teaching workshops. Their pottery is named "Bandana Pottery" after the small community in which they live. They exhibit their work nationally and internationally.


Invited Mentor

Oh Hyang Jong

Kwangju, Korea

Michael and Naomi on their mentor Oh Hyang-Jong: “In 2001, Michael went to Korea for 8 months to learn the traditional style of making onggi pots from Oh Hyang Jong. Since then, Naomi, Michael and Mr. Oh have worked together in each other’s studios in North Carolina and Korea. These are playful times when they can share their love for traditional Korean pottery while encouraging new exploration in their own work.“

Oh Hyang Jong was born in 1963 in Korea. He started studying ceramics in 1981 at Kwangu University, and during that time became interested in traditional Korean Onggi storage jars, and spent one year studying with an Onggi master. He then continued his graduate studies at Dankuc University. After graduating, he studied with five different Onggi masters for ten years. For the next fifteen years, he made Onggi pots on his own, attending international conferences, making exhibitions, and teaching workshops in Korea, Japan, and the United States. Recently, he has begun to make his own new work, which is strongly rooted in the Onggi tradition.


Matt Jones

Since 1998, Matt Jones has produced high quality wood fired stoneware vessels in the Big Sandy Mush valley of Leicester, NC. Matt employs elaborate and expressive brushwork and slip trailed lines with controlled energy and intricacy to embellish his ceramic vessels, from smaller tableware to larger storage jars. A graduate of Earlham College, Matt also served as an apprentice to Mark Hewitt and Todd Piker. Establishing an apprentice program of his own, Matt continues to produce an incredible variety of wood fired ceramics inspired by Southern stoneware traditions, but made contemporary and fresh by Matt’s musings and social commentary, shown on his pots’ alkaline glazed surfaces.

Matt Jones Pottery, Leicester, NC

Matt Jones on his mentor Mark Hewitt: “I worked as an apprentice for Mark Hewitt in Pittsboro, NC for 6 months in 1997.  It was a very exciting time to be there as Mark's career had begun to really explode with his solo show at NC State and its accompanying catalogue publication.  I was a bit awe-struck that a potter could be taken seriously as an artist in the state of NC, and I worked diligently to make pots that could measure up to Mark's high standards.  He really emphasized getting the shapes dead perfect and all of the details of glass runs and decorative slip trailing really came together in his work with the heavy wood/salt firing to produce a strong and coherent aesthetic.  There were two other apprentices working there at the time and we took our lunch together with Mark engaging in some lively discussions about pots and engaging with some of his favorite mugs plates bowls and pitchers.  It was a wonderful time, and I came away with a sense of pottery as an important mission that has made me struggle to produce pots that I feel are worthy of adding to the world.  That has not always been an easy thing to live with and it took along time to begin achieving that goal with my own pottery voice.” 


Mark Hewitt on inviting artist Matt Jones: “Matt Jones is a lover and a fighter. His heart is visible in every aspect of his work, from careful material preparation, to precise throwing skills, exuberant decorative flourishes, and mastery of a big beast of a kiln. Matt’s bravery and fierce intelligence compel him to argue publicly and vociferously with critics about their oversights and shortcomings, and to champion the work of functional potters in the South. We all take courage from his example. He is a mighty potter, it is a privilege to have worked alongside him, and I’m very glad to know him.” Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Mark is the son and grandson of directors of Spode, the fine china manufacturers. As a student at Bristol University in the early 1970's, Mark read Bernard Leach's "A Potter's Book," and decided to become a studio potter rather than an industrial manager. This decision led to a three year apprenticeship with Michael s, and later another with Todd Piker in Connecticut, where Mark met his wife, Carol. In 1983 they moved to Pittsboro NC and set up their pottery. Mark built a very large woodburning kiln and began making the distinctive functional pots for which he is known, specializing in very large planters, vases, and jars, along with finely made smaller items. He uses local clays and blends the different North Carolinian folk traditions together into a contemporary style that has attracted a sizable following. His work has been featured in the Smithsonian Magazine and on the cover of American Craft magazine, he has written extensively in the ceramic press, and he has exhibited in London, New York, and Tokyo, as well as throughout the US. He is well represented in museum and private collections. Mark and Nancy Sweezy cocurated the highly-regarded exhibition, “The Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery,” at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, October 30, 2005 – March 19, 2006. UNC Press published a superbly illustrated catalogue/book.Mark and his work were featured extensively in the nationwide PBS TV series, "Craft in America," and he recently had two major exhibition of his big pots, one at the Nasher Museum, at Duke University in Durham, NC, the other at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans.

