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Juried by Sandy Simon

© 2012 Lillstreet Art Center 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL 60640 Artwork © the artists. Text © Rachel Sampson. Photographs by Joe Tighe Photography. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, or by any electronic or mechanical means, without permission in writing from Lillstreet Art Center. Cover: Jon Glabus, Woodfired Plate, 2012, Best in Show

Top left to right: Jon Glabus, Best in Show; Megan Mitchell, 2nd Prize; Missy McCormick, Honorable Mention


by Sandy Simon

You may notice the preponderance of

viewer or user can feel an affinity with

wood fired work in this show. There

the clay. If interfacing with food isn’t

were many entries in this area. I am also

the intent of the maker, that’s OK, yet,

drawn to it. Because surface decoration

I believe a plate should be an invitation

can be challenging, I recognize that

to come closer, or to “invite use” either

many potters use wood fire as a crutch;

visually, or tactilely.

therefore the “luck of the fire” plays an

ultra important role. Consistent good

a little bit like jurying a painting show,

results, however, require knowledge and

in that one can’t see the dimensions, or

skill as well as an intimate relationship

the “line” quality of the surface, or feel

with the kiln. I may have dis-allowed an

the weight. Yet, all of these elements

entry that was “good” yet, as only one

are important to a plate. A good

entry, it was unknown to me whether it

plate can affect the feeling in a room

was luck or skill.

or enhance the food that is served

on it. For me, a good plate offers a

Color or texture which screams

Jurying a plate show by slides is

“look at me” isn’t what grabs me.

collaboration and is not, in and of itself,

Subtlety of surface and strength of

an installation.

form align best with my sensibilities. I welcome a quiet approach, where the

Sandy Simon is a potter and owner of TRAX ceramic gallery in Berkeley, California.


by Rachel Sampson

Creating the “perfect plate” is no easy

This fifth annual Lillstreet

feat. The potter needs to measure,

International, “The Perfect Plate”

throw, trim, and glaze their piece in

showcases 43 pieces from 32 North

a very precise and technical manner

American artists. Their works,

or it will inevitably crack, warp, or

selected by juror Sandy Simon,

deform in the firing process. But

contain a subtlety and strength of

more importantly, in pursuit of the

form that creates a unique bond

perfect plate, the artist must meld

between the object and the viewer.

together the qualities of function

The juror makes the significance of

and form to create an object that has

this kind of engagement clear when

deep historical and cultural roots.

she states, “. . . I believe a plate should

The perfect plate must recall upon

be an invitation to come closer, or to

our shared past and unite it with the

‘invite use’ either visually or tactilely.”

rituals of our daily lives to inspire, nourish, and engage us with our surroundings.

While the show’s works all share this

Overall, though they vary in approach,

subtle and inviting nature, they do

shape, and surface design, all the

maintain their own distinctions. For

plates in the exhibition achieve a

example, the wood-fired works reflect

quiet complexity and through careful

a more historical and traditional

study, evolve in front of viewers’

approach that encompass a ritual of

eyes. “The Perfect Plate” gives us a

firing cycles and masterful techniques

range of works to reflect upon on and

that have been practiced by artists

challenges us to think about our own

over the centuries. Other more

criteria for perfection and how an

contemporary pieces, meanwhile,

artist’s skill and creativity can impact

show how artists add to the canon of

our daily lives.

traditional techniques and create new kinds of surface design through the use of inventive glazing, printmaking, decals, and low-firing methods.

Rachel Sampson holds a B.A. from Wittenberg University and an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago. She is an intern at Lillstreet Gallery.

W O R K S A R E P I C T U R E D in alphabetical order by artist name. See back of catalogue for biographies. To inquire about availability or to purchase, please email

Michael Ashley Dessert Plates, 2012 Stoneware: Wood/Soda Fired 7 inches round

Noel Bailey Plate Set, 2012 Porcelain: Cone 10 reduction 10 and 6 inches round

Mariana Baquero Small Plate with Flower and Small Yellow and Blue Plate, 2012 Porcelain: Cone 6 Electric 7 inches round

Amanda Barr “Down the Rabbit Hole,� 2012 Porcelain: Electric 17 x 13 x 5 inches

Clinton Berry Plate Set--Wallpaper Series, 2012 Porcelain: Cone 9 Reduction 10 and 8 inches square

