NCECA Annual Conference

NCECA 2012 Projects Space Artists

NCECA Projects Space: On the Edge

From an international pool, 4 individual and two collaborative artist teams six whose conceptual and material conversation takes them beyond the confines of their kiln were selected by 2012 Projects Space Coordinator Marianne McGrath and NCECA Exhibitions Director Linda Ganstrom. Each artist will be provided a raw space and a stipend to present a live on-site specific installation or performance-based artwork that explores the 2012 Conference theme, On the Edge. Projects Space is intended to act as a platform for experimental and innovative work that stretches the confines of the contemporary ceramic field.

We are pleased to announce that the following individuals (or groups) will be presenting at the 2012 Conference in Seattle:

Click on each name to view a sample of their work.

Vlad Basarab

I propose to build a space in the shape of the letter U made out of 2x6' lumber covered with burlap. The self-supported enclosed structure will be 9-foot wide by 10-foot deep and 8 foot high. From the furthest point to the front of the enclosed space there will be rows of strings stretched from one side to the other on which I will hang individual pages of books that have been coated with kaolin slip. The remainder of the space will only have a ceiling made out of canvas to keep the light from coming in. This space will house the projector and the desk. The performance and video projection will take place mainly inside the space enclosed by the three walls. Walls will have some transparency so people can peek in from the sides. I will arrange to have an assistant to help me build the space. I will bring tools and some supplies and rent or buy the remaining. Besides being an artist, I have worked in construction for 14 years and I have been a contractor for 8 years and owner of Artistic Homes, remodeling contractor in Anchorage Alaska, so building walls and carefully protecting public property will not be something new for me.

Elle Brande

Day I: The raw earth and tools to break, separate, and sieve it will be in place at the beginning of the day. I will proceed to dismantle it until it is completely broken apart or half the day has elapsed. Then I will move to processing the clay. I will use mostly water to break it down so that silica dust is not a problem. It will end up as slurry and small chunks in uniform plastic containers. At the conclusion of the day the containers of slurry will be moved to the second table in preparation for the next day

Day II: I will bring in any new tools necessary and containers of craft miscellany and found objects. The slurry will be ready to use. I will proceed to combine the clay and raw materials for the duration of the day. This process can be time consuming and detail oriented so it is best to allot more time. At the conclusion of the day the created specimens will remain on the table.

Day III: I will bring in fired specimens and tools for cleaning. These will be placed on the third table. I will periodically separate them out, clean, and group them. I will continuously bring out more and repeat the process. The more objects on the table the longer categorizing and organizing takes so this will also take a full day.

The Brick Factory (Summer Zickefoose, Nicole Burisch, Tom Myers, and Erik Scollon)

Brick Factory will present an interactive performance art lab in the project space. Over three days, this ceramics-based performance collective will stage their own original works live at posted times. In the interim periods, the collective will assist others to stage or create performances of their own.
Brick Factory is a performance art collective consisting of four artists, Nicole Burisch, Tom Myers, Erik Scollon, and Summer Zickefoose, who collaborate to create original performances and reenactments of well-known or historical performance art works, utilizing clay as a primary material and/or theme. Individually, the artists’ practices span the disciplines of curating, writing, historical research, ceramics, sculpture, installation, video and performance art. The group developed out of the Actions + Material, a Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts residency, in the summer of 2011. This residency brought together artists with an interest in the practice and theory surrounding the use of performance in conjunction with a traditional craft medium. This shared interest in ceramics and performance art prompted collaborations throughout the residency, which eventually led to the formation of Brick Factory.

Jessica Knapp and Adrian French

Clouds collect and disperse and are both ephemeral and physical. Cloud Patterns translates a cloud shape into a steel and porcelain structure. The function of a cloud is re-imagined as part of the culture cycle, collecting and dispersing cascading patterns of porcelain flowers. Four initial patterns expand to seven and honor cultures important to Seattle's development.

The cloud is 8 feet in length, and roughly 5 feet wide and 3 feet tall. The armature is constructed out of steel and aluminum sheet, rod and wire. It hangs 10 feet above the ground, supported by four interconnected aluminum and steel posts that essentially form a cube. White porcelain flowers cover much of the surface of the steel armature. Trailing thread-like wires support different colored porcelain flowers that extend from the cloud to the floor. These threads are arranged into four planes, roughly facing north, west, east and south. Each side will have a different pattern of trailing flowers. Visitors can walk around the form to see the different, and changing patterns made by the flowers, and patterns on each side will influence and intermingle with those visible behind them (on the opposite side). One side will be adapted each day by adding, subtracting, and changing the position of the flowers so that by Friday, the finished piece contains an amalgamation of all seven patterns.

Repetitive Play (Merrick Anderson, Broc Toft, Colin Klimesh)

Repetitive Play is a collaborative group composed of Merrick Anderson, Broc Toft, and Colin Klimesh. Our goal is to be playful and ambitious. Our intent is to use ceramic materials and processes to combine playful and simple forms. We fuse our mutual interest in form, line, geometry, technique and the ceramic process in an attempt to activate space and engage the viewer. We will be using our materials to construct an urban map-like floor based composition.

We work to fill a space and challenge ourselves in a different way from anything we've done before.


NCECA would like to acknowledge their deep appreciation of Marianne C. McGrath for her volunteer service as the Projects Space Coordinator.  Her expertise and dedication in organizing and implementing this project is greatly valued.

I enjoy the variety of Keynote speakers! The connections they make between ceramics and their fields/professions are beneficial for all. David Suzuki was FANTASTIC!
— 2006 Portland conference attendee