NCECA Annual Conference

TOPICAL DISCUSSIONS / NCECA CONNECTIONS


“INDEPENDENCE”

2010 NCECA CONNECTIONS
THURSDAY, April 1st
4:30-6:00pm

201 A
Firing with Hydrogen: David Zdrazil
Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, has great potential as a fuel and renewable energy storage medium.  David Zdrazil has been researching and experimenting with hydrogen as a fuel and has successfully fired his ceramic-wares using this material.  Come learn about the process, material, advantages and disadvantages of Firing with Hydrogen, which can lead to potential energy independence.
David Zdrazil is an Associate Faculty Member at the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California.

201 B
T
ime-Based: Activating the Performative Poetics of Ceramics: Abigail Donovan
Time-Based: Activating the Performative Poetics of Ceramics will offer insight into how this ancient and complex material continues to anticipate and catalyze an array of future artistic possibilities.  Investigating ceramic and clay artwork that takes on the dimension and impact of atmosphere/action/performance, group and audience members will be invited to present their own individual artistic practices and experiences.  We will also consider nontraditional art, situations and environments as the group outlines both collective and individual senses of these poetic possibilities.  The discussion will draw upon a rich and varied body of artwork, research and industries.
Abigail Donovan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware.  Recent and Current MFA graduated students participating include:  Genie Huskins, 2009 MFA University of Delaware, Julie Schustack, 2007 MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, Art Johnson, 2009 MFA Rhode Island School of Design, Jacque Liu, 2005 MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, Brandon Boan, 2007 MFA University of Delaware

201 C
Practical Pursuit: Amber Ginsburg and Tara Rochford
Do you have a particular way of starting or ending your studio day?  Teapot or Wall Tile? (pick one) Practical Pursuit: A game that poses questions about how we create, sustain and explore artistic practice. This NCECA Connection takes the form of an open-ended, non-competitive game in which participants answer randomly selected questions about various aspects of artistic practice. Play continues around table until time runs out or players are overcome with fun, whichever comes first.
Practical Pursuit was developed collaboratively between Amber Ginsburg , Artist and Professor, University of Chicago, and Tara Rochford, graduate student, The School for American Craft, Rochester, New York.

202 A
Community College Ceramics Programs: Coming from the Cultural Core of the Community: Rick Malmgren
Join us for a discussion of community college ceramics programs the hidden educational powerhouse that grows directly from the cultural core of each community.  Ideas to be shared and discussed will include: building a strong program, student support through portfolio development and ceramics clubs, developing relationships between life-long learning community students and the community college, advice for those interested in part-time or full-time faculty positions in the community college.
Rick Malmgren is an Associate Professor and Department Chair for  Visual Arts and Humanities at Anne Arundel Community College, Maryland.

202 B
Innovative Classroom Project Ideas: Heather Nameth Bren
Calling educators of all levels!  Self-Portrait Busts with a Chia sprout twist?  Come and share your Innovative Classroom Project Ideas!  Share ideas that meet technical objectives while inviting a spirit of playfulness, creativiness and freshness to our medium that allow students to depart from preconceived notions of clay processes.
Heather Nameth Bren is a 3rd  year Assistant Professor at Northwestern College as well as a practicing Ceramicist.

204 B/C
artist at heart…with a full time-job…: Greta Zakrzewska
Are you an artist with a full-time job in a non-art field?  Are you experiencing a change in location?  Join us for a conversation to encourage and inspire new and existing ceramic and clay lovers to – regardless of what is happening – continue creating!
Great Zakrzewska is an artist and healthcare professional in Chicago, Illinois. 

Sprigging Reinvented: Halldor Hjalmarson
After decades of dormancy, sprigging is emerging again within the field of ceramics and being reinvented.  Come share and exchange ideas with others who have been experimenting and using sprigging in their ceramic works.  Curious?  Come and learn from the experimentation of others!
Halldor Hjalmarson is a studio potter from Phoenix, Arizona, where Hjalmarson Pottery is located.

China Paint: New Directions: Paul Lewing and Marci Blattenberger
China paint is on the brink of a revival, due to new materials, techniques, technology (especially in decals) and imagery. It offers brilliant, consistent color, fast, cheap firings, and subtle painterly effects. For those clay artists who are also painters, it is the perfect medium. Renewed interest in color and imagery allows china paint to take its rightful place in the arsenal of ceramic decorating tools. Paul Lewing, author of China Paint & Overglaze, and Marci Blattenberger, moderator of Porcelain Painters International Online, are your guides to this new/old medium.
Paul Lewing (Seattle, Washington) and Marci Blattenberger (Hendersonville, Tennessee) are both full-time artists.

