June Featured Artists

June 4 – June 30, 2024
Sales Gallery & Online
Paul Eshelman, Bianka Groves, Tom Jaszczak, Katie Reeves, Betsy Williams

Paul Eshelman, Bianka Groves, Tom Jaszczak, Katie Reeves, Betsy Williams

Paul Eshelman
Elizabeth, IL

Paul Eshelman received a BA in art from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and an MFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Eshelman’s functional pottery is his cultural attempt, through the material of clay, to bring order and human dignity to the merely physical act of consuming food and drink. “As my pots are used daily, I hope that they carry measures of quiet and nourishment for body and spirit. I imagine people at a dinner table, workspace, or office cubicle where food and drink are served and humanized by hospitable, well-ordered pots.” Since 1988 Eshelman and his wife, Laurel, have been living and making pottery in Elizabeth, Illinois, a small farming community in northwestern Illinois.

Bianka Groves
Santa Fe, NM

Bianka Groves received her BFA from Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, DC. Her work is simple and calm; it is intended to add balance to a fast-paced world. There is a bold contrast between the white of the porcelain and the incised black lines but her sense of touch is very delicate. Groves uses an inlay process, which entails covering the piece in wax and drawing through it with razors or acupuncture needles to achieve a thin, constant line, painting the carved areas in black glaze, and wiping away anything that is not in the lines. This creates a tattoo-like effect on the clay. Her high-fire porcelain wares are polished after firing to create a satiny, soft touch, each piece revealing her hand at play.

Tom Jaszczak
Shafer, MN

Originally from Minnesota, Tom Jaszczak received a BA in visual art and a BS in biology with a minor in chemistry from Bemidji State University (Minnesota). Jaszczak was an assistant to both Simon Levin and Tara Wilson. He was a summer resident and a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation. In the fall of 2015, Jaszczak began a three-year residency with his wife Maggie Jaszczak at the Penland School of Craft. In 2018, the Jaszczaks put down permanent roots in Shafer, Minnesota, where they live in a farmhouse and work in a barn-style studio. Jaszczak has received several awards and honors including, a Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant, ECRAC Essential Artist Award, NCECA Emerging Artist Award, as well as Ceramics Monthly, Lincoln, and Lillstreet Fellowships through the Archie Bray Foundation. In the summer of 2014, Jaszczak was an Honored Maker at the Maker’s Faire at the White House in Washington, D.C. His current body of work comprises a range of pots made of red earthenware that explore minimalism and are finished with a cone 2 soda-fired surface.

Katie Reeves
Albertville, MN

Katie Reeves is a Queer ceramic artist originally from Minnesota. They recently completed two undergraduate degrees in art education and fine arts with a concentration in ceramics at the University of Wisconsin–Stout (Menomonie) and is the 2022 recipient of a Fogelberg Studio Fellowship from Northern Clay Center. In their early teenage years, they threw on the wheel for the first time and immediately fell in love with the medium. Some ten-years later, ceramics continues to be their passion. Over the course of the last three years, Reeves’ work has been in over 25 exhibitions across the United States. They make functional ceramic wares that focus on themes of sexuality, femininity, intimacy, and classicality. Currently, their focus is to work on building their presence within the field of ceramics. 

Betsy Williams
Dixon, NM

Betsy Williams and her husband, stone sculptor Mark Saxe, own Rift Gallery in Rinconada, New Mexico. Williams earned a liberal arts degree at St. John’s College—the “Great Books” school in Santa Fe, New Mexico—then went on to become a money market trader at a Japanese bank in Manhattan. She ultimately left that job for a pottery apprenticeship in Karatsu, Japan, under Yutaka Ohashi (1994 –1999), and has been a potter since. In spring of 2020, she began prospecting for wild clays in New Mexico. Her research continues to take her all over the state, and to date includes about 150 samples. Several examples of wild clay bodies and wild glazes are included here.