I have been in love, and working with clay for thirteen years. It all started in Vermont, where I met this wonderful instructor that taught me clay can take you places you never thought possible. We built a wood fire kiln on a farm and harvested our own clay on site near the riverbed. This is how I started my journey. Now I like to teach in a way that frees people from there mind, and let go and see where the clay will take them. When you are truly present with the clay, it will guide you. Letting go of your limitations. I like to focus on the curves and symmetry of the clay, and teach in a way that helps each person find their individual voice and style through the art of ceramics.
Dustin Barzell is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates colorful and playful ceramics using fresh and improvisational techniques. Dustin draws inspiration from his deep love for improvisational performance and comedy, as well as meditation practices and an exploration of the inner world. Dustin creates under the name CERAMICISM and his work can be found on instagram (@ceramicism) or on his website (ceramicism.football).
I believe that, as a being capable of creating objects, I have an obligation to make as many things as I can.
I first became attracted to pottery as a medium because of how drastically different it was from the other art forms I was practicing. In college, I would labor over a painting for weeks, and very rarely would I get a finished product that was worth all of the effort. Throwing on a pottery wheel is a much more immediate, physical process. Every move that I make takes each individual piece down a path toward a different outcome. No two pieces ever come out exactly the same, so the challenge then becomes to explore every avenue, and see how many different ways I can do the same thing.
I draw inspiration in my forms from the thousands of years of functional pottery behind me. People have been making objects to suit their needs forever. Ceramic objects are ubiquitous in modern life. I love examining things, whether they be decorative vases in a florist, dishes in a friend’s apartment or classical vessels in a museum and mining them for techniques or styles I can use in my own work. I am well aware that everything worth doing has been done before. My goal is to combine as many old techniques as I can to find something new.
Growing up in Iran I was exposed to functional pottery from an early age , and remember at the age of ten visiting a village potter and being in awe; on the spot I knew that I wanted to be a potter! Of course in my time in Iran it was not possible to become a potter for a young girl… Pottery was taught from father to son.
But I kept my dream alive. When I moved to US and realized I could study to be a potter; WOW!!I I made it a mission. Today when I say I am a potter it fills my heart. I studied at Indiana University, Dept. of Fine Arts concentrating in ceramics and metal smithing and started teaching there. Then I realized I was infatuated by the material, process, technique and most of all function. Immersed in clay I participated, traveled, and researched to be more informed and hope to continue learning . Today I am pleased to be able to share my learnings and experiences with students who want to take the clay journey and hope to learn from them and their experiences.
Jory Shareff studied American Studies and Ceramics at a small school in Vermont, where she made ceramic tiles and sculptural pieces using various mold-making and surface treatment techniques. After graduating, she became interested in functional ceramics, particularly inspired by the minimalist, organic forms of artists such as Lucie Rie and Shoji Hamada. Jory has worked as a production potter for a Brooklyn-based ceramicist and as an editorial assistant for the ceramics studio publication, Studio Potter Magazine. Jory is drawn to balanced, lightweight forms and clean lines. She loves making bowls and tea cups, most of all. Jory enjoys helping other students find their own sources of inspiration and guiding them through their processes and methods.
I have been a working artist and performer for the last 12 years after graduating from Montserrat College of Art in coastal Massachusetts. I mostly make functional ceramics and love using bright colors to give stuff a pop. I have done work for restaurants, shops, and galleries as well as sculpture and performance for the outdoor theater space. In this creative life, the one thing I have found in common across mediums is a love for sharing ideas, techniques, and craft. Being educated by other people, knowing other artists, teaching new learners and being vulnerable in not having all the answers has made me a better artist/maker, and hopefully a better human. Here’s to more years of learning.
I love to create unique and functional tableware for the home and garden. I produce functional tabletop items for many local restaurants and shops, and try to bring an artistic sensibility to everything I create. I design work that is inspired by natural, organic forms, melty ice cream colors, and cantaloupes.
Working in clay is a joy, but also a struggle, always daring me to move forward to new possibilites. My ceramics work is a reflection of my background in textile design and painting. While exploring the aesthetic relationship between design and surfaces, I use the clay as a canvas. I strive for simplicity of form to balance the complexity of my paintings. The terra sigilatta process allows me great control over the image while remaining undoubtedly ceramic.
Nadeige Choplet is an exhibiting ceramicist with 10 years teaching experience. She received an MFA from l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a Fulbright Scholarship recipient. She is currently a ceramics and sculpture professor at Lehman College and Manhattanville College and sells her work at galleries all over the United States.
Sabri Ben-Achour has been a potter since a young age, working with clay for more than 20 years. He most recently taught at Hinckley Pottery in Washington, D.C. where he studied under Jill Hinckley. His work reflects Asian aesthetics and organic shapes and textures.
Sarah Hussaini is an architect turned ceramicist, she makes work under the name Not Work Related. Having started with ceramics in high school, her architecture background has pushed her work to explore the boundary between form and function. Her work balances precision and geometric expression with utilitarian form. She makes a series of playful home goods that are sold in New York City and throughout the country.
While pursuing my degree in Art at Hunter’s College in New York, I explored many mediums from photography and video to painting. Then I fell in love with ceramics and have been doing it, teaching it and learning from it ever since.
Ceramics requires both a leap of imagination and patience with process. It is grounded and earthy – using your hands to throw and shape clay, practicing over and over again. It is also a journey in alchemy – the mix of clay, minerals, oxides and heat mingle and transform through contact with each other, often with unexpected and sometimes glorious results. I am drawn to both the functional and the abstract. Through my practice they inform each other and push me to keep trying new things.
When working with clay, I’m often reminded of its simultaneous versatility and many frustrating limitations as a medium. Whether it’s making functional pottery or more sculptural work, I love solving problems to arrive at new shapes and methods. The addition of sand, rocks, and feldspars to my clay helps feed my obsession with texture, creating more tactile and visually striking surfaces. With tools like wire and found pieces of wood, I cut and manipulate my work into odd and unexpected forms. Generally, I am drawn to methods that mimic the random orders of nature, hide evidence of the human touch, and leave a lot to chance.