Casey Beck is a recent graduate from University of Wisconsin—River Falls and holds a BFA in ceramics. Beck is a total enthusiast of everything wood- and soda-fired and could spend hours rambling on about what he thinks reduction cooling wood kilns actually do. He enjoys researching and experiencing the possibilities of what these firing methods hold, and it usually keeps him up at night. His involvement with Northern Clay Center first began with volunteering and, over time, he worked his way into peddling pots in the sales gallery part time. In his free time, Beck enjoys bopping around the hills of the Driftless Region or the North Shore, looking at wood-fired pots, and listening to a variety of music ranging from the experimental psychedelic rock of the 60s, to shoe-gaze, and occasionally, to deep house.
NCC is excited to welcome Beck to our teaching artist roster! His favorite aspect of teaching is watching each of the students’ unique interactions, physically and cognitively, with the medium of clay. He believes that “having a mutual understanding with the clay” is one of the most fundamental skills that a ceramic student can learn, “not being forceful towards the clay, but not letting it take control of you.”
Beck is also a 2020 recipient of the Jerome Project Grant for Ceramic Artists. He plans to continue his exploration and development of materials science related to the soda-firing process. Expanding on research on both materials and down-firing that he conducted during the pursuit of his undergraduate degree, Beck hopes to develop new and richer surfaces for his pieces while creating a digital platform and resource for those seeking reference material on this under-documented topic. The jury found his work and proposal to be very cohesive and his aspirations to generate a firing-specific resource available to the public both refreshing and forward-thinking for the continued development and advancement of the soda-firing technique.