The 2013 Michigan Mud Clay Conference
“Traditions and Innovations”

Delta College, University Center, MI

Mich Mud 2013 - Josh DeWeese

Every two years ceramic artists, students, educators and enthusiasts gather from across the state and beyond the state borders to enjoy two days of lectures, demonstrations, panel discussions and exhibitions offered by the Michigan Ceramic Art Association. This year's conference will be hosted by Delta College, located just off I-75 between the Tri-Cities of Bay City, Saginaw and Midland.


Click here to register for the 2013 Michigan Mud Clay Conference.

Read about our 2013 presenters here.



Morning Demos & Keynote Lecture
Afternoon Demos & Lectures
Blair Clemo Adam Shiverdecker Josh DeWeese: Keynote Talk (11am - Noon) Josh DeWeese
Clay Leonard Steven Hansen Tim Ricketts


Morning Demos & Lectures
Afternoon Demos & Lecture
Josh DeWeese Emily Duke Carrie Anne Parks Shay Church Lecture (2 - 3pm)
Margaret Carney: The Dinnerware Museum (10 - 11am Lecture) Brian Kakas Daniel Johnston
Brian Kakas (Continued from AM session if necessary) Daniel Johnston (Continued from AM session)

Schedule is subject to changes.


As always there will be a Cup/Mug sale to benefit student scholarship, Vendor tables and information, MI Student Exhibition, Presenters Exhibition, and a Silent Auction.

Area Activities

"Fall in, Art & Sol" - The Fall In...Art & Sol is an initiative of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance to bolster the region's many arts, humanities and entertainment amenities while also exploring artwork that uses technologies for energy self-sufficient systems. The Festival will run throughout October 2013, the 20th anniversary of National Arts and Humanities Month, an annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation as well as a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America.
More Info

Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum - Located on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University and only 5 minutes from Delta College. Our Gallery displays the sculpture of Marshall Fredericks including tools, equipment, and objects he used to make his art. Our temporary exhibition at the time of the Michigan Mud conference will be "Richard Hunt, Scuplture".
More Info

Traveling the Tri-Cities - Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region pleases all with a nice mix of art, shopping and outdoorsy activities to satisfy both your cultural and outdoor cravings. Cynthia Earhart, a contributing writer for Michigan Travel Ideas, spends a weekend exploring the Michigan Tri-Cities of Saginaw, Bay City, Midland and the surrounding area.
More Info



Michigan Mud 2013 - Presenters and Demonstrators

Josh DeWeese

Josh DeWeese - Keynote Speaker
Josh DeWeese is a ceramic artist and educator. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Art teaching ceramics at Montana State University in Bozeman, where he and his wife Rosalie Wynkoop have a home and studio. DeWeese served as Resident Director of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana from 1992-2006. He holds an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. DeWeese has exhibited and taught workshops internationally and his work is included in numerous public and private collections.

Josh DeWeese is our Keynote speaker and presenter for this years Michigan Mud conference at Delta College. As well as demonstrating on both days he will give a Keynote lecture at 11am on Friday, the first day of the conference. His lecture will be about his work and address issues involved in making pottery as an expressive art form. Among the topics will be drawing the vessel, choices about material, and he will give an overview of the ceramic work currently being made in Montana. His workshop will include demonstrations of throwing, altering, and constructing a variety of pottery forms during the two days of the conference.

Adam Shiverdecker

Adam Shiverdecker is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo. Before assuming his current position he was an Artist-in-Resident and Adjunct Faculty at Tyler School of Art, twice Artist-in Residence at the Archie Bray Foundation, and taught at The University of West Florida. Adam was named Ceramic Monthly's Emerging Artist in 2010. He received his MFA from the University of South Carolina (2008) and BFA from the University of Toledo (2005).

Adam Shiverdecker will present methods of working modularly on large-scale projects using nichrome wire. He will demonstrate constructing forms with nichrome wire and discuss appropriate types of clay and glazes to use in conjunction with wire, and will also include the various structures required to fire his work.

Blair Clemo

A. Blair Clemo is currently the Studio Technician and Wheel Throwing Instructor at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He received his MFA in Ceramics at the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University in 2010. Originally from Doylestown Pennsylvania, Blair spent many years in the west studying ceramics at the College of Southern Idaho and the University of Montana, Missoula. He has been an Artist in Residence at The Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN), the Da Wang Culture Highland (Shenzhen, China), the Zentrum für Keramik (Berlin, Germany). He looking forward to an upcoming residency at The International Ceramics Studio (Kecskemét, Hungary) funded by the 2013 NCECA International Partnership Grant. His work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions.