Elise Delfield Green Plate, 2012 Red Clay: Cone 4 Electric 10.25 inches round

Nick DeVries Green Snack Plates, 2012 White Stoneware: Cone 6 Electric 6.5 inches square

Mike Gesiakowski Squared Plate, 2012 Red Stoneware: Wood Fired 7.5 x 7.5 inches square

Sandwich Plate, 2012 Red Stoneware: Wood Fired 7 x 7 inches square


Jon Glabus Plates, 2012 B-Mix: Wood Fired 8 inches round

Mel Griffin Suspicious Birds Dinner Plate, 2012 Earthenware: Electric 11 inches round

White Boar Snack Plate, 2012 Earthenware: Electric 9 inches round

Mirror Drawings, 2012 Graphite and Water Color on Board 6 x 6 inches

Sangeet Gupta Large Wood Fired Plate, 2012 Stoneware: Wood/Salt Fired 17 inches round

Todd Hayes Lunch Plates, 2012 Earthenware: Cone 1 Electric 10.5 inches square

Anna Calluori Holcombe Natura Vita V-2, 2012 Commercial Plate, Laser and Vintage Decals: Cone 018 Electric 4.5 inches square

Tom Jaszczak Dinner Plate, 2012 Red Earthenware: Soda Fired/Cone 4 10 inches round

Red Lunch Plate, 2012 Red Earthenware: Cone 01 7 inches round

Green Lunch Plate, 2012 Red Earthenware: Cone 3 7 inches round

Jay Jensen Crow Platter, 2012 Earthenware: Oxidation 18 x 18 inches

Jake Johnson Dinner Plates, 2012 White Stoneware: Reduction 9 inches round

Kristen Kieffer Large Plate, 2012 Porcelain: Cone 7 Oxidation 10 inches round

Small Plate, 2012 Porcelain: Cone 7 Oxidation 7.25 inches round

Lucien M. Koonce Sushi Plate, 2011 Stoneware: Wood Fired in Anagama Kiln 6.75 x 6.25 inches

Sushi Plate, 2011 Stoneware: Wood Fired in Anagama Kiln 6.5 x 6.25 inches

Justin Lambert Dinner Plates, 2012 Stoneware: 3 Day Anagama Wood Fired 10 inches round

Melissa Lee

African Daisy Salad Plate, 2012 Lowfire, Slipcast, Underglaze, Glaze, Decal and Luster 4.5 inches round


Missy McCormick Serving Plate, 2011 Earthenware: Electric 12 inches round


Serving Plate, 2011 Earthenware: Electric 10 inches round


Megan Mitchell Inflated Plates, 2012 Porcelain: Cone 9 Reduction 11 x 8 x 2 inches


Megan Mitchell Plate, 2012 Stoneware: Cone 9 Salt Fired 11 inches round

CJ Niehaus Proteus Flume, 2012 Porcelain with Pencil: Electric 11.5 inches round

Study in Line, 2010 Graphite on Vellum 12 x 18 inches

Bob Pool Hibiscus Platter, 2011 Stoneware: Cone 10 Reduction 18.75 inches round

Justin Rothshank Poppy Plate, 2012 Earthenware with Decals: Electric 12 inches round

Jan Schachter Slab Plate, 2011 Stoneware: Cone 10 Gas Fired 16.25 x 12.5

Aaron Sober Dinner Plate, 2011 Stoneware: Salt Fired 10 inches round

Kyla Strid “Masquerats,” 2012 Porcelain: Cone 10 Oxidation + Luster 7 inches round

Marjorie Wade Plate with Shell Decoration, 2011 Porcelain: Cone 10 Wood Fired in Anagama Kiln 5.75 inches round

Derek Walter Celadon Plate, 2012 Porcelain: Oxidation 10 x 8 inches

Study in Line, 2010 Graphite on Vellum 12 x 18 inches

Ai Yamamoto Squared Plate/Wave Pattern, 2010 Porcelain: Cone 5 and 6 Oxidation 12.5 inches square

Adam Yungbluth Orange Plate, 2012 Stoneware: Cone 11 Soda 8 x 12 inches

A RT I S T B I O G R A P H I E S Michael Ashley (Almond, NY)

and raised in Southwest Colorado and is

up on a farm in Green County MO,

passionate about exploring the outdoors

where he explored the rivers and

on mountains, cliffs, and rivers. These

streams of the Ozark Mountains. He

environments influence and inspire his

graduated from College of the Ozarks

work and life.

