I create functional porcelain pottery for the home inspired by the changing scenery of Pennsylvania. These pieces are intended to be used and enjoyed daily to bring nature inside and inspire those who use them.
I have a BFA from Indiana University of PA with a focus in sculpture and ceramics and a MFA from Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Ceramics. My current line of mosaic work combines slip cast clay vegetables and glass tile. Other product lines include bells, suns, and birds. Many of my pieces are assemblages of slip cast, pinched and slab forms and elements.
Inspired by a wheel thrown demonstration by Shoji Hamada, a Japanese living treasure, I began working in porcelain and stoneware clay over 48 years ago. I design and handcraft functional pieces and jewelry, using sgraffito, imprints, colored inlaid porcelains and silver, and ash glazes as decoration. I have exhibited in national juried shows, art fairs, galleries, and the Museum of Composition and Design in NYC. I had a one woman show, taught at a college level, juried for art leagues. I have been on the standards committee, was a longtime member of the artists advisory board, and a juror for the Three Rivers Art Festival. I am a member of the Craftsmen Guild of Pittsburgh.
My work features surface design with sgraffito, sculptural elements and slip trailing on porcelain and stoneware. The pieces begin on the potters wheel or as soft slabs and I enjoy altering them via manipulation, impressions, additions and surface designs: most of the designs feature mammals and amphibians which are in endangered. I also enjoy impressing with plant materials, I am drawn to richly textured work in clay.
Fran Jolly is a studio potter living in Plum PA. She fell in love with creating things in clay when she took her first ceramics class in high school. (That was a long time ago) She continued her education at Penn State, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, The Carnegie, Fireborn Studios, and Touchstone Center for Crafts. She continues to love the process of creating functional pottery.
Fran is a member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh. She sells her work in retail shows to include Three Rivers Arts Festival, and A Fair in the Park. Fran also runs the after school pottery club at the Western PA School for the Deaf.
I am from Oil City, PA. I was graduated from Ivy School of Professional Art in 1975. I have been painting most of my life and making pottery professionally from 1981 to the present. I have been exhibiting at mostly outdoor art shows east of the Mississippi since 1975.
Jim & Linda Winegar
Linda & Jim Winegar have been creating with clay for 50 years. Their home and studio is located on 60 rural acres in southwestern Pennsylvania. Their functional and decorative stoneware pottery is created mostly on the potter’s wheel. Many pieces are enhanced with hand-embossed or carved patterns, hand-formed leaves & acorns and sometimes with the addition of semi-precious gemstones. They carefully formulate their glazes to enhance their forms with a unique and distinctive color palette, including a copper red glaze. All pieces are fired in a gas kiln to 2300 degrees, providing for strength and durability. The Winegars studied at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, obtaining degrees in Art Education, concentrating in Ceramics. For more than 20 years they marketed their pottery to shops & galleries throughout the U.S., from Maine to Florida, to California & Alaska. For 5 years, they operated Artbeat , a gallery in Waynesburg, PA, with works by more than 80 additional artists. Artbeat closed its doors in January 2018, providing the Winegars with more time to travel, explore new work, teach classes and participate in additional art festivals. The Winegars are members of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.
Jimmy was awarded a BA from Berea College’s famed Ceramic apprenticeship program and a MFA from IUP. He has been a member of the Ky. Guild, the Louisville Guild and the Pittsburgh Guild of Craftsmen. He is the resident Potter at the Artist Hand Gallery in Indiana PA.
My work consists of wheel thrown and hand built functional ware. My surface treatments are Mishima and underglazes or layering glazes to create rich surfaces.