Invited Mentor

Mark Hewitt

Pittsboro, NC


Shaunna Lyons

Bakersville, NC

Shaunna Lyons grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She has lived and studied all over the world. She received her BFA from the University of Georgia in 1995 which included a journey to Nepal to experience and study the culture and potters of that country. For about 10 years Shaunna was off the clay grid getting some life experiences. She started and sold a retail herbal business, traveled around the world and worked for 2 years as a birding field guide in Southern Africa. In 2005 Shaunna restarted her clay career with an assistantship at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Currently she resides in Bakersville, North Carolina on the side of a mountain with her extra large dog Charlotte, making pots full time.

Shaunna Lyons on her mentor Ron Meyers: “At a time when I was desperately floundering for a direction in my studies I attended my first clay class taught by Ron Meyers at the University of Georgia. It was Ron’s relaxed approach to clay that enabled me to be receptive to the potential of ceramics and art as a degree as well as a way of life. Seeing Ron earlier this year once again reminded me it was from him I learned it was okay to do what felt right to me without following rules and being confined by emphatic practices. In my opinion one of Ron’s greatest strengths as a teacher/mentor, and there are many, is his ability to share how he makes amazing thoughtful work with ease, a sense of play and confidence. In my process I don’t measure stains and I don’t weigh clay. I work simply and intuitively trying new things everyday in the studio. My introduction to clay with Ron’s easy going non rigid attitude has stayed with me all these years and encouraged a space of exploration and freedom allowing me to flourish as an artist.


Invited Mentor

Ron Meyers

Athens, GA Ron Meyers on inviting artist Shaunna Lyons: “In my last years of teaching clay at the University of Georgia in Athens GA Shauna was a beginning student in the Ceramics area. I’m not sure she was even in class of mine but I was well aware of her presence as she floated around the studio. She was likable with a perky and you might say, a sassy attitude. After my retirement I would meet her occasionally at openings and was aware that she was still very involved in clay. After leaving Athens I knew she spent a few years working at the Callanwolde Clay center in Atlanta. Then after a number of years I discover she had moved to the Penland, NC area, set up her own studio and was committed full time to being a clay artist. A very impressive and gutsy decision . Over these many years her work has continued to improve and become more personal and I’ve admired her dedication and commitment to her work. Best of all is that she still retains that sassiness from her youth and her zest for life.”

Ron Meyers holds a 1967 M.F.A. degree in ceramics from the School for American Craftsmen, Rochester Institute of Technology, and B.S. (1956) and M.S. (1961) degrees in art education from State University of New York College at Buffalo. He taught at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC from 1967-1972. He then spent the next 20 years teaching at the University of Georgia in Athens where he retired as Professor Emeritus. Ron has an extensive history of professional activities within the ceramics community. He has been an artist-in-residence at Western Carolina University, Cullowee, NC as well as at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. He served as a juror for the 1999 National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts annual meeting in Columbus, OH, The Utilitarian Ceramic National at Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA, The Handcrafted Exhibition at Rocky Mount, NC. He has conducted many workshops and demonstrations in the US and abroad, recently at the Dan Finch Studio, Bailey, NC, with Rudy Autio; La Meridiana Studio of Certaldo, Italy; Arrowmont School of Art, Gatlinburg, TN; Metchosin International School, Victoria, B.C.; Haystack Crafts School, Deer Isle, ME; Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, Halifax, NS, Canada. Recent exhibitions of Mr. Meyers' include: Taking Measure, American Art at the Millennium, Yoeju, Korea; American Shino, Babcock Galleries, New York City; The National Ceramics Invitational, Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA; 21st Century Ceramics, Columbus, OH; and one man shows at AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA; and Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.


