Meet Our Featured Artists - 2020
JESSICA PUTNAM PHILLIPS
The pots I create are intended to bring artwork into daily living while enhancing the interactions between food, drink, people, and their community. As a craftsperson, I endeavor
to create highly utilitarian wares for people to use, touch, see, and experience on a consistent basis.
My forms are loosely inspired by the natural world. Just like all oak trees are distinguished from any other species in the forest, each tree is also unique unto itself. I find beauty in the diversity that handcrafted works bring into our assembly-line culture.
LISA & ALEX LAPELLA
Alex and Lisa LaPella are pottery and partners, in life and in the studio. They collaborate on nearly everything that comes through the studio, passing work back and forth throughout the process. This collaboration, which grew natural through their marriage, allows the pots to take on lives of their own as they give up ownership of them. One of the LaPellas conceives a pot, the other might birth it, and as the process unfolds with the pot passing between them, the pot becomes more than the original idea.
Becca Otis is a potter. She owns a pottery studio in Monroe Washington. A small town. And by fate or luck she has managed to survive and become the little unicorn store that could. She produces everyday pottery by night and runs a paint a pot store by day, giving into the man… because money. All jokes aside, she has worked her entire career (ten years) towards a more efficient way to throw pots and more efficient studio practices. She teaches classes daily and loves to pass on the knowledge that she has acquired. It is by failure that she has built up the business that she has… that and throwing a pot in 45 seconds.
DENISE MUCKLEROY YOUNG
Denise Muckleroy Young discovered clay at the age of 36, during somewhat of an existential crisis. As a busy mom of kids with special needs, she spent much of her time advocating through school meetings and volunteer work. However, she began feeling like she really didn’t know who she was except in conjunction to other people. Feeling burnt out and needing a purpose of her very own, she signed up for a Ceramics class at the local college. Working in clay, she found her voice and a community where she fit in and felt valued as herself. She continued her non-traditional education for over a decade, collecting a myriad of skills and ceramic knowledge. She has attended workshops all over the US to enhance her development as ceramicist. Alternative firings and Glaze Chemistry are her favorite areas of study. She enjoys mentoring and frequently presents demonstrations in many techniques. Throughout her Ceramics career, she has taught Girl Scout workshops and after school programs in her community. She enjoys throwing, sculpting, and hand-building in her home garage studio. A native Texan, she lives with her husband, 3 kids, and 4 cats in the suburbs of Dallas/Ft Worth.
Born in San Mateo, CA, Gail Smith is a Potter and a Plein Aire Landscape Artist now living in Mesquite, NV. Her introduction to clay began in college, but she didn’t return to the medium until later in life. Mostly self-taught, Gail creates functional slab-built pottery and enjoys the challenge of “engineering” complex and whimsical teapots and totems. She studied art at the California Art Institute.
Master sculptor Victoria Pamlényi, originally from Sweden, is currently forging alliances with local artists, silicate sorcerers and other equally mad scientists in her new home of Orange County, California.
Her surreal creations have an appetite for the anachronistic, transcending time, often lending themselves to tasks otherwise mundane. Retrofuturism tickles her; it speaks a language of times gone by, laced with stylistic elements of the future past. Victoria has enthralled audiences in Sweden, Germany and here in the US with her strange creations.
SUMI VAN DASSOW
Sumi von Dassow is an award-winning ceramic artist who lives in Golden, Colorado. Her love of color and form is expressed in a varied and unique body of work including brightly glazed functional pottery
and decorative pitfired work. She has a particular interest in functional forms beyond basic mugs and bowls, ranging from traditional forms to modern forms for microwave cooking. Sumi’s pots have been exhibited and won national awards in major juried shows including “Feats of Clay” at the Lincoln Arts Center in Lincoln, California. Sumi’s work is in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, Kansas, and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Commissioned work includes a tile installation at the Foothills Art Center in Golden. In addition to creating pottery, Sumi teaches and writes extensively about pottery. She has published two books – "In the Potter’s Kitchen” and “Low Firing and Burnishing” – and produced a DVD called “Pit Firing and Burnishing.” She has written numerous articles and contributes regularly to Pottery Making Illustrated magazine.
We have so much in common, even though we are different. We are all human. We breathe the same air and walk the same earth. It’s amazing to me how shoes and pottery alike can transcended generations and demographics and cultures. Nikes, Vans, Chucks, Adidas 3 stripes… You see them everywhere and on everyone over the last 50+ years. Pottery connects us in a similar way. We all need food and water for basic
survival and pottery has been a technology that has helped develop and shape our contemporary world over the last 30,000 or so years. So just as we are all connected as humans there is a connection to pottery and shoes. Essential objects that can be celebrated and cherished. Essential objects that can easily be taken for granted and thrown away in our current disposable world. My current work explores the shapes, textures and colors of these iconic shoes from a potter’s perspective. My process also connects with our ancient potter ancestors by using and making unique handmade tools made from everyday contemporary resources to aid me in creating specific shapes and textures that relate to sneakers and shoes.
Kyle Guymon is a husband/father/potter/educator from Bountiful Utah, he received his BFA from Weber State University in Ogden Utah. Kyle has been working on to develop his identity within clay through his carving, designs and images since graduation from college. The inspiration of the images come from nature (Fibonacci sequence) or animals that remind him of himself or family members. Kyle is constantly changing his images in search of his own identity and what he wishes to express through his art. Kyle has been fortunate enough to have his work be shown in local and nationally juried shows over the past 4 years, publications and a couple workshops and looks forward to many more opportunities in the future.