Clemo will be demonstrating how he combines wheel throwing and hand-building techniques to make utilitarian forms. Varied approaches for creating mold and lid systems will also be discussed.

Brian Kakas

Brian Kakas is currently an Assistant Professor of ceramics at Northern Michigan University. He received his MFA in ceramics from The University of Notre Dame in 2007 and his BFA from the University of Montana in 2001. He has been actively exhibiting works teaching workshops around the world including: United States, China, South Korea, Australia, Romania and Indonesia. Most recently he was awarded the Silver Prize at the 5th Korean World Ceramic Biennale 2009.He has completed residencies in various art centers such as The Archie Bray Foundation, Gaya CAC, FuLe International Ceramic Art Museums and The LH Project. Brian was a demonstrator during the 45th NCECA Conference in 2011.

In his demonstration, Kakas will focus on using elements in nature and industry that allows for variations of a theme within a larger body of work. The modular plaster mold system being demonstrated can be utilized for both small and large-scale ceramic sculptures. Various methods of fabrication associated with metal, wood and textile arts will be applied through hand building techniques in clay. Sculptural ceramic forms are derived from hybridizations that have been developed through investigations of 20th century structural design aesthetics in architecture and mathematical theories exploring systems of growth, patterns and dimensions.

Carrie Anne Parks

Carrie Anne Parks began making tiles at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA, where she completed a B.F.A. in ceramics and drawing. Following college, she worked as an apprentice to potter Takeo Sudo in Mashiko, Japan. She then earned an M.F.A., with an emphasis in ceramic sculpture, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Since 1982, she has taught at Alma College, Alma, MI, where tilemaking is a regular part of the 3-D design curriculum, and she has often had opportunities to collaborate with her students on tile installations for the College and other area schools. Carrie Anne's figurative drawings and ceramic sculptures are exhibited nationally and have been included in numerous books on contemporary ceramics.

Based on her experience with the design, production, and installation of handmade ceramic tiles, Carrie Anne will demonstrate several approaches to forming tiles while discussing surface considerations appropriate for various situations. She will also outline practical aspects of planning large-scale projects including materials and costs, installation methods, school and community collaborations. Examples of completed projects will illustrate her demonstration.

Clay Leonard

Clay Leonard is currently serving as Area Head and Instructor of ceramics at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Prior to his appointment at BGSU, he was the Artist-in-Residence at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas in 2010. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Bowling Green State University and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3-D Studio Arts from Adrian College in Michigan in 2006. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, as well as being included in multiple publications, including being featured in the May 2009 issue of Ceramics Monthly as an Emerging Artist.

Leonard will demonstrate various slab-building and assemblage techniques he uses to create his porcelain tableware. Clay's work investigates the important ritual of sharing a meal and is his contribution to reintroducing the lost art of communication around the dinner table. His work demonstrates an affinity for crisp line, subtlety, and simple geometric shape that draw formal inspiration from mass-produced objects, but find a balance between pristine design and handmade forms. During the presentation he will discuss how he approaches the design and development of form, highlighting the utilization of bisque molds and paper templates used in his process.

Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen is a professor at Andrews University where he teaches a variety of courses including ceramics and sculpture. His work has been included in over 75 exhibitions, and has appeared in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art & Peception, American Craft, The Teapot Book, American Style, and Extruded Ceramics. His work is in the permanent collection of the Fuller Craft Museum, the Midwest Museum of American Art, the American Museum of Ceramic Art, The Kamm Teapot Collection, and The University of Iowa. Since 1999 Steve has concentrated his efforts primarily on creating work in the tradition of trompe l' oeil ceramics, with an emphasis on social commentary and Americana.

Steve intends to demonstrate the techniques he uses for creating slab-constructed vessels with the additions of extruded and press molded parts.

Emily Duke

Emily Duke is currently a ceramic Artist-in Residence at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, MO and was named an Emerging Artist of 2013 by Ceramics Monthly Magazine. Duke graduated from the College for Creative Studies in 2009 and is represented by See Art+ Design Detroit. She spent several years on staff at Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist Residencies. Recent group exhibition venues include The Urban Institute for the Arts in Grand Rapids, The Ann Arbor Art Center, Detroit Artist Market, Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, and Ox-Bow School of Art. Solo exhibitions venues include Re:View Contemporary Gallery, See Art + Design, Detroit, and Frontier Space in Missoula, MT.