with a BA in Painting and Ceramics then moved to Tachi, Taiwan where he did

Mariana Baquero (New Haven, CT) was

a one-year pottery residency at Tainan

a corporate lawyer until she discovered

National University for the Arts. In 2010

the pleasures of working with clay. She

he graduated from the University of

is currently a Post-Baccalaureate student

Mississippi with an MFA in Ceramics. He

at the University of Florida. Mariana uses

is currently an Adjunct Professor in the

screen printing and laser toner decals

New York State College of Ceramics at

to layer words and images from her

Alfred University and maintains a studio

family’s history, such as old postcards,

in Almond, New York.

love letters and photographs, with colorful underglaze decals and glazes to

Noel Bailey (Montrose, CO) is a

create surfaces that entice the viewer to

utilitarian potter and teacher, having

interact with the object.

recently concluded his Masters of Fine Art degree at Southern Illinois

Amanda Barr (Ames, IA) received a BA

University Carbondale. He received his

and MA in Spanish Literature before

BA in Art Education from the University

turning full time to ceramics. She

of Northern Colorado. Noel was born

currently teaches at Des Moines Area

Community College and works out of her International Academy of Art and personal studio in Ames, Iowa. Amanda

exhibits around the world. Her recent

works with simple porcelain forms and

work depends on the use of current

decorates them with underglaze and

technologies for form and imagery.

block printing patterns and text. Elise Willa Pincu Delfield (Bryson City, After graduate school Clinton Berry

NC) is a studio potter and ceramics

(Ferguson, MO) moved to New York City

instructor in Bryson City, North Carolina.

where he completed an apprenticeship

She received her B.A. In Liberal Arts with

and served as a studio assistant all the

a concentration in Ceramic Arts from the

while working in the gallery. After nine

University of Florida in 1996. From there

years, life’s twists and turns brought him

she continued to develop her pottery

back home to Missouri where he landed

at Eastern Kentucky University, Penland

in St. Louis. Clinton shares studio space

School of Arts and Crafts, Cleveland

at St. Louis Craft Alliance firing the soda

Institute of Arts, Edinboro University of

kiln with a group of talented, amazing

Pennsylvania, and the University of Miami.

potters. Nick DeVries (Minneapolis, MN) received Anna Calluori Holcombe (Gainesville,

a BA in Art with an emphasis in ceramics

FL) received an MFA in Ceramics from

and painting from St. Johns University

Louisiana State University, Baton

in Collegeville, MN. He works out of a

Rouge, in 1977 after receiving a BA in

studio in the Arts District in Northeast

Art Education from Montclair State

Minneapolis, MN. Nick’s current line of

University, NJ, in 1974. She is a Professor

functional white stoneware explores subtle

of Ceramics at the University of Florida,

textures and surfaces, and seeks a balance

Gainesville. She is a member of the

between tight forms and looser edges.

Mike Gesiakowski (Shawano, WI) is a

Mel Griffin (Helena, MT) received her BA

native of Chicago, growing up on the

from Carleton College in 2001 and her

city’s south side. His neighborhood was

MFA from the University of Minnesota

a mix of blue-collar residential homes

in 2011. She is currently the 2012-13 Taunt

and industrial factory grounds. This

Fellow at the Archie Bray Foundation for

environment has influenced his current

Ceramic Arts in Helena, MT. She enjoys

body of work. He attended Northern

making art, spending time with animals,

Illinois University where he graduated

and engaging with the natural world.

with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He spent a year and a half as an apprentice to Simon

Sangeet Gupta (Chicago, IL) works as an

Levin at Mill Creek Pottery in Gresham,

engineer and ceramic artist in Chicago.

WI. Mike is currently in the ceramics

His pieces are primarily wood fired

graduate program at Southern Illinois

stoneware, with forms and surfaces that

University at Edwardsville.

are complimented by the movement of the fire around them. Sangeet feels

Since receiving his AFA from College

that working with his hands in clay, being

of DuPage, Jon Glabus (Lombard, IL)

surrounded by nature while firing wood

continues to pursue independent

kilns, and the wood firing process itself

studies, while working as the Ceramics

provide a perfect balance to city life and

Lab Assistant at Waubonsee Community

crunching numbers for the man.