Ballroom B
 International Study Tours in the Ceramic Arts: Christopher Kelly & Preston Saunders
Join us for a discussion centering on students and professionals who have attended, led or are interested in participating in an International Study Tour and the experiences encountered.  What were the initial perceived outcomes?   How did the study tour affect your artwork and/or your view of other cultures? Share your international study trip experience or ask questions about leading or attending an International Study Tour.
Christopher Kelly, Chair, Department of art at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia, and Preston Saunders, Associate Professor of Art at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, have lead an annual International Study Tours to Exhizen and Kawakawa, Japan for the past 10 years.

The Inside SCOOP on Grad School: Chanda Glendinning
Graduate students Chanda Glendinning, Cristin Zimmer, and Derek Hambly will lead a discussion on all aspects of the grad school process.  They will discuss not only what they did to prepare for graduate school, but also the factors they considered when choosing which schools to apply to, and the choices they made after the applications were in.  Insights on being a graduate student, discussing critiques, classes, teaching, studio space, assistantships, scholarships, program size, and other aspect of graduate school will be shared and discussed.
Chanda Glendinning is in her second year of studies at Kansas State University, Cristin Zimmer attends Utah State University in Salt Lake City and Derek Hambly is a second year grad student at Kent State University in Ohio.

Flash & Ash: Justin Lambert
Firing with wood is often misinterpreted as loading the kiln and hoping for the best. In my experience the best results come about with hard work, commitment, and superb documentation. Photographs, firing logs, weather documentation, stoking patterns, clay body’s, wood type, and kiln design are all intertwined and must work harmoniously to achieve consistent, desirable results. As your work changes, so must the tools you use to produce your work.
Flash and Ash is meant to provide technical information to experienced artists using a wood-burning kiln in a personal studio environment.  Attendees are encouraged to bring information to share, and those interested in the process are welcome to attend and ask questions.
Justin Lambert, Studio Artist and Professor, runs Live Oak Pottery in Jupiter Farms, Florida.

The Challenges with Changing Curriculums: Lucy Breslin
Many colleges and universities are currently in the process of reviewing curriculums. Some of these changes are being initiated by faculty; some are being driven by administration decisions, some are in response to changing technology or pedagogy. NCECA offers the ideal opportunity for faculty from schools around the country to share stories and compare ideas and opinions centering on the changes taking place within curriculums in ceramics departments. Come share the successes and the not so successful curricular developments happening at your school. Find out how other faculty and schools are making decisions and how these decisions are playing out.
Lucy Breslin is an Associate Professor at the Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine.

2010 TOPICAL DISCUSSIONS
FRIDAY, April 2nd 4:30-6:00pm
201 A
Touch and Tactility: Declaring Independence from the Visual Hegemony: Bonnie Kemske
We handle and touch ceramic ware daily, whether it is when we sleepily lean against the bathroom sink to carry out our morning rituals, or take our first sip of hot coffee from our favorite mug. As potters, we take it for granted that ceramics are tactile, but what do we mean by that?
Touch is our most direct, least intellectualized sense. It is the grounding sense, the sense of tangibility that places us in the world. As the full proverb says, “Seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth.” Ceramics have always been handled. As both makers and users we have an innate and intimate familiarity and sensitivity to fired clay, and this provides us with a strong basis on which to challenge the visual hegemony by creating an aesthetic that more fully engages the body’s sense of touch.
Join us for a discussion amongst makers, academics, and others about touch within the ceramic aesthetic.
Bonnie Kemske is an independent ceramic artist, researcher, writer and critic from Cambridge, UK

201 B
Creative Independence in Social Networking: Following the Money!: Carola Jones
Come and learn: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Networks But Were Afraid to Ask, The Nuts & Bolts of Available Resources to Help You Use Social Networking Sites, and Following the Money: Examples of Clay Artists Who Are Doing It.
The goal of this discussion is to create a shared conversation within NCECA around innovative uses of technology that connects students, studio artists, educators, gallerists, collectors and curators. In doing so, Creative Independence in Social Networking, seeks to fuel increased collaboration and integration among clay artists.
Carola Jones is a Mixed Media Studio Artist & Internet Technologies Teacher.  Presently, Jones is a Volunteer, Creative Capital Alumni and past Scholarship Student at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina, and a clay artist at Dan Finch’s Pottery Studio, Bailey, North Carolina.