Stephanie Martin

Dean and Martin Pottery, Seagrove, NC

Stephanie Martin lives in Seagrove, NC and with her husband Jeff Dean, runs Dean and Martin Pottery, which has been in business since 2002. Stephanie attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and received her BFA in Design with a concentration in Ceramics. Her ceramic work is influenced by Robert Rauschenburg and Andy Warhol, and these artists’ use of mixed media and juxtaposition of imagery, palette, and pattern can be seen in her vessels surfaces. Stephanie makes her own decals and incorporates imagery from vintage dresses, fabrics and sewing patterns, invoking a nostalgia and remembrance of the women in her life while growing up in the rural foothills of North Carolina.

Stephanie Martin on her mentor L.T. Hoisington, II: “L.T. Hoisington influenced my work early on by the quiet beauty and elegant brushwork of his gestural forms, which are rooted in Japanese folk pottery. Even though my work has evolved to more contemporary shapes and surfaces, there is a whisper of his influence in each body of work I create.”


L.T. Hoisington on inviting artist Stephanie Martin: “When I recall the time spent teaching Stephanie Martin, one of my most prominent recollections is her sense of focus with respect to her pottery making, She worked diligently towards her goal and enjoyed taking on new challenges as her work progressed. My goal as her teacher was to instill in her a passion for learning, a love and respect for clay and it’s traditions, to have fun following the path clay lays out for her. As I look at Stephanie’s work now, I see her bringing forth all she has learned. She is creating strong simple forms, with intriguing surface decoration. Her pots reveal links to the past, memories of her youth and experimentation with contemporary methods and color palette.”

L.T. Hoisington grew up in Wisconsin, spending his early youth in Milwaukee, and teenage years on a small farm in Oconomowoc. At age 18, he moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. While studying Biology at the University of NC Greensboro in his final semester, he stumbled into the clay studio. Here he met Setsuya Kotani who awakened in L.T. a love of clay and became a close friend and mentor. His studies continued on at UNCG, where he received a BFA in Design (concentration ceramics) in 1989, and in 1992 an MFA , in Studio Art, Sculpture. Teaching became part of his daily life, during his MFA studies, as Graduate Assistant in Ceramics. After graduate school, L.T. taught ceramics at UNCG, for several years. L.T. lives in Greensboro, NC with his wife and kids, and has a studio, while also teaching class at the Art Alliance of Greensboro.

Invited Mentor

L.T. Hoisington, I I

Greensboro, NC


Kelly O’Briant

Tempe, AZ via Julian, NC A native of Julian, NC, Kelly O’Briant earned a BFA in Design with a second major in Cultural Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Afterwards, Kelly was accepted into the Penland School of Crafts as a two year Core student, and in 2003, Kelly was worked as a resident potter at the Energy Xchange in Burnsville, NC. It was at the Xchange that Kelly began to experience life and work as a full time potter. She returned to the Piedmont of North Carolina in June 2005, to set up her own studio. Her work has been featured in a number of exhibitions. She regularly participates in retail shows such as those by the American Craft Council, and sells her work from the studio as well as from galleries across the country. In August 2011, Kelly moved to Tempe, AZ to pursue her MFA in Ceramics at Arizona State University.

Kelly O’Briant on her mentor Tom Spleth: “I greatly admire Tom Spleth’s ability to articulate his thoughts about what he’s making and observing. He does this verbally, in writing, on clay and on paper. When I decided to take a two-month class at Penland with Tom in 2010, I did not foresee the nature of the impact the class would have on me. I was very inspired watching Tom complete a collection of prints in conjunction with the print instructor. I finished the class feeling inspired to continue exploring my own thoughts about functionality, the difference between decoration and drawing, and to push the boundaries of what I thought these things were about. I decided to return to school to continue this exploration that begun in discussions with Tom.”


Tom Spleth on inviting artist Kelly O’Briant: “Kelly is one one most present people I know. I mean, when she is the room, she is there with all considerable intelligence and perceptions operating 100%. Consequently, something is always going on around about her. She never lets me down for that.”

