Jim Dugan is well-known as the past-kiln manager at Baltimore Clayworks, where he worked with the wood, gas, and soda kilns. He is currently managing the wood kilns at Monocacy River Pottery near Frederick, MD, in collaboration with owner, Marsha Mason. He has taught classes on firing with Shino glazes.
Kevin Crowe is a potter and teacher with a focus on wood-fired stoneware. He provides short term residencies at his Tye River Pottery in Virginia and teaches workshops nationwide, including a course in throwing large forms at Hood College in Frederick, MD.
“I throw functional wood fired pots with English and Asian influences. Pots are fired in an anagama Wood fired kiln. Firings are seven days and produce around 2,000 pots. My work ranges from 4 inch tea bowls to 36 inch jars. They are objects for the rituals of daily life…making a quiet difference.”
John Jessiman has worked with ceramics for over 60 years, including as a graduate teaching assistant for Val Cushing at Alfred College of Ceramics. He built his first wood kiln in 1965, and taught ceramics for 33 years at SUNY-Cortland. His work has been included in over 100 International and National exhibitions. In 2002, he established the Cub Creek Foundation in Virginia to provide opportunities for intensive practice in ceramics through residencies and workshops.
“I am interested in the ceramic process as a means to manifest ideas, create form and to invest work with energy, mystery and intrigue.
In my own work and in my teaching, I have stressed the distinction between influence and imitation. I have always tried to take the many influences and distill them into a unique and personal statement.”
Joe Hicks maintains the appointment of Associate Professor of Fine Art at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. There, he developed and continues to grow the ceramics and 3D design program in the Department of Fine Arts, including the establishment of a ceramics minor in 2016. The ceramics program at Marymount focuses on developing skills in traditional production and sculptural techniques, exploring new methods associated with product design and industrial manufacturing techniques, and building community relationships.
Joe retains a serious commitment to producing high quality ceramic vessels and functional pottery, and has exclusively focused on experimenting with Shino glazes for more than a decade. He participates in exhibitions and craft shows on regional and national levels, leads workshops focusing on his research of carbon trap Shino glazes and firing techniques, and enjoys building constructive relationships throughout the artist community.
“I control the radiant energy of fire to transcendentally engage with, and decorate, the surfaces of my vessels. This interaction between atmosphere and material is unpredictable, and provides endless investigation in colliding randomness with structure, challenging my ideas of control.”
Loren Scherbak has had a love of clay since attending Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. She earned her BFA in printmaking and ceramics in 1979 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She has been making and showing ceramics for more than 45 years.
Loren explores the physical and historical characteristics of ceramics to communicate subtle visual, tactile, and emotive experiences of the natural world. She incorporates local flora, such as leaves, directly as tools for drawing, to create forms, textures, and patterns that evoke her Mid-Atlantic home.
Loren reduces the use of harmful chemicals by working with local clay and an energy-efficient wood-fueled kiln. Her palette uses readily–available iron oxide which reacts with the atmosphere in the kiln to create surfaces that are integrated into her forms. The atmosphere in the kiln consists of free–floating ash, flame movement through the kiln, unburned gases from the combustion of wood, and oxygen. The amount of available oxygen in the kiln at different stages in the firing affects the iron oxide and creates different colors and textures on the surfaces of her work. She is committed to minimizing her environmental footprint while still achieving her artistic goals.