Emily Duke highlights vernacular architecture in combination with nature to create multi-component topographies. Her latest series of ceramic sculpture are a convergence of imagined forms and fabricated sequences. Using slab-built terra cotta clay Duke assembles partners bound together through tension and weight. In this process, she allows herself the freedom to imagine, abstract, and construct forms with indeterminate purposes. Her conceptual practice investigates physical structure, color and texture sought out in construction sites, agricultural buildings, bridges, and manufacturing complexes.

Daniel Johnston

Daniel Johnston is a prominent young member of a North Carolina hand-made pottery tradition that goes back to the 18th century and continues to the present day. His reputation as an innovative and highly productive potter ranks with such internationally known potters and potteries as Mark Hewitt, Ben Owen, and Jugtown Pottery. Johnston began working for local potteries when he was 16 and within the next 2 years he had produced more than 60,000 vessels. At 18 he began a 4 year apprenticeship with Mark Hewitt (who's own training came from the Bernard Leach studio pottery tradition). During his time with Hewitt he also traveled to England where he worked with Clive Bowen for two months learning the English slipware tradition and gaining a greater familiarity with the working methods and aesthetics of Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, and Shoji Hamada, potters who's work he admired. With sponsorship from the Smithsonian Institute, he later went to the small village of Phon Bok, near the Mekong river in north east Thailand where he spent 3 months working with native Thai potters learning a unique method of making large storage vessels. This distinctive method for making large vessels is perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Johnston's work. With the exception of a few students whom he has taught this technique, he is the only potter using this process. With it he has now produced over 300 of these large (some over 5' high) elegant vessels. He will demonstrate the Thai large vessel coiling technique during his demo at Mi Mud.

Tim Ricketts

Tim Ricketts has been crafting clay for more than 30 years and has been an Instructor at Midland Center For The Arts (MCFTA) for nearly a decade. He said it's easy to stay focused as a piece evolves, and that as you watch it change, you have to embrace it. "Each change leads me to the next step. Though, many projects are never completed. It's always a work in progress," he said. "Art is a way of expressing what I see in life. I look at a rock or see something in nature, and in some way, I try to use it -try to do a new take off, a new twist on something people know. I always try to find something good in the unexpected."
Tim will be demonstrating his process for teapot making.

Shay Church

Shay Church: I grew up next door to an old General Motor's plant in Saginaw, Michigan. When I was a young boy my father would take me fishing on the rivers and lakes that surrounded the city. If it had rained the night before, we would wake up in the dark and I would pick worms out of the ground near our house using a flashlight. If the perch, bass, or walleye weren't biting that day we could always lower the worm to the bottom and catch carp. This seemed to happen often. When the day was done Dad would keep one of the carp. We would plant it next to the bushes and flowers to help them grow.

I believe in the natural cycles of the earth. Within these patterns of life and death is where I can find truth. While cities grow, wars rage, and industry climbs, nature's pulse continues to pound. Migratory paths remain, rivers continue to run downstream, wolves hunt, and insects are hatched.

My artwork is an attempt to create a meaningful connection between the natural world and myself. Often this connection seems fleeting. It is based on observation and the physical act of working with material such as clay and wood. This physical relationship allows me to explore my spiritual, emotional and psychological concerns for the human experience. Shay will be working on site on an installation for Delta College during the conference.

Margaret Carney is a ceramic historian with Ph.D. and Master's degrees in Asian art history, and a B.A. in anthropology/archaeology. Dr. Carney is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and an elected member of the International Academy of Ceramics in Switzerland. Grants received include Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art and the Renwick Gallery, as well as from the Tile Heritage Foundation and the Cumming Ceramic Research Foundation.

She served as the founding director of the Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred, in Alfred, New York. She has curated over 40 exhibitions, presented 90 public lectures, and authored 68 books, catalogues, and journal articles. She has taught ceramic world history, as well as other courses, at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, the Ohio State University, and elsewhere. She currently serves as founding director and curator of the Dinnerware Museum, Ann Arbor, Michigan.



Join Our Email List
For Email Newsletters you can trust


Delta College
1961 Delta Rd
Bay City, MI 48706

Google Map
Download Campus Map (PDF)


Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center
2470 Old Bridge Rd.,
Bay City, MI 48706
(989) 686-3500


Econo Lodge
6285 Westside Saginaw Rd.,
Bay City, MI 48706
(989) 402-1505



Apply Now for the Michigan Mud Student Exhibition

The Michigan Mud 2013 Juried Student Competition will take place at Delta College, October, 11-12. The deadline for submission is October 1, 2013 - Download the entry form now!