Oklahoma native and Arts/Industry alumnus, Tom Spleth, earned his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the College of Ceramics at Alfred University.  As a self-employed artist living and working in North Carolina, Tom’s career has involved painting, printing, sculpture, and slip-casting ceramics.  Through his work, he looks to express and explore his perception of paradox:  the cycles of life and death, loss, anger, and despair that always accompany the seductive beauty seen in the surrounding world.  Tom’s work has been exhibited at such venues as the Gregg Museum, North Carolina State University, NC; the McColl Center, NC; the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, NC; the Asheville Art Museum, NC; and the North Carolina Museum of Art; NC. His work belongs in numerous collections, including, the Cameron Museum, Wilmington, NC; Illinois State University, IN; Kohler Company, WI; and the Rhode Island School of Design, RI.  Additionally, Tom has been awarded numerous public commissions through the North Carolina Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the North Carolina Art in State Buildings Program.

Invited Mentor

Tom Spleth

Little Switzerland, NC


Gillian Parke

Durham, NC

Gillian was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  She graduated from Boston University in 1993 with a B.A. in Chemistry.  In 1995, Gillian moved to North Carolina and decided to take a wheel throwing class at the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department.  Since then, she has taken numerous workshops from internationally known potters and spent a year taking course work towards an M.F.A. in ceramics at East Carolina University.  Gillian regularly exhibits her work in regional and national galleries.  She was a recipient of the Durham Arts Council 2008-2009 Emerging Artist Grant, chosen as an emerging artist in 2008 by Ceramics Monthly and was the Ceramics Monthly cover artist in February 2009.

Gillian Parke on her mentor Joyce Bryan: “Joyce Bryan of Stone Crow Pottery in Pittsboro, North Carolina, has had a significant and longlasting impact on my development as a ceramic artist. Joyce generously shared her studio and kiln with me early on, when I had a desire to become a potter but not yet the skill set.  I spent several years at Stone Crow learning throwing and glazing techniques from Joyce, and studying in a production potter's environment reinforced the need for consistency and repeatability of forms and execution of ideas.  Joyce also showed me that a career in clay is possible with hard work and dedication while simultaneously pushing me to find my own voice in clay. “


Joyce Bryan on Inviting artist Gillian Parke : “Gillian's work has grown in ways I could never have imagined when she started working with me at Stone-Crow Pottery. She has drawn from her family history in Northern Ireland and her exposures to many clay artists and workshops. Her work keeps growing in content and depth. I could not be more proud of her.”

Invited Mentor

Joyce Bryan

Stone Crow Pottery, Pittsboro, NC

Joyce Bryan has owned and operated Stone Crow Pottery just outside of Pittsboro, NC for nearly 40 years. Before opening Stone Crow Pottery, Joyce spent time at Peter’s Valley, in Lawton, NJ, the Archie Bray Foundation, in Helena, MT, and the Sawtooth Center in Winston-Salem, NC, improving her ceramics skills and gaining kiln building and firing knowledge. Since 2007, Joyce has taught curriculum courses at the Central Carolina Community College Pottery and Sculpture Program’s Siler City, NC studio.


Ronan Peterson

Nine Toes Pottery, Chapel Hill, NC

Ronan Kyle Peterson grew up in Poplar, NC, a small community deep in the mountains of western North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in 1996 received a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Anthropology, with a minor in Folklore. He was a Core Fellow at Penland School of Crafts in 2000-2001, and in 2011 returned to Penland to teach a Summer Session workshop. Currently, Ronan maintains Nine Toes Pottery, a ceramics studio in Chapel Hill, NC, which produces highly decorative and functional earthenware vessels. His work has been featured in both Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times, and the books 500 Bowls and 500 Plates and Chargers, which includes an image of his plates on the back cover. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the Kiln Gallery in Fairhope, AL and Mudfire Gallery in Atlanta, GA, and invitational shows at the Artisan Gallery in Northampton, MA, Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, MA, and the Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, CO.

