Z Kaplan is a queer, Jewish, gender-liberated ceramic artist from Chicago. Working with clay began as a childhood pastime, taking neighborhood park-district classes, but has since transformed into a means of expression and community, a mode of accessibility, and reparations. Since becoming Northern Clay Center’s BISQUE Resident, they have been using their resources to explore a new relationship with clay and the firing process to form creations that are kinetic and dynamic. Kaplan incorporates their values of doikayt—or “hereness”—to invoke pieces that connect to Kaplan’s roots, and others, in ways that explore desires for grounding in a reality that is deeply diasporic. They believe ceramics should serve as a spark of play in the mundane, allowing the piece to shine and mold to its surroundings.