Teaching Artists

Marion Angelica received her MFA in ceramics from SUNY-New Paltz and holds a BA in studio art and biology from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She currently maintains a studio at Northern Clay Center, where she creates hand-built functional work in porcelain. She is a 2012 recipient of a Jerome Ceramic Artists Project grant and a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative award. Her work can be seen in local and national galleries and shows.


Ryan Archibald was a 2013 Anonymous Potter Studio Fellow at NCC. He received his BFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and works full-time as a potter at Grey Fox Pottery in Minneapolis. His work is driven by the contrast of geometry and line with the unpredictable nature of soda firing.


Kevin Caufield has been making functional pots for over 30 years. He apprenticed with Bob Eckles in Bayfield, Wisconsin, and currently creates work in his St. Paul studio. Caufield's work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and may be found in galleries throughout Minnesota, including NCC's sales gallery. Additionally, he sells his wares at art fairs across the state and has been a long-time participant in the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. 


Eileen Cohen received her MFA in ceramics from Indiana University in Bloomington and her BFA in ceramics from the University of Delaware in Newark. She was a 2005 McKnight Resident Artist at NCC, following a residency at Mendocino Art Center in California. Cohen's nationally exhibited sculptures represent her love of animals, and her admiration of alternative surface treatments. She is an arts educator and exhibitions coordinator at Silverwood Park, part of the Three Rivers Park District.

Elizabeth Coleman received her MFA in ceramics from Ohio State University and a BFA in ceramics and glass from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. She was a 2010 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant recipient and currently is a Northern Clay Center studio artist, where she creates monumental-scale relief-carvings. Coleman is also NCC’s publications assistant.

Victoria Dawes was a 2013 Northern Clay Center Anonymous Potter Studio Fellow. She has taught clay camps and other activities with NCC since 2011 and has worked as a studio assistant with Ursula Hargens and at clay centers around the country. She is now a resident artist at the Yorkshire Artspace in Yorkshire, England. Dawes earned her BA in Studio Art from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. She is originally from England and New Zealand.


Leila Denecke received her MFA from Louisiana State University after four years of study in Japan at the Tekisui Museum of Art and the Ceramic Art Research Institute. Denecke received 2008 and 2004 McKnight Ceramic Artist Fellowships from NCC and participated in the artist-in-residence program in Seto, Japan in fall 2001. Additionally, she completed a residency at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Taylor's Falls. Her pots and sculpture can be found in NCC's sales gallery.


Brett Freund recently completed a year as the Lormina Salter Fellow at Baltimore Clayworks and earning his MFA at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Freund has been teaching at multiple art centers since 2006 and has exhibited nationally, including in this year’s American Pottery Festival.


Joel Froehle earned his MFA from the University of Massachusetts­–Dartmouth and his BA from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Froehle’s work is inspired by the idea that the pot is one of the few objects we are asked to touch, thus, resulting in work that is heavily carved and tactile. Froehle also believes that handmade objects provide the user with a heightened awareness of the daily rituals of eating and drinking. It is his hope that his work functions as well in the hand as it does on the shelf. Currently, Joel Froehle is an adjunct professor at Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College, as well as a teaching artist at Northern Clay Center. joelfroehle.com

Bianka Groves
Minneapolis, MN

Bianka Groves currently lives in Minneapolis where she makes work out of her home studio.  She has lived in California, South Dakota, Illinois, and in the mountains of Colorado.  Groves received her BFA from Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, DC.  Her work is simple and calm; it is intended to add balance to a fast paced world.  There is a bold contrast between the white of the porcelain and the incised black lines, but her sense of touch is very delicate.  Each piece shows Groves’ hand at play.  She uses a mishima process, which entails covering the piece in wax, and drawing through it with razors or acupuncture needles to achieve a thin, constant line, painting the carved areas in black glaze and wiping off anything that is not in the lines.  This creates a tattoo-like effect on the clay.  Her high-fire porcelain wares are polished after firing to create a satiny, soft touch.


Adam Gruetzmacher received his BFA in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in Menomonie. He worked as a teaching assistant and lab tech while a student, along with serving as the president of the art department’s ceramics guild. He was a 2010 Fogelberg Fellowship recipient through Northern Clay Center.


Ursula Hargens received a MFA from Alfred University and a MA in Art & Art Education from Columbia University, Teachers College. Ursula also studied ceramics at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. She has received awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation, most recently receiving a 2012 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists.


Autumn Higgins
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Autumn Higgins earned her MFA from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, before moving north to Minneapolis. Her work features casual drawings on a variety of themes observed from her surroundings. 


Karin Holen received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota with a concentration in Art and Visual Communications. She currently teaches for NCC's ClayToGo outreach program and has been involved with NCC's Clay Camps since Summer 2008. She continues to enroll in classes and workshops to inform her teaching practice. She enjoys developing thoughtful programming that educates and inspires and often incorporates her passion for art, nature and the 4 elements. She currently makes work at NCC and in her home studio in St. Paul.

