Community. Engagement. Advocacy. Humor.
Kathy Maves discusses the 2014 NCECA conference, Material World, March 19th-22nd, and all thing clay throughout 2014. Look for updates and details of the conference topics and exhibitions.
Latest Activity: Jul 17, 2014
Hi! My name is Kathy Maves. I am a potter originally from Elk Mound, WI, about an hour and a half east of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. I am in my second of three years working toward a ceramics MFA at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Currently, I make functional slipware pottery decorated with floral imagery using computer and hand-cut stencils and decals. The floral imagery comes from altered folk motifs and nature photography.
For the last nineteen years I have worked as a studio potter, making mainly wood-fired stoneware. I also worked as a production and contract potter. During my time in grad school I have taught art history and ceramics. I also pursue a long-standing passion for libraries, writing, printing, and book arts. I repair books and media in the Preservation Department of the main university library.
I have a bachelor's degree in English Literature from University of Wisconsin-River Falls. In less hectic phases of life, before grad school (BGS,) I spent a lot of time volunteering as a grant writer for local arts advocacy and tutoring for adult basic literacy.
My main goals for this blog are two-fold; to highlight the advances in ceramics brought to light by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, better known as NCECA, and to share how these advances can be practically implemented in craft work and craft life. I also plan to socialize, because shop-talk is awesome. You know it's true.
Next post, I plan for the conference!
The best part about NCECA, for me as a first-time attender, was not all the ceramic work, people, and presentations that I knew I would see. It was the surprises. Most of those surprises came to me while looking through the many exhibitions. Maybe too many. I often found myself thinking, “This is a great. I can’t believe that I find this piece to be so strong.” The question that follows, always, is “Why?” Why is this exceptional? There is an old saying that goes, “Art sells you yourself.” Maybe that discovery of your own responses is one of the big payoffs of looking at art.The other big surprise was one of the student presentations. I was blown away by Raheleh Filsoofi’s exceptional Student Perspective Lecture, Clay as a Record Keeper of Iranian Cultural Heritage. Filsoofi presented some of the best of historical Iranian ceramic tile work, the story of the remarkable symbolic importance of this work to Iranian women, and images of her own work. Filsoofi’s polychromatic geometric…Continue
This vase and two bowls were made by James Davis, and are on display in the Marks of Fire show at the Central Library, within easy walking distance of the Wisconsin Center. I saw so many great pieces of ceramics today. There is no way to show you even a survey of the work. One of the best gallery stops that I made was to the Marshall building. I spent a long time lingering over the Northernwood II, wood-fired Work from Wisconsin. There are so many galleries with ceramics in the Marshal building. I also loved seeing the fantastic work at the DeLind Gallery, "Off Center: Mavericks, Misfits & Heretics."The process room was packed all day today. People were standing to watch the demonstrations. I watched Michael Schael's demonstration on Generosity in Small Forms. His unusual throwing style and rib techniques…Continue
NCECA is going to be a blast! The pic above shows the rotunda of the Wisconsin Center, the main convention space. There are MANY off site locations. The exhibitions that are going on in and around Milwaukee are just as important as what happens inside the center. Typical of a clay worker, I am making my tools and my plan. I know it won’t turn out exactly as I plan, but it doesn’t need to. Even though the daffodils are putting out green leaves here in southern Illinois, unpredictable weather is typical in southern Wisconsin in March. I will be bringing lots of layers for a few days of snowstorms or freezing rain. My list includes a winter coat, a scarf, two pair of mittens, two winter hats, and a dry change of shoes. Also, it helps to have a plan to dry ice-encrusted outer clothing. Besides that, I will be keeping…Continue