It’s Raku, an ancient Japanese tradition modified over centuries and across borders to become something of a standard experience for entry level ceramic students. Raku has borne the critical rebuke familiar to other flashy finishes across various industries, think about ruffles, velvet, red lipstick, sequins, or glitter. However, in the right hands, Raku surfaces celebrate the alchemy of carbon and mineral, reflecting all the colors of nature.
Billie Jean Van Knight started taking classes at NCC this summer, but she really caught our attention as a stellar volunteer during the 2018 American Pottery Festival. She seemed to be everywhere and was happy to join in the work and the fun! After being away from clay for 18 years, a trip to the St. Croix Pottery Tour reignited her love for clay and our friends on the tour pointed her in our direction. Shout out to St. Croix!
From 2001 – 2011 Sandra Daulton Shaughnessy taught in the NCC classrooms and was much beloved by students and administration alike. When she left, she didn’t go far. Her considerable gifts have been in play at the Edina Art Center where she has been the Pottery Supervisor. The ever-expanding concentric rings of the ceramic community continue because of her contributions to the field.
Brett Freund has been a regular in the NCC sales gallery and the NCC classroom for a few years now. An unassuming character with a genuine love of the material. We invite you to enjoy a quick Q & A with Brett and hope that his voice informs your experience of his wares in the gallery and then in your home. Not everyone has easy access to their voice and demeanor through written word, but we think Brett delivers on both accounts. We are proud to represent his work and equally pleased that the 2018 McKnight Jury chose him as a Fellow this summer.
Northern Clay Center community student Emiliano Cerna-Rios maintains a studio in Northeast Minneapolis and is an avid runner and cyclist. His first training in art was in painting.
He began to experiment with three dimensional work in the winter of 2016, which led him to take his first class at NCC, “…just out of curiosity.” The handbuilding class he enrolled in grabbed his imagination and he has been working in clay ever since!
Jennica Kruse began teaching children’s summer classes at NCC nine years ago, moving into teaching adult classes in 2013. She says, “Hanging out with our awesome students is my favorite part of teaching!” If you take a class with Jennica you will be supported in developing your persistence, because, as she says, “Time spent at the wheel pays off.”
With typical Midwestern aplomb, NCC builds on community friendships to ensure our ceramic educational offerings reach every possible interest, regardless of onsite facilities. Our region is rich with possibilities and our partners are generous. You asked for it, and we delivered this spring with an amazing wood firing experience!
Last November, we celebrated our third graduating class of the Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education (MN NICE). The program is currently in its fourth year with another diverse and lively student body already hard at work. Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp, the new Manager of Education and Studio Programs at Northern Clay Center, interviewed the new students about their experiences upon completing the program’s first trimester.
Join NCC for a fabulous and fun summertime clay adventure!
Each summer, NCC offers over 15 teaching assistantships and one, paid internship for college students and recent graduates, ages 18 and up. Last year, some 400 children participated in our weeklong camps, designed for all ability levels, for ages 6 and up.