Ronan Kyle Peterson on mentor Steven Forbes-deSoule “I worked for Steve for 2 years in the very beginning of my life in clay. I mixed glazes, cleaned studio, packed work to ship, helped photograph work, helped during his open studio sales and occasionally house sat and took care of his kitties. These 2 years were incredible, and as I look back on them now, they really laid the foundation for my career as a ceramic artist. In the studio nearly everyday, constantly having work out in galleries and shows, and managing to exercise and have a life outside the studio were things that impressed me about Steve. I gained from Steve a constant practice of experimentation, a strong work ethic, and a desire to have the best work I can produce out in the world for people to see. We daily talked about girlfriends, Reiki, food, health, money and most importantly, pots, and I very frequently revisit the advice and support that Steve most generously gave during those formative years and all the observations and support he still gives today. “


Invited Mentor

Steven Forbes-deSoule

Weaverville, NC

Steven Forbes-deSoule on inviting artist Ronan Peterson: “Ronan worked as my studio assistant for a couple of years at the beginning of his pottery career. I could always count on Ronan being upbeat, enthusiastic, responsible, and eager to learn. These characteristics, plus his subsequent commitment to working in clay, has led to his meteoric rise toward superstardom.”

Steven Forbes-deSoule has been a professional ceramic artist for over 30 years. For most of those years, he’s focused on raku firing exclusively. He draws inspiration from the textures and colors of the mountain vistas near his home in Western North Carolina, and images of galaxies and earth taken from outer space by Satellites and the Hubble telescope. His work is featured in museum, corporate, and private collections nationwide.


Ron Philbeck

Shelby, NC

Ron Philbeck on Ron Philbeck: “I began making pots in 1992. I had studied mathematics and horticulture in college so becoming a potter was something I had not planned on. For the first few years I made mid range stoneware. As soon as I could I set up a pottery in my hometown of Shelby, N.C. and build at propane fired salt kiln. I made utilitarian salt glazed pots for 14 years before changing to earthenware in 2008. I began to decorate when I made the switch to low fire. I had always had a desire to put images on my work and after a newfound love of drawing I began to decorate the pots. It was a challenge for me to change my work after many years of making stoneware. I found I was able to come to my work with new eyes and ideas; the pots became more of my own. I look forward to sitting down at the wheel each day and seeing where the clay leads me.”

Ron Philbeck on his mentor Tom Gray: “In 1992 the continuing education pottery class I was taking took a trip to Seagrove, NC. It was then that I met Tom Gray for the first time at his pottery. I was drawn to Tom’s strong utilitarian pottery and asked him about a specific teapot lid that he made. He encouraged me to try one for myself and about a month later I returned to show him my efforts. I also bought the teapot that I had admired on the first visit. Since that first meeting with Tom we have become very close, considering one another family. He has helped me in countless ways over the past 19 years. In the pottery field he has encouraged me, comforted me, taught me how to fire a gas kiln, shared his throwing skills, and introduced me to ways of using the Internet in it’s infancy. Outside of the pottery world we share a love for cooking and of good food. We both especially like making our own pizzas. We have also been there for one another thorough times of distress as well of times of happiness and fun. I am very grateful to have met Tom at such an early time in my career. He has been the bedrock upon which I stand and whom I can count on and trust at anytime in any give situation. It’s always joyful when we are able to get together, talk about pottery and share good times.”


Invited Mentor

Tom Gray

Seagrove, NC

Tom Gray on inviting artist Ron Philbeck: I liken my friend Ron to a sponge with a brain. He seems to absorb everything in his path, processes it, and spits it out through his hands.

Tom Gray on Tom Gray: “I've been making pots by hand in the historic pottery community of Seagrove since 1990, but my career as a potter/artist goes back much farther than that. Although I majored in commercial art in college for a couple of years, the draw of the sea, surfing especially, became more important to me than a college degree. While living in Va. Bch. I took a couple of six week hand building pottery classes, and a six week wheel throwing class. That was in 1976, and I knew then that making pots full time was my calling.In 1978 I opened Tom Gray Pottery on Lake Gaston, north of Littleton, NC, and spent twelve years there, fishing, water skiing and making pots. In 1990 I purchased 30 acres of land in Seagrove, and have been here ever since.”


Emily Reason received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University with a concentration in Ceramics and an Art History minor. She’s completed Artist Residencies at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts in Asheville, NC and EnergyXchange in Burnsville, NC. Emily currently works as a full time potter in Marshall, NC.  She exhibits her work internationally and teaches pottery workshops around the country.  Emily is the author of Ceramics for Beginners: Wheel Throwing, Lark Books, 2010.