201 C
‘clay in combination with other materials’: David T. Collins
The aim of this discussion is to explore some of the current trends of the ceramic/mixed media designation by discussing some of the aesthetic, semiotic, sociological, and alchemical implications of clay being combined with other materials.  In addition to the theoretical implications, time will be allotted to talk about the methodological issues involved in actually attaching materials with other than clay properties to clay itself. Among these topics are shrinkage, choosing adhesives, and the devising of effective physical attachments.
David T. Collins is an Assistant Professor at the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia.

202 A
Woodfiring: What We’ve Learned the Past Year: Jack Troy and Kevin Crowe
The proliferation of wood-burning kilns has meant that defining and solving problems connected with the process (clays, kilns, fuels,& firing) are usually accomplished by individuals or small groups, often working in isolation. We will provide a forum for sharing information that will be mutually beneficial to the participants. In addition to technical, process-oriented information, we will share experiences relating to aesthetics, and value-centered issues, such as the challenges and achievement relating to personal expression and individual goals in woodfiring - why we care about what we do and make, and how it affects others.
Jack Troy is a potter, teacher and writer from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.  Kevin Crowe is a studio potter from Amherst, Virginia.

202 B
Independence Through Research: Christie Brown and Clare Twomey
In the current climate of decline of both ceramic education and industry it is imperative that the importance of this discipline and its role in visual culture be understood through the development of research and critical theory in order to build for an independent long-term future.  
At the University of Westminster in London the Ceramics Research Group have successfully seen two practice-based PhD candidates to completion and currently have two others underway.  The research spans the range of ceramic practice including highly technological and scientific research, ceramic art as a vehicle for political debate, the relationship of ceramics to other areas of visual culture in a post-modern context, and the use of clay in body and performance art.
Building on the positive response to the lecture Reflection in Action at NCECA 2009 from enthusiastic attendees, Professor of Ceramics, Christie Brown, and Research Fellow, Clare Twomey, from the University of Westminster, London, would like to welcome you to further debate on this subject to develop a trans-Atlantic discussion which will continue to forge connections between our rich and varied contemporary ceramics contexts and make a serious and exciting contribution to further discourses.

204 B/C
Designing Independence: Disabled Accessible Clay Studio: Robin Gary with Kristen Rovezzi
Learn how to: Plan/fund independent working facilities for clay artists with basic physical challenges, and Improve accessibility to ceramic studios in support of the increasing demand for such accessibility.  Independence is a goal for these participants for multiple reasons: 1) requests for physical assistance can be interruptive to their workflow as well as other participants; 2) requests for physical assistance draws attention to their limitations which can be embarrassing or add to frustration; 3) independent production increases motivation for independence in all areas of living!  Join us to explore the ways in which a Clay Studio can be modified to support accessibility needs!
Robin Gary is a Clay Artist and Teacher.  She runs Robin Gary’s Creative Clay Studio in Plano, Texas.  Kristen Rovezzie is a Clay Artist and student who participates in  studios and classes provided by Plano Parks and Recreation in Plano, Texas.

Keeping Your Hands in Clay: Charting a Career Path in the Arts for Students of All Ages – Job Strategies: Susan Silverman
Beginning artists face frustrations and challenges when preparing for the Arts Professional career. Practical aspects of negotiating a path to success will be shared and discussed.  Learn and share ideas for entering the ceramics community and surviving and thriving within it!
Susan Silverman, a Studio Potter for 25 years and Assistant Professor of 20 years (Franklin Pierce University), along with students, Jason Lamkin and Brigida Mosley, will lead this practical and useful discussion.

Time, Energy and the Digital Firing: Rory MacDonald
How does ceramics, which relies so heavily on the transformation of materials through energy, address the concerns of present day environmentalism? How are questions raised by energy use addressed within contemporary ceramics?  How does a continual move towards integrated technologies in culture and efficiency of time and energy in the studio production impact studio artists?  Bring your ideas for new approaches to the relationship of time and energy the ceramics process as key concepts for future directions in studio ceramics.
Rory MacDonald is presently an Assistant Professor at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Ballroom A
Combating Nature-Deficit with Clay: Anna Wiehe
Today’s youth spends over 40 hours a week inside with electronic devices.  How can clay supplement the lack of natural experiences of today’s youth?  Some recent studies have found that children with limited exposure to nature are more prone to anxiety, depression, and ADHD.  This growing amount of research confirms that the lack of natural experiences, or nature-deficit disorder, a phrase coined by Richard Louv in his book, Last Child in the Woods, is negatively impacting children’s development.
This discussion will explore the ways in which educators can use clay to encourage independent and creative thought in K-12 students through emphasizing its natural properties.  Through the sharing of ceramic lesson ideas and teaching methods, we will discuss natural experience approaches in the art classroom setting as well as outside the classroom that will allow our students to develop vital critical-thinking skills and creativity.
Anna Wiehe is currently an Art Teacher at Northview Elementary in Manhattan, Kansas.

