Current Residents

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Courtney Murphy

Courtney MurphyCourtney Murphy workCourtney Murphy began working in clay while living in Brooklyn, NY. After several years of working for potters around the city, she moved to Portland, OR and received a post-baccalaureate in ceramics from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. Courtney moved to Montana in the summer of 2009 for a ceramic residency at the Archie Bray Foundation. She just moved to Missoula to begin a residency at the Clay Studio this summer.

My designs are influenced by simplified abstractions of nature, children’s artwork, folk art, mid-century modern forms and shapes, as well as many books on ceramics, design and textiles. I am intrigued by the variation and imperfections found in hand-made objects, and the ways in which these marks reflect the maker of the piece. A slight change in the profile or image on a cup determines whether a person will be drawn to one over another. It is interesting when a particular object speaks to me, and I decide that I’d like to have it in my life.

Clara Lanyi

Clara Lanyi workCLara LanyiAfter receiving a BA in Fine Arts from UCSC, Clara Lanyi discovered ceramics at Cabrillo College. She studied at CCAC (now CCA) in Oakland, CA, and went on to earn her BFA at Alfred University SUNY College of Ceramics and MFA in Ceramics at CU Boulder. Clara is currently living in Chinle, Arizona on the Najavo Nation. She will be spending time as a short term resident at the Clay Studio of Missoula in February-March 2014

20 years after my MFA in ceramic sculpture, I learned how to throw on the wheel. While my kitchen was stocked with other pottersí pots, I found an unexpected gratification in people being able to take my own pieces home and use them. I have become increasingly interested in the issues that arise when handmade items and craft tradition intersect with modern life. I am currently residing in an impoverished rural area classified as a food desert. Here, by proximity, I am highly aware of the politics of food. This feels especially poignant as I am engaged in making tableware and the experience has shaped my approach to my most recent work.

Chad Steve

Courtney MurphyChad Steve workChad Steve received his BFA from University of Wisconsin-Stout and his MFA from University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has worked as an adjunct professor and lab technician at the University of Hawaii. Recently, he has been selected to participate in the ICMEA (International Ceramic Magazine Editors Association) 2013 Emerging Artist Competition in Fuping, China. Chad is currently a long-term resident at the Clay Studio of Missoula.

Concerned with innovation and function I treat each piece as a small sculpture. With consideration of line, mass, and balance I find an arrangement that displays a strong visual presence within each piece. Constructing both sculptural and utilitarian ceramics I am most intrigued by the way we connected and interact with objects in our daily lives.

Casey Zablocki

Casey Zablocki workCasey ZablockiCasey Zablocki was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula. He received his BFA from Finlandia University and studied ceramic design in Kuopio, Finland. He spent one year working and studying as an apprentice to Peter Callas and as a special student at Montana State. He has showed in both national and international exhibitions. Casey is currently the Woodfire Resident at the Clay Studio of Missoula.

I believe in form and function, craft and industry, which all need to be considered to create a balance in beauty. Knowing beauty is just a perception it allows me to use clay as a natural vehicle to transport my ideas. My ideas are influenced by my past and my present surroundings. I find acceptance that each idea will not be successful and believe if I continue the process of creating, my perception of success will change. I find wood firing to be the most efficient artistic tool in finishing my work.

Lilly Zuckerman

Lilly Z. vesselLilly ZuckermanLilly Zuckerman is from Pittsburgh and grew up nearby in rural Greensburg, PA. The ground there has deposits of sticky orange clay and so her richly colored clay not only holds the vast history of earthenware ceramics but also that of her home. 

In 2010 Lilly received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics with an Art History minor from Penn State University in University Park, PA. While at Penn State she was funded to conduct research in Morocco about contemporary ceramics. The country’s architecture of adobe houses, diverse geology from the Sahara Desert to the Atlas Mountains, and the unglazed earthenware cooking vessels continue to be strong influences on her work.