Statement about new work The body of work I’ve selected for this show is a combination of familiar pieces and new territory. I believe my work is constantly evolving, even those pieces that I’ve made over and over. Each series progresses, becomes more refined; while the process of making remains meditative and familiar. My recent travels through China have directly influenced the new territory I’ve embarked upon. Exploring brushwork is both exciting and intimidating. I’ve introduced animal and plant imagery that reflects my interest in my natural surroundings. The forms I’m working these surfaces on are meant to be clean, classic and functional.

Emily Reason

Marshall, NC

Emily Reason on her mentor Leah Leitson: “Leah possesses, both as an artist and a teacher, qualities that I admire. In her pots, I see grace and mastery of skill. In her approach to teaching, Leah is generous, warm and constructive. I met Leah at a time in my life where I was discovering what I wanted to be. She set a good example for me.”


Invited Mentor

Leah Leitson

Asheville, NC

Leah Leitson on inviting artist Emily Reason: “I met Emily Reason when I was teaching Spring Concentration at Penland in 2003.  Emily was a focused and prolific student.  It is no surprise that in the nine years since she has established herself as a studio potter in Marshall, NC and has published a book "Ceramics for Beginners".   It is an honor to be invited by this rising star.”

Leah Leitson teaches ceramics full time at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. She received her M.F.A. in ceramics from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 1996, and her undergraduate B.F.A. in ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, New York, in 1984. Leah completed residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT and Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, CN. She is a member of the Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc. and the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Leah has led many workshops through out the U.S., including Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC, Arrowmont School of Crafts, Gatlinberg, TN, and has taught workshops in Italy and Israel. Leah works exclusively in porcelain. Her work is predominantly inspired by the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century decorative arts, particularly utilitarian table wares and Sevres porcelain as well as being inspired by plant forms in nature. Her work has been featured in many exhibitions Nationally and Internationally. Her work can be seen in a range of publications of books and magazines. She is also represented in ceramic books and her work is found in Museums and private collections.


Amy Sanders

Charlotte, NC

Amy Sanders is a mom, wife and potter whose stoneware and earthenware vessels create a balance of visual elements of form, texture and pattern with utility. Sanders received her BA in art and secondary education from Centre College in Danville, KY, where she also worked as an assistant in the clay and drawing studios and served on a professional glass blowing crew. She currently works as a studio artist, teaches adult handbuilding classes at Clayworks Studio and conducts workshops in the region. Her work is exhibited in galleries throughout the United States, several publications and at American Craft council shows. Sanders has been awarded Regional Artist Grant through the Arts and Science Council in Charlotte, NC. Growing up in southern Ohio, Sanders spent her early years watching her mother and grandmothers sew. Upon moving to Charlotte in 1999, she did not have a clay studio in which to create; Sanders began to sew herself. Her experiences with sewing began to breathe life into her clay work. Patterns, textures and seams from fabrics and textiles appeared in her stamped clay vessels.

Amy Sanders on her mentor Jennifer Kincaid: “Even though we create quite differently, I have always admired the depth of surface decoration in Jennifer’s work, as well as her mastery of mark-making and imagery. Early on, while working closely to one another in a common studio, Jennifer played a fundamental role in influencing my life as a potter simply by being such a fine example of a working artist who strove to produce high quality pieces, while pushing herself to experiment and develop new forms and surfaces. She also took an active interest in my career by encouraging and challenging me in my personal work; for this I will always be grateful.”


Jennifer Kincaid on inviting artists Amy Sanders: “Having known Amy Sanders for most of her career and working in close proximity until the last few years, I have enthusiastically followed her art and career. Just the other day she described a new bowl form she was developing and refining and talked of the evolution this form is taking. Amy's work is always evolving but had a recognizable, personal style from the start with her devotion to fabric and quilt patterns. She uses a formal design approach in her forms, functions and surfaces. Her pottery is unique, fun and gestural, yet well crafted and rich with surface intricacies.”