Erin Holt has been teaching in NCC’s clay camp and outreach programs since 2011, and she graduated from Macalester College in 2013. She is currently a technician at Cretin-Derham Hall Ceramics Studio. Her skills include printmaking, anthropology, and “some Klingon.”

Peter Jadoonath received his BFA in painting and ceramics from Bemidji State University. Jadoonath was a 2007 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant recipient and a 2009 Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Award recipient. He recently relocated to Schafer, Minnesota where he lives and makes work.  “I don't take myself too seriously,” he says, “but I do take my craft very seriously. Through my craft, I honor timelessness, tradition, ancestors, and predecessors. I strive for this by following my intuition, seeking self-realization, working hard, and gathering patience to take risks.”

JD Jorgenson received his BFA from the University of Iowa and taught ceramics courses at the Clay Center between 2000 and 2002. He was a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist and the head apprentice at the St. John’s Pottery in Collegeville, where he worked closely with Richard Bresnahan. He is the 2011 recipient of the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Award. He maintains a studio, Jorgenson Pottery, in Avon and sells his wood-fired pots in St. Cloud and Bismarck, North Dakota.

Jennica Kruse has taken classes at the Northern Clay Center since fourth grade. Since then she has studied ceramics at the University of Minnesota, and through the University of Georgia's program abroad in Cortona Italy. She graduated Summa cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011 and since then has exhibited at many spaces around the midwest, including Prøve gallery in Duluth, Flow Art Space in St. Paul, and Rosalux gallery in Minneapolis, to name a few. Kruse also mixes clay and glazes as the Education Technician and Resident Artist at NCC.

Glynnis Lessing studied at Macalester college and earned her BFA from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She has been teaching ceramics for over 20 years and regularly shows her work at galleries and art fairs around the Midwest. Before relocating to Minnesota, Lessing was active with several arts organizations, schools, and museums in the Chicago area, and taught at the Lillstreet Art Center.

Lee Love received his BSW from the Central Michigan University and studied ceramics at the University of Minnesota. He has been a studio artist at Northern Clay Center, and received a Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant in 1996 and a Jerome Travel/Study Grant in 1999. From 2000-2003, he apprenticed with Tatsuzo Shimaoka in Mashiko, Japan, and subsequently established his studio there. Love now resides in Minnesota and is an NCC Sales Gallery Artist. He visits Korea annually. 


Claire O'Connor teaches pottery for children, adults, and senior adults.  She has undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Educational Psychology / Adult Education as well as a master's degree in Educational Psychology / Adult Education.  Additionally she studied pottery with Randy Johnson at University of Minnesota, and Franklin Heisler, Randy Woolsey and Marilyn Levine  at University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Claire has approximately 20 years of pottery experience and currently maintains a studio at Northern Clay Center.   

Mary Otremba is a licensed Art Specialist in the MN public schools with over 18 years teaching experience. She also have over 10 years experience teaching adults and children in varying capacities for Community Art Organizations including the Northern Clay Center. She holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota, and Art Ed Degree from North Carolina. She is a working potter, her current earthenware works are in galleries in MN and Wisconsin.

Kristin Pavelka received her BA from Carleton College in Northfield and her MFA from Penn State University in Pennsylvania. In between undergraduate and graduate school, Pavelka participated in classes at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Most recently she taught ceramics at Hamline University in St. Paul and is now working as a full-time studio potter.

Angie Renee received her B.S. in art from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she concentrated on ceramics and photography. She has taught a variety of clay workshops and classes for children and adults of all abilities. Lund was a 1999 Jerome Ceramic Artists Project Grant recipient and continues to sell and exhibit her thrown and altered work throughout the Twin Cities.

Ginny Sims received her MFA from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a BA in political science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has worked with potter Mike Dodd in Somerset, England and with other ceramic artists in Scotland and Italy. Sims is a 2013 recipient of a Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant.


Christopher Singewald recently relocated to the Twin Cities from New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he was a studio assistant for Karen Snyder Ceramics. He received his BFA from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and was an apprentice for Gustin Ceramics LLC in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He received his Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts and is NCC's Materials Technician.

Audra Smith received her BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and worked with NCC's clay camp program throughout the summer of 2010. Smith formerly was a gallery assistant at Wooster Street Gallery in Wooster, Ohio. She currently teaches with NCC’s ClayToGo.

Michelle Summers
Minneapolis, MN

Michelle Summers maintains her studio in Minneapolis, MN, where she recently earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Her work has been exhibited at the John Michael Kohler Art Center and featured in Ceramics Monthly.


David Swenson received his BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and was a ceramic intern with David Fredrickson in 2008. He recently relocated to the Twin Cities as he received a 2009 Fogelberg Studio Fellowship. Swenson is on the NCC staff and is currently teaching for NCC's ClayToGo program.


Lucy Yogerst has maintained a studio in the Twin Cities since 1979. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has taught youth and adults at the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and through a variety of community education programs. Her work continues to be exhibited throughout the Twin Cities. Yogerst is currently a board member for the Northside Arts Council in North Minneapolis.