Lana Heckendorn received a BFA in Printmaking from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. She later developed her functional porcelain work at The Clay Studio. After spending 29 years in Philadelphia, she moved back to Central Pennsylvania, and now makes pots in her studio in Carlisle, PA.In addition to invitational gallery shows, she frequently shows her work in craft shows, both indoor and out, where she enjoys meeting the people who will ultimately use her porcelain pots.www.lanaheckendorn.com
Laura Schlesinger’s pottery blends art with function. In her body of work, which has evolved over three decades, no two pieces are exactly alike, yet her thematic designs and vibrant compositions are uniquely her own. While Laura initially studied painting, her designs focus on bringing art into the hands of people for everyday use; in this enlivened functionality, each one of her pieces takes on a life of its own. Laura works from her studio in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and she is available year-round by appointment or online at www.thecrackpotstudio.com.
I am a Pittsburgh potter and fiber artist. I have been working with clay for approximately 28 years. My work reflects my love of nature and I often use my garden flowers, ferns and trees as inspiration for the textures and natural colors of my pots. I enjoy exploring different firing methods and this has enabled me to create unique decorative finishes and surface designs for my one-of-a-kind pieces.My fiber pieces include art quilts, quilted wall hangings, table runners and hand painted, printed and dyed silk scarves. I am currently creating eco-printed or botanical printed designs on cotton, silk and wool and then using them in my quilts. I also hand dye cotton and silk to get unique colors for my creations.
Melissa Sullivan was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BFA in Ceramics. Melissa later received Master’s degree in Art Therapy from the University of Iowa as well as a Master’s in Counseling from Duquesne University. She is recently retired from her position as an elementary school counselor which she held for 25 years.Melissa derives great joy from her 4 children, 4 grandchildren, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Being in nature, reading and creating art are her staples Melissa’s primary focus, artistically is in making decorative, hand-built pieces, Non-functional vessels as well as objects which engender political reflection Her response to the natural world, especially to the ocean inform her work. The artist works intuitively, allowing the medium, clay, to guide her creation.Ms. Sullivan enjoys working with a wide variety of firing methods, from low-fire raku to high range atmospheric wood and soda firing. Melissa’s ceramic art has been featured in both local and regional Art Shows, most recently in exhibits sponsored by Sweetwater Center for the Arts “Seeing Red”), Butler Art Center ( The Art of the Drink) and the Pittsburgh Society of Artists (Small Works).
Nancy Smeltzer has been developing her ceramic art over the last 25 years. She was introduced to vapor glazing and wood firing during her study at IUP. Her work is thrown and altered and decorated with images of birds and the natural world.
She has been a member of the Pittsburgh Craftsmen’s Guild since 2000 and Juried into the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen in 2012.
I came to pottery about the same time I started growing flowers and enjoying cooking. The process of making has always intrigued me. My pottery echoes my woodland studio: quietly elegant pots that hint at leaves whispering or egrets winging along the nearby Susquehanna. I often finish my thrown or slab pieces with sparse brushwork reminiscent of Japanese sumie. With 30+years in clay, I embrace the role of potter. I’m lucky to have been immersed in art from an early age. My mother Mary Lou, a recognized watercolor painter, and sister Linda, professional photographer both taught me how to see light, form, contrast and color. Elements of design emerge in clay.I work full time in my one-person studio. I design, produce, glaze and finish each piece, working in cone6 stoneware and formulating my own lead-free glazes. I am a Master Artisan of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. When not in my studio or at Fine Craft shows, I’m often kayaking in the river of tramping in the mud.www.pamcummings.com
I started learning ceramics in high school in Seattle, Wa. I majored in Ceramics at the University of Washington, studying under Patti Warashina and Bob Sperry. I have taught in community centers in Seattle, and at the Sawtooth Center for Art in Winston Salem, as well as some workshops. In 1972 I began selling my work at art fairs, first in Washington, then on the East Coast after moving to Philadelphia in 1984, then to North Carolina in 1989. I am a member of Piedmont Craftsmen, based in Winston Salem. Clay continues to hold new directions and inspiration for me, still exploring and learning.