Invited Mentor

Jennifer Kincaid

Asheville, NC

Jennifer Kincaid has been an affiliate artist of the McColl Center, one of the leading international artists-inresidents programs. Her work has been in many Green Hill Center for NC Art’s Winter Show Exhibits and is in the Center’s ArtQuest collection. Recent exhibits include Blue Spiral 1, Crimson Laurel, Lark and Key Galleries and the NC Pottery Center. A fine arts graduate of Queens University, Jennifer has studied Ceramics at Alfred University, Penland School of Crafts and Clothing and Textiles at the University of Georgia. She has studios in Charlotte and the River Arts District of Asheville, NC.


Liz Zlot Summerfield Bakersville, NC

Liz attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to complete her Masters of Fine Arts in 2001. She currently works as a full time studio artist from her home in Bakersville, North Carolina. She has been an instructor and visiting artist at numerous clay facilities, colleges, and universities. Her teaching experience ranges from art and craft schools, clay guilds and colleges. She exhibits and sells her work nationally through exhibitions, galleries, and fine craft shows. She has been featured and on the cover of Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times magazine.

Liz Zlot Summerfield on her mentor Margaret Bohls: “I had the delight of working with Margaret Bohls while attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The most valuable message Margaret instilled in me was that functional pots carry content, and that the artist has the ability to communicate their personal interest through their work. I believe that the livelihood and longevity of an artist’s career hinges upon being able to communicate one’s personal beliefs, interests, and values into their work. Throughout my teaching career, I have passed this message along to my students, encouraging them to look within themselves to find inspiration for their creations.


Invited Mentor

Margaret Bohls

Lincoln, NE

Margaret Bohls on inviting artist Liz Zlot Summerfield: “When Liz Zlot arrived at the University of Minnesota to begin her graduate studies, she immediately switched from making her work using a potter’s wheel, to building her pots by hand. She then went from using stoneware to using earthenware. In short, she made herself a beginner again, reinventing her work while simultaneously teaching herself about new materials and developing a whole new set of skills. What I mean to say is that Liz is brave. This gambit clearly paid off. Her work is now entirely her own. It is formally sophisticated, yet fun. It is precious but not pretentious. I am proud of Liz and I admire the artist she has become.”

Margaret Bohls has recently moved to Lincoln, NE to begin teaching ceramics at the University of Nebraska. She previously taught at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and at Sam Houston State University in Texas. She has also taught as visiting faculty at Penn State University, Ohio University, and NSCAD University in Halifax. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Louisiana State University. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Ceramic Arts in Helen, Montana. Margaret has given lectures at universities across the U.S. and has taught hands-on workshops at art centers such as Greenwich House Pottery in New York, Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen, Colorado and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Her work has been shown in over 100 group and solo exhibitions since 1995 and is included in the permanent collections of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA), and in the Sonny and Gloria Kamm Teapot Foundation Collection. She has written articles for the Journal of the National Council for Education on Ceramic Arts and Pottery Making Illustrated, and her ceramic work has been featured in periodicals such as Ceramics Monthly and Studio Potter Magazine.


Joy Tanner Bakersville, NC Joy Tanner is a full time potter from Bakersville, North Carolina and is currently a Resident Artist at the Energy XChange, a renewable energy center utilizing methane gas and waste wood to fire pottery kilns and glass furnaces. In 2004, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She then pursued a Resident Artist position at the Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts in Asheville, North Carolina. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Piedmont Craftsmen and the Toe River Arts Council.

Joy Tanner on her mentor Linda McFarling: “Long before I met Linda McFarling I knew of her pots. In the early days of working in clay, I remember leafing through magazines and books seeing pictures of Linda’s salt fired pots leap out from the page. In college I was fortunate to learn how to fire my work in a soda kiln, and later, after moving to Asheville, NC, I began firing a salt and soda kiln as a Resident Artist at the Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts. It was there that I first met Linda, teaching a class, and what turned out in the beginning to be sheer awe and respect for this wonderful potter has turned now into an ever growing relationship as mentor and caring friend. After leaving Odyssey in 2007, I moved and established my studio near the Penland area, where Linda lived. She very generously allowed me to use her soda kiln to fire my work for three years, with agreement of a studio work exchange. Not many potters just let you use their kiln all to yourself! This was an amazing experience for me to have the opportunity to continue refining my work and firing in a soda kiln. Throughout this time I was greatly influenced by Linda’s beautiful pots, her salt and soda firing knowledge, her work ethic, and her ability to encourage and inspire. With an in depth attention to detail, Linda’s functional pots have always inspired me to continue refining each piece I’m working on. I am very honored to exhibit side by side with Linda in the “By Example” exhibition; over the years she has had a tremendous impact on my ability to ‘keep on keepin’ on’ in my life as a studio potter. “