College. He enhances the gestural quality of clay through wood firing. This

Todd Hayes (Logan, UT) currently lives

process allows the flame and molten ash

and works in Logan, Utah where he is the

to add wisps of color across the surface

Ceramic Studio Coordinator and Adjunct

of the pots, giving the viewer insight into

Faculty Member at Utah State University.

the pots creation.

Prior to his position at USU, he was the

Studio Technician and Associate Faculty

Community College in Inver Grove

Member at Collin College in Plano Texas.

Heights, MN. He lives and maintains a

Todd earned his MFA from Wichita State

studio in rural River Falls, WI where he

University and BFA from Utah State

lives with his wife and potter Wendy

University. His work has been exhibited

Olson and his two sons. His work is

throughout the United States.

functional handbuilt earthenware. Jay works with computers to design the

Tom Jaszczak (Hopkins, MN) holds

forms and surfaces while still valuing the

degrees in biology and in visual art from

importance of the handmade.

Bemidji State University. He studied at Oxford University and served as a studio

Jake Johnson (Spring Mills, PA) received

assistant at the Penland School of Crafts

an MFA in ceramics from Penn State

in North Carolina. In 2011, the artist

University and a BS in sculpture from

received a Jerome Foundation projects

Bradley University. He lives and works

grant and an Artist Initiative Grant from

at his home studio in Potters Mills, PA.

the Minnesota State Arts Board. He was

Jake draws inspiration for his forms and

a summer resident at the Archie Bray

surfaces from nature and seeks to convey

Foundation, and is slated to return to the

that sense of animation and energy

Montana institution in 2012.

through his work.

Jay Jensen (River Falls, WI) received a

Kristen Kieffer (Baldwinville, MA) is

BS from the University of Wisconsin-

a full-time studio potter, workshop

River Falls in Liberal Arts in 1991 and an

leader, and ceramics instructor in

MFA from the University of Minnesota-

Massachusetts. She received her BFA

Twin Cities in Ceramics in 2005. He

from the N.Y.S.C.C. at Alfred University

teaches ceramics and art at Inver Hills

and MFA from Ohio University. Kristen

has work in numerous public and private

often. In addition to holding the Chair

collections, has exhibited her work

of Ceramics position at the Lighthouse

internationally in juried and invitational

ArtCenter, he also maintains an

exhibitions, as well as taught workshops

apprentice program. His investigation

around the country at craft centers and

into reduction cooling high alumina clay


bodies provides an exciting, new palette of color and texture.

Lucien M. Koonce (Haydenville, MA) was born in Greenville, NC. He studied

Melissa Lee Yungbluth (St. Petersburg,

ceramics at East Carolina University (BFA) FL) resides with her ceramist husband and the University of Iowa (MFA). He

Adam and two pugs: Alien and Sassafras.

maintained a studio in North Carolina

She grew up in New Orleans, a city filled

until moving to western Massachusetts

with the arts and knew she wanted to be

several years ago. Predominantly wood

an artist since she was a child. Melissa

firing with Chris Gustin, and Jeff Shapiro,

earned a BFA in Ceramics and Graphic

his forms demonstrate his interest in

Design from the University of Louisiana

Japanese aesthetics. His pieces are cut

at Monroe, and the moved on to earn an

and, if containers, hollowed out (kurinuki

MFA from the University of Mississippi,

technique) from solid clay.

or lovingly referred to as Ole Miss, in Printmaking. Over the years she has

Justin Lambert (Jupiter, FL) received his

found a way of incorporating all three

BFA from Florida Atlantic University,

disciplines into her work. When Melissa is

and his MFA from Indiana University.

not making pottery she works full time as

He currently resides in Jupiter, FL

the Assistant Curator of Exhibitions at the

where he maintains a home studio,

Morean Arts Center.

and fires his small teardrop anagama

Missy McCormick (Poland, OH) received

CJ Niehaus (Carbondale, IL) received

an MFA from the University of Florida

her BA at Xavier University and is in her

in Gainesville and a BFA from Georgia

final year of an MFA Ceramics program at

Southern University in Statesboro,

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale.