Thomas Bothe’s story is the classic case of what can happen when you follow your bliss. After being laid off from his job as an engineer in 1993, Thomas took some time to reflect on what he might like to do with his life. He came to Pittsburgh for a few weeks to help in his brother’s Fine Furniture design business and found himself drawn to the creative, hands-on work life his brother enjoyed. That Fall, he took his first pottery class with Stephen Merritt at Rochester Institute of Technology and soon realized he had found his new career. More pottery classes and more time working alongside his brother in the furniture business convinced him that he had to give pottery a try. In the fall of 1994 he stopped looking for engineering jobs and dedicated the next year to developing his skills as a potter. He hasn’t looked back.
Thomas acquired a job in production pottery at Earth Tones Pottery and also became a studio tech at the Manchester Craftsmen Guild in Pittsburgh. He eventually became a resident artist at MCG, where he learned glazes and fired cone 10 reduction kilns and taught pottery and hand building to high school students. He also attended numerous workshops and lectures by ceramic artists such as Ken Ferguson, Karen Karnes, Michael Simon, Richard Aerni, and David McDonald, to name a few.
At night, Thomas began developing his own signature style in the basement of the home he was renting. Four years later, he began to sell raku and functional pottery at shows, which allowed him to give up his “day jobs.” Today, Thomas exhibits his single-fired wood-ash glazed pottery at juried art festivals across the country. In 2010 he began to include his crystalline work at his shows. Thomas is an exhibiting member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh, Ohio Designer Crafts, and the Michigan Guild.
Thomas’s work has received several awards for his work, including:
2017 Best in Category, Bethesda Row Arts Festival, Bethesda, MD
2017 Best of Show, Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival, Upper Arlington, OH
2015 1st in Ceramics, Letchworth Arts and Crafts Show, Castile, NY
2015 Outstanding Craftsmanship, A Fair in the Park, Pittsburgh PA
2015 Honors, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
2015 Award of Merit, Boardwalk Art Show and Festival, Virginia Beach, VA
2014 1st in Ceramics, Letchworth Arts and Crafts Show, Castile, NY
2014 Best in Show, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
2013 Sand Dollar Award, Boardwalk Art Show and Festival, Virginia Beach, VA
2013 Third in Ceramics, Summerfair, Cincinnati, OH
2010 Third in Ceramics, Boardwalk Art Show and Festival, Virginia Beach, VA
2005 Functional Ceramics Exhibition, The Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, Ohio
2005 Best in Ceramics, Artigras Fine Arts Festival, Jupiter, FL
2004 Honorable Mention Ceramics, Lewiston Art Festival, NY
2004 Best Booth Design , Berea Arts Festival, Berea Ohio
Thomas was also published in Pottery Making Illustratted Article, “Making of the Elephant Teapot” Mar2005, Vol.8 Issue 2.
When he’s not in the studio Thomas can be found playing Irish button box, jazz piano, chess, golf, or bicycling. He lives in scenic Washington, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, with his wife, Francine, and their seven cats.
Vicki & Scott Supraner
We have been professional Ceramic Artists since 1989. After graduating from the State University of New York at Purchase, we relocated to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. There, we established the Hawksbill Pottery taking the name Hawksbill from the local mountain and creek where our first studio was located. Now living and working in Charlottesville, VA, we continue to make and exhibit our ceramic art at shows and festivals around the country.
Victor & Megan Huston-Field
Upon return from travels abroad, I was inspired to create artwork derived from life experiences. All artwork is my own originals. I hand draw the artwork and hand carve it on clay to combine it with my own poetry. I have many different collections combining my art and poetry. I have an ancient tree collection where I recognize trees that live to be 1,000+ yrs old, with my scientific sketches. A yoga collection combining my pencil drawings of silhouettes of the human form. A wildflower collection, with my scientific renditions of native wildflowers. New this year are my full poems on clay. I’ve been hand pressing my poetry into clay and hand carving in artwork to go with the poems. Some artwork I finish with found wood and other artwork I finish in my solid oak frames. Frames I handmake in a craftsman, mortise & tenon style using no nails or screws to build the frames. Each piece is original, hand made by me. All work is minimalist yet meaningful.