Invited Mentor

Linda McFarling

Burnsville, NC

Linda McFarling on inviting artist Joy Tanner: “I have had the pleasure of watching Joy develop as an artist over the past 10 years. She possesses a playful approach to her work. Joy has a good eye for detail and is not afraid to take chances. These qualities keep her work not only stimulating to her but to others as well. I look forward to watching her work grow and develop.�

Linda McFarling has her studio near Burnsville in the mountains of North Carolina. She received a BFA in Painting from Wesleyan College in 1978, and attended Mercer University between 1972-1975. She has an extensive exhibition history, and is known for her functional, atmospheric fired stoneware, with minimal ornament and elegant, gestural beauty. She has taught workshops at Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Crafts, the Clay Art Center, and Georgia State University.


Julie Wiggins

Charlotte, NC

Julie Wiggins on Julie Wiggins: “I am full time studio potter and ceramics instructor and based in Charlotte, NC. My pots are intended for everyday use that dictates a function throughout cultures and time. Born in Jacksonville, NC I have fond memories of warm weather, beautiful beaches and endless fields of farmland. I loved growing up on the east coast and being surrounded by colors of blues and greens along with the easy going southern ways. While at East Carolina University I began my pursuit in Ceramics and earned a BFA in 2001. In 2000, I traveled to Spain and Morocco and was exposed to years of ceramics and history. From there I moved to Charlotte, NC and began teaching and making pots at Clayworks. Throughout my time there I was a studio assistant and manager. In 2005, I received an honorary degree while abroad at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China where I focused on traditional techniques. My studies also include a spring concentration at Penland School of Crafts and various workshops with Linda Christianson, Suze Lindsay, Gu-Mei Chin and Terry Gess. I was also awarded two Regional Artists Grants through the ASC to buy a treadle wheel and pug mill. I am very active in the ceramics community teaching classes to adults and children participating in various symposiums, conferences and exhibiting her work around the country. In the summer of 2010 I moved my studio home where I live with my husband.”

Julie Wiggins on her mentor Suze Lindsay: “I met Suze Lindsay my first time at Penland in 1997 when I was 19. I was immediately taken with her kindness along with her passion and professional pursuit in clay. Suze’s impact on my career has always pushed my work to new boundaries and her support challenges me to make good, mindful work. “


Invited Mentor

Suze Lindsay

Fork Mountain Pottery, Bakersville, NC

Suze Lindsay on inviting artist Julie Wiggins: “As a studio potter, I rarely have the opportunity for a long term “teacher/ student”, relationship, so these years of knowing Julie, observing her commitment and willingness to aspire, have been a gift. Her work has developed in leaps and bounds, and I admire this talented young potter. Not only do we share a love for clay and all its’ qualities, we are both educators, so share that joy of making and teaching. She has become my friend as well as a peer in a profession where I can confidently share opinions and views about one another’s work. Thanks for inviting me to be in this special show!” Suze’s stoneware pots subtlety suggest human figure and character as she manipulates her forms by altering them after they are thrown. Hand built elements , made from slabs, are integrated with thrown parts to create functional forms that have a personality of their own. An integral part of her work includes surface decoration to enhance form by patterning and painting slips and glazes for salt-firing. Her mark-making is strongly influenced by studying historical ceramics from cultures in Japan, Crete, Chile, China, and Native North Americans. The springboard for form and function started with the study of Bernard Leach’s ideas, and continue to feed her interpretation of altered forms that function well. Suze received her MFA from Louisiana State University in 1992, and was an artist in residence at Penland School of Crafts from 1992-1996. She owns and operates Fork Mountain Pottery with her husband and fellow potter, Kent McLaughlin. They live and work in the mountains of western North Carolina.


By Example