GA. Missy just accepted a position at

A working potter for over 20 years,

Youngstown State University where

she returned to school to delve more

she is an Assistant Professor in the

deeply into her psyche and the earthen

Department of Art. In 2008 her work

materials to express various aspects,

transitioned to low-fire earthenware

consequences and history of humanity.

after over 10 years working with soda-

CJ juxtaposes natural and synthetic

firing and wood-firing stoneware. She

images to create such conversations.

is heavily influenced by the space and detailed patterns in Persian miniature

Bob Pool (Berkeley, CA) is a self-

paintings and Asian floral patterns.

taught potter. His studio is in Berkeley, California. His pots are generally

Originally from New Hampshire, Megan

wheelthrown and fired in a gas kiln to

Mitchell (Logan, UT) holds a BA in

cone 10-11 (2350F). His forms and glaze

studio art from Carleton College, in

patterns are inspired by Asian and

Northfield, Minnesota. In May 2012,

African art and by the natural world.

she earned her MFA in ceramics from Utah State University, and was named

Justin Rothshank (Goshen, IN) is a

USU’s Graduate Researcher of the Year.

studio ceramic artist working in Goshen,

Her work is inspired by the intersection

Indiana. In 2001 he co-founded the

between interior and exterior spaces. In

Union Project, a nonprofit organization

September, Megan will begin a yearlong

located in Pittsburgh, PA. He has worked

residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center.

as a full time studio artist since 2008.

Justin’s work is exhibited in galleries

Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston),

and museum shops around the country

Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts

and has been featured in numerous

(ME); and Grand Hand Gallery (St. Paul).

publications around the world.

He was recently featured in Studio Potter magazine and is a former Penland School

Jan Schachter (Portola Valley, CA)

of Crafts Core Fellow.

has been called a ‘potter’s’ potter. She makes tableware for everyday use; each

Kyla Strid (Athens, OH) graduated with

is a subtle variation of a form - usually

a BFA in ceramics from the University

created in a series. She is a perfectionist

of Alaska Anchorage in 2007. Upon

(as much as the process allows) and is

graduating she adopted a nomadic

constantly searching for surface, color

lifestyle, crossing the country to work

and form that will breathe life and vitality

at Alfred University, the University of

into her pots and delight their users. Her

Nebraska-Lincoln, the Clay Studio of

work offers both a simple background

Missoula, Red Lodge Clay Center, and

for the presentation of food and a lovely

with Andy Brayman in Kansas City. She

object to adorn a home.

is currently making pots, drawing, and working on an MFA at Ohio University.

Aaron Sober (Lincoln, NE) is a studio artist and current MFA candidate

Marjorie Wade (Stillwater, MN) is a

at University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

studio potter from Stillwater, Minnesota.

The recipient of an American Craft

She has taken numerous clay classes,

Exposition Emerging Artist award he

programs and workshops including

has exhibited at: AKAR Gallery (IA),

extensive studies in ceramics at the

Baltimore Clayworks, Schaller Gallery

University of Wisconsin River Falls.

(MI), Carbondale Clay Center (CO),

Marjorie uses different clays and firing

methods allowing the elements of spirit

have been carefully preserved within

–earth, water, fire and air–to affect each

Japanese culture. Her style features slip

piece individually. She is influenced by

decoration applied by hand to thrown or

the pottery and artifacts from primitive

hand-built pottery.

cultures, particularly those of Africa and prehistoric Japan.

Adam Yungbluth (St. Petersburg, FL) holds BFA in Ceramics from Miami University

Derek Walter (Merrillville, IN) received

of Ohio and a MFA in Ceramics from

his BA from California State University,

The University of Mississippi. He has

Sacramento and an MFA from The School

been showing his art work in national

of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is

exhibitions including Strictly Functional,

currently an Assistant Professor at Indiana

Salt & Soda National and the Ceramics

University Northwest in Gary, Indiana.

Biannual 2008. His most recent solo

Derek taught throwing here at Lill Street

exhibition was “Sweet Shenanigans,” a

Art Center in the early 2000’s. He throws,

thesis show that fulfilled the requirements

hand-builds and slip casts as well as

for his terminal degree. - Adam and

performance art using his ceramics.

business partner Matt Schiemann purchased St. Petersburg Clay Company

Ai Yamamoto (Okemos, MI) received a

(SPCC) in October 2010. It is their goal to

BFA in craft from the University of The

maintain the working structure of SPCC

Arts in Philadelphia and studied Post

and work towards improving on both a

Baccalaureate Program at Michigan State

local and national level.

University. She works at her home studio in Michigan. She was born in Hiroshima, Japan and is inspired by traditional patterns in Japanese arts and crafts that

The Perfect Plate  

Juror Sandy Simon selected 32 artists for inclusion in "The Perfect Plate," the 5th annual Lillstreet International exhibition, open to subm...

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