Friday and Saturday, June 16th & 17th

Hosted by

Northwestern Michigan College

Michigan Mud 2023 is brought to you in collaboration with Michigan Ceramic Art Association (MCAA) and Northwestern Michigan College. This two-day biennial conference will be held on the Northwestern Michigan College campus and will showcase the excellence Michigan and regional ceramic art in its diversity of techniques. This community event is open to the public and features nationally-renowned Keynote Speaker, Bede Clarke and local and regional ceramics artists providing demonstrations and lectures, a student cup show, vendor tables, and a presenters exhibition at Dennos Gallery.

Featured Keynote Speaker:

Featured Keynote Speaker: Bede Clarke is a Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, having taught at Missouri 1992- 2021.  He received his MFA from the University of Iowa (1990) and a BFA from Eckerd College (1982).  Bede maintains a studio in Columbia, Missouri where he continues to create and exhibit his work.

Bede’s work is found in collections in the U.S. and abroad, such as: Taipei County Yingke Ceramics Museum, Taiwan, Ichon World Ceramic Center, South Korea, South Bend Museum of Art, Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University and Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University.

Bede has conducted over 100 workshops and lectures around the country and internationally. Awards have included:

  • Kansas City Artist Coalition Lighton International Artist Exchange Award
  • Sturt Australian Contemporary Craft Center Residency Award
  • Fletcher Challenge Ceramic Award, New Zealand
  • Kennedy Center Fellowship for Teachers of the Arts
  • University of Missouri Byler Distinguished Professor Award


Presenting Artists

Heidi Fahrenbacher
Bella Joy Pottery
About Heidi Fahrenbacher
Jeri Hollister
Ann Arbor Potters Guild
About Ann Arbor Potters Guild
Beth Ogden
Eastern Michigan University
About Beth Ogden
Jessica Brandl
Western Michigan University
About Jessica Brandl

Jessica Brandl is an American contemporary ceramics artist of Midwestern origins. She holds an MFA in Ceramics from The Ohio State University and a BFA in Ceramics and Art History from The Kansas City Art Institute. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including “Hazard” hosted by Crane Yard Gallery, “Grounded” hosted by Alberta University of the Arts in Alberta Canada, “Unconventional Clay: Engaged in Change”, NCECA Biannual invitational, hosted at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  In 2015 she was award NCECA’s international residency at c.r.e.t.a. Rome, and also received a McKnight Artist Fellowship from the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis Minnesota. Her most recent work investigates the vessel as canvas and sculptural diorama.

Jessica resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she is an Assistant Professor at Western Michigan University.


About Katie Bramlage
Brian Kakas
Northern Michigan University
About Brian Kakas

Brian Kakas is an Associate Professor of Ceramics at Northern Michigan University.  He received his MFA in ceramics from The University of Notre Dame in 2007. He has been in over 50 solo and group exhibitions and is part of international museum permanent collections in China, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Romania and the United States. He was awarded the Silver Prize at the 5th Korean World Ceramic Biennale at the World Exposition Ceramic Center.  Other career level exhibitions include the 1st Kaolin Grand Prix for International Ceramic Arts Exhibition in China, Cluj International Ceramic Biennale held in Romania and the 3rd Jakarta International Biennale in Indonesia. Kakas was a Demonstrator at the 45th National Council of Education on the Ceramic Arts Conference. Most recently, his research with raw materials and soda vapor kiln firing methods has resulted in the construction of the 1st Soda Kiln of Indonesia at the Gaya Ceramic Design International Artists Studios.

Susan McHenry
Susan McHenry Ceramics
About Susan McHenry

Susan McHenry is a studio potter who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her husband, Mark Nepo, and their dog, Zuzu. She makes hand built functional pots for everyday use and believes pottery crafted by hand with thoughtfulness and care can elevate simple, everyday moments. Born and raised in upstate New York, Susan received her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in 1999. She teaches ceramics at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is a regular contributor to Ceramics Monthly. Her work is represented in both national and regional galleries, including the Charlie Cummings Gallery in Gainesville, FL, and Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, MI. She is a member of Artaxis, a peer-reviewed network of international contemporary artists in ceramics and sculpture.

Kimberly LaVonne Luther
About Kimberly LaVonne Luther
Monica Wilson
About Monica Wilson

Monica Rickhoff Wilson is an American artist, born in Colorado. She earned a BFA from Eastern Michigan University in 2003, where she studied Ceramics and Sculpture. Her ceramic work has been exhibited throughout Michigan, in Chicago, and New York – past and recent exhibitions are WSG Gallery, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, Michigan; and the Muskegon Museum of Art. Her work is currently available at WSG Gallery in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Residencies and fellowships include Penland School of Craft, Penland, North Carolina; Centro de Arte Curaumilla, Valparaiso, Chile; Maker Works, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Kripal Kumbh Pottery in Jaipur, India. Experience in glaze chemistry, photography, and plaster mold-making supplement her art practice in the ceramic studio. She works at the Potters Guild and from her home studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Seth Green
About Seth Green

Seth Green is an Associate Professor of Ceramics at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW), in Fort Wayne, IN. He received an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a BA in Art from Southern Utah University. He has worked at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado and has been an artist-in- residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. Before Joining the faculty at PFW, Seth taught ceramics at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky where he was promoted to Associate Professor. He is also the founder of the Indiana Clay Conference.

