make sure to check out Critical Function @ NCECA

In 2018, Alex Kraft and Melanie Shaw produced Critical Function, a stunning exhibition for the Pittsburg NCECA. Four internationally recognized critics and curators: Gail M. Brown, Janet Koplos, Paul Mathieu, and Anthony Merino each selected ten functional artists, whose work they admired. The exhibition engaged artists, students, collectors, and educators equally; making for a critical and commercial success. For 2020, Kraft and Shaw have kept the essential framework but reworked the selected guest jurors to reflect the NCECA theme: multiVAlent: clay, mindfulness, and memory. Bernadette and Neil Mansfield, Jill Foote-Hutton, Carole Epp, and Garth Johnson agreed to contribute their expertise and experience to this endeavor.

In the last 40 years there has been a continued pattern of exponential growth of engagement in the field of ceramic art. Without question, all four jurors have played important and mindful roles in promoting contemporary ceramics. Taking the main theme of multiVAlent into consideration—one characteristic connecting this diverse jury is the following: each person meaningfully expands the way ceramics are examined and promoted locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Each of the jurors pioneered new ways to promote ceramic art and ceramic artists. Bernadette and Neil Mansfield edit Ceramics: Art and Perception and Yarrobil, continuing Janet Mansfield’s vision of producing truly international ceramic journals. Jill Foote-Hutton, a maker in her own right, is Editor of The Studio Potter. She promotes social craft practice through,, and created the MJ Wood Residency as well as an Artists as Writer’s Residency at Red Lodge Clay. Carole Epp compiles the well-known Musing About Mud blog and Instagram feed, created to promote Canadian ceramic artists, and is an internationally celebrated artist ( Garth Johnson is the Curator of Ceramics at the Everson Museum with writing contributions such as the blog and 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse. All were early pioneers in the use of social media and the world wide web to promote ceramics. Each juror carries forward a personal mission that promotes contemporary ceramics through community-oriented educational outreach. They inform their audience of current practice in relation to historical tradition and technical memory in the field of ceramics.

As with the first iteration of the exhibition, none of the jurors were given directions as to how they should make their selections. The only restrictions placed were not to include any of the artists who took part in the 2018 exhibition, and to consider their own interpretation of “functional ceramics” in their decisions. Critical Function 2 takes the memory of the previous exhibition forward in this exciting new iteration.

NCECA Concurrent exhibition. Sponsored by Visual Arts Center, 1812 W Main St, Richmond, Virginia 23220

Exhibition dates: March 23 to 28, 2020



upcoming workshop: Web Presence for Artists with Carole Epp

I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be in Ottawa this May teaching! Really hope you can join me at this incredible clay studio for an evening of talking online presence and social media.

May 21st, 2020 from 6pm – 9pm.

Reg price of $75. Early Bird registration fee: $60 (Early Bird sale ends March 31st.)

LOAM will have the pleasure to welcome Carole Epp to the studio for a Master Class like no other.

Want to effectively use the internet to drive your career in the arts? Then this workshop is for you! Carole will teach you how to map out and establish an online presence that is both efficient and effective for creatives. We’ll begin with the solid foundation of a portfolio based website that anyone can build and then expand to include a number of social media sites and how to maintain and optimize them. This workshop covers content development, context concerns and considerations, and how to focus your time and energy spent online. We’ll also spend some time introducing fun apps that make branding and content creation fun and engaging. Course is open to artists with all levels of experiences.

Expect to come away with new insight into:

  Branding, website development, and design.
  Different social media platforms for creatives.
  Effective and efficient approaches to content development.
  How to set up a realistic plan for consistency.
  Easy to use Apps to solidify your branding across web platforms.
  Building your audience and community through active contribution.

Participants are encouraged to submit their current website and social media links prior to the workshop in order to receive specific feedback on their current practices. Existing website and social media links are however not a requirement.

Contact LOAM to register.

Also happening in Ottawa starting the next day is the NEW CLAY CONFERENCE – why not make it a full weekend of ceramics and the art of business?

Find out more about New Clay Conference HERE.



Vases are people too, and a few spots left in a workshop with Sue Tirrell

Recently I had the upmost pleasure to chat with Megan Black from the Canadian Craft Federation and Benjamin Kikkert, internationally known glass artist, on the Citizens of Craft Podcast. Join us for a listen as we talk about the makers behind the objects and so much more! This is the final episode in an amazing series of podcasts. Oh and if you haven’t gotten addicted yet to the Netflix series Blown Away – I suggest you go binge watch that one. Benjamin is on the show and creates so absolutely amazing work. I’ve only had the pleasure of working in a glass hot shop once in my life up in Whitehorse at Lumel Studios (totally worth the trip!), and can attest to how difficult glass work is. I’m always fascinated to watch artists work under pressure and time constraints so Blown Away is super addictive TV.

And I’ve just gotten word that there are only a few spots left in a workshop I have the honor of co-presenting with the incredibly talented Sue Tirrell (enter all the fan girl squeals here!). We’re going to be having a blast at the Archie Bray this September and I’d love to have you join us for this workshop!

Find out more here on the Archie Bray website and I’ll hopefully see you in September!

Register Now for the Canadian Clay Symposium

20/20 Perspectives in Canadian Ceramics

The Canadian Clay Symposium offers a unique glimpse into how ceramic artists handle their mud with a 20/20 focus on Canadian perspectives. Symposium participants experience an entire day of in depth conversation with peers and presenters and watch exceptional demos ranging from hand-building, wheel-throwing, slip-casting to atmospheric firing, all with an eye to investigate how Canadian identity is shaped through clay.

The presenters are Carole Epp, Mary Fox, Jeremy Hatch, Steven Heinemann, Cathi Jefferson, Julie Moon, Sarah Pike and Linda Sikora.

Full details HERE about registration, the event, exhibitions and a few extra bonus workshops!