Criticism: Smoke or Fire?: Ted Adler
NCECA’s upcoming symposium on criticism seems to indicate an overwhelming interest in the topic, but why do we need a symposium for it? How can the individual maker benefit from engaging critical perspectives? What is the role of criticism in education? This Topical Discussion group will consider the underlying purpose of the CRITICAL: Santa Fe Symposium, as well as broader issues in the fields of ceramics and criticism and their relationships to critical interpretation and judgment. Focused conversations will provide a forum for the exchange of independent ideas and information that will broaden the horizons of students, teachers, artists, arts professionals, and appreciators of ceramic art. The critical and critical-curious alike are welcome to contribute their thoughts on criticism and critical thinking.
Ted Adler is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas.

Strategic Update: Strategic Planning Committee Member
Are you interested in the future of NCECA?  Join us for an Update on the Strategic Planning process of NCECA!  Bring your comments and questions to share.
This session will be led by one of the members of the Strategic Planning Committee for NCECA.

Ballroom B
Ceramics as Bridge: Collaborations & Connections: Valerie Zimany & Daniel Bare
This Topical Discussion will assemble a repertoire of concepts and approaches for teaching Ceramics in collaboration with other disciplines at the undergraduate level. Our interests focus on innovative practices, challenges and successes in bringing together Ceramics with East Asian Studies.  Additional cooperative methods (such as with Economics, Political Science, and Anthropology) are sought and encouraged for discussion.
NCECA members Valerie Zimany (Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin), Daniel Bare (Grand Valley State University), & Lynn Chytilo (Albion College) were recent presenters at the Freeman Foundation sponsored colloquium, Bringing Asian Arts and Material Culture into the Undergraduate Curriculum, held at Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin.

Why Don’t We Just Use Your Space for Computers?: Kate Missett
Surviving as an independent arts program within a larger institution poses unique problems particularly in this financially challenged time. Whether one is working with a settlement house, a YMCA, or a private organization, many of the same problems exist. Dedicated space, program costs, escalating tuitions, an often aging population and non supportive administrations can present constant challenges to those of us who would rather just focus on making art. In this discussion we will discuss the challenges and share ideas that have worked in keeping our programs growing and vital through difficult times. Strategies as varied as creating fundraising events for your parent organization, sharing space for specific groups, developing online marketing techniques, focusing on targeted grants, creating a membership base, cross promoting other services within your organization, and collaborating with other arts organizations in your area may be useful. Let's get together and discuss what has worked in preserving the independence and integrity of our programs while maintaining the support of our parent organizations.
Kate Missett is a Ceramics professor and Visual Arts Director for West Side YMCA, NYC.

Table-Where: Alternative Exhibitions for Emerging Potters: Jana Evans, Christian Tonsgard and Candace Ring
As a student, or someone new to exhibiting, it can be difficult to break into traditional exhibition spaces. Economy and current art trends call for creativity and a need to find alternative venues and a re-thinking of the traditional gallery space. As a result, young artist are creating methods to reach and educate new audiences. This discussion introduces artists with imaginative ideas of reaching new audiences and reviving the perception of contemporary pottery.
This discussion will start with brief introductions to exhibitions presented outside of the typical gallery experience, previously and currently at NCECA 2010. Then discussion will open up for comments, critical thinking and brainstorming new ideas of expanding exhibition opportunities for the ceramic arts.
Jana Evans is currently a graduate student at Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona) and a collaborative creator of the Exhibition Series: a la cARTe and Potluck.  Candace Ring is a Canadian functional ceramist currently pursuing her MFA at Arizona State University. Christian Tonsgard lives in Rhode Island as a studio potter and is a collaborative creator of the Exhibition Series: a la cARTe.

Anagama: Cutting the Umbilical Cord, Breaking from Tradition:  Eileen Sackman and Lynn Anne Verbeck
Considering how wide spread the process of Anagama firing has become in America, do we start to form our own traditions within the firing method or do we hold on to the Japanese style and aesthetic?
Going against tradition, some artists have been building a single chambered kiln with a flat floor, or constructing a box kiln. The placement of ash, glazes, and slips before the firing begins, and the use of salt or soda ash are all different ways to obtain a wood fired surface similar to that of the Japanese style.  In this roundtable discussion we will compare eastern vs. western styles of firing and attempt to understand a new amalgamation of the process.
Eileen Sackman and Lynn Anne Verbeck are graduate students at SUNY-New Paltz.