Seth actively exhibits his ceramic vessels on the national and international levels, in solo, invitational, and juried exhibitions. His work is represented by the Clay Studio of Philadelphia and the Companion Gallery in Humboldt, TN. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Best Teapot Award in the 2012 Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibition and was awarded Best of Show, by the Kentucky Arts Council, for his work exhibited in the 2015 Kentucky Crafted: The Market in Lexington, KY.  Images and articles about his work have been published in Ceramics Monthly Magazine, Clay Times Magazine, The Log Book, American iPottery, and two Lark Books publications “500 Vases” & “500 Teapots”. Seth was awarded the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and commissioned to make the awards for the Governor’s Awards in the Arts by the Kentucky Arts Council. He has also been a demonstrator, visiting artist, and workshop presenter at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the Clay Studio of Missoula, Michigan Mud Conference, and at several universities around the country.

Kyle Triplett
About Kyle Triplett

Kyle Triplett is a ceramic and digital media installation artist based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Triplett’s artwork explores elements of constructing a sense of place through the layering, mediation, and remediation of information. This in turn opens questions of the natural and artificial experience of landscape, the picturesque, and the romantic notions of the sublime. He has participated in residencies at the Red Star Studios, Kansas City, MO, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME, LH Project, Joseph, OR, the International Symposium of Ceramics, Bechyne, Czech Republic and the Mid-Atlantic Keramic Exchange in Reykjavik, Iceland. Triplett’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including exhibitions as part of the National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary and Galerie U Prstenu, Prague, Czech Republic. Triplett is currently the Beth Ann Morean Endowed Distinguished Professor in Ceramics as well as the Director of the Morean Spring Residency Program and Morean Center for Clay at Western Michigan University.

Maura Shay
Shay Church
About Shay Church
Diana Pancioli
About Diana Pancioli

I was born and raised in northwest Detroit, the grandchild of immigrants.
I graduated from Redford High School and later Wayne State University—
with a B.F.A. in Art. My husband, daughter, and I moved to rural Ontario in
1974 where I built a country pottery and my second gas kiln. I made pots
there for eight years.

I worked for Pewabic Pottery for three years in the mid eighties, before going
to graduate school at Alfred (1987-1989). While at Pewabic I assisted two
artists—both respected Detroit painters—who had been selected to design
ceramic murals for the Detroit People Mover: Alvin Loving and Allie McGhee.
I applied for and was awarded the challenge of designing and building a large
two story, three walled tile mural for the People Mover—the Cadillac Station.

While at Pewabic I also researched and reinvented the formula and firing method
for making the lustre glazes for which Pewabic had become famous; a skill that
was lost following their founder’s death 23 years earlier (Mary Stratton 1867-1961.) I graduated from Alfred University in 1989. Eighteen months after earning my  M.F.A. I was hired to teach ceramics at Eastern Michigan University. About 15 years after teaching only art majors I opened E.M.U.Ceramics courses to non-art  majors. This helped counter the loss of students to Graphic Design that was occurring in our program and most art programs across the country. With non-majors added, our ceramic enrollment grew from about 45 students per semester to almost 100 (an increase which continues to this day 🙂

That success can be attributed partly to the Big Pots assignment which I had
developed with experiments in extrusion. Built with extruded belts rather than
traditional coils, even non-art majors could make beautiful Big Pots (fourth
assignment)in their first (and often only) semester. My book “Extruded Ceramics” was published in the U.S. and England in 2000. I retired from teaching after 27 years at E.M.U., in 2019

Blake Williams
About Blake Williams

Blake J. Williams is a ceramics artist and Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Michigan State University. Blake discovered her love of clay in high school at Cranbrook Kingswood in Michigan and her passion for teaching at Pottery Northwest in Seattle, Washington. She earned her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and her MFA from Louisiana State University. Blake has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her pieces are in private collections, the Michigan State University Spartan Stadium, and the Jingdezhen Ceramics Museum. Her work has been in publications including American Craft, Ceramics Monthly, and Hyperallergic. Blake’s current conceptual focus examines the relationships between the tangible and intangible aspects of objects and mortality with the fragility and permanence of porcelain flowers and bones. You can view her work at


Tickets will be available to the general public in March and range from $140 to $300 with substantial discounts to students and K-12 educators.


Hotel discounts and other accommodation offerings will be posted here soon.

Student Show

More information coming soon!

Mugs of Michigan
Cup Show

More information coming soon!

Partners and sponsors

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Mugs of Michigan Sponsor

Attendance Gift Bag Sponsor

Student Artist Sponsor