Current Residents


Miriam Griffin

Miriam GriffinMiriam GriffinMiriam Griffin was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and holds a BFA degree from the University of Montana, Missoula. She has an Associate's Degree from Bard College at Simon's Rock, and has also studied at the University of Tennessee, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and Women's Studio Workshop. She has received several scholarships to attend workshops at Penland School of Crafts, and has participated in residency programs at The Clay Studio of Missoula (as the summer 2013 University of Montana resident) and at Medalta (Medicine Hat, Alberta, CA).

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Koral Halperin

Koral HalperinKoral Halperin workSpending the first half of his life in the United States Virgin Islands and the latter half in Chicago and New York, Koral’s work tends to reveal observations of the natural and manmade worlds. Koral received his AFA, Associates of Fine Arts at College of Dupage (IL), a BFA at Southern Illinois University, and was a Post Baccalaureate Student at Kansas State University. Most recently, he was a long-term resident at Red Lodge Clay Center.

I grew up immersed in the outdoors, in a time where technology began to live in our homes. The colors in advertisements and their products were mimicking those of native sceneries and festivals. And while a strong connection to nature began to fade, metropolises emerged. It seemed that the tribal idea of "order emerging from chaos" was reaching itsí peak. Many questions emerge from this thought and are the basis for my current body of work... Working with clay brings these questions alive. For me, coil building is an intuitive process, which lends itself to both very structural and organic forms. I can use the human touch in juxtaposition with structure, while maintaining the idea that these elements are one in the same. Architectural, gestural, abstract, conceptual, and landscape elements come together to create a composition that is relevant to both past and present.

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Joshua Kuensting

Joshua KuenstingJoshua Kuensting  workJoshua received a BA in Psychology University of Missouri-Columbia (MO) and was a Core Artist in the Fellowship Program at Penland School of Crafts (NC) where he focused on forged/fabricated steel, woodfired ceramics, and fine woodworking. Joshua recently received his MFA in ceramics at Utah State University, Logan, UT, where he was awarded a number of fellowships and was named Graduate Student Teacher of the Year (2013/14).

My current studio work is centered around wheel thrown ceramic tableware. A major inspiration for this work is the interaction and relationships that take place when people gather together for a meal. In this way I make pots so that my work may help to create experiences for people.

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 choose to fire my work in a traditional wood fired anagram kiln. I fire up to ten days, allowing a buildup of ash that will create the surface on my work. There is no use of glazes. The colors come from the clay bodies I use, the atmosphere created in the kiln, and the amount of ash buildup throughout the process. I find influence in my surroundings, natural and industrial alike. Our existence in the natural environment can create both distraction and beauty. As an artist it is my responsibility to find inspiration from the world that we live in today.


UM Summer Resident - Samantha Briegel

Sam Briegel workSamantha BriegelSam Briegel was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. Sam holds a BFA in Three-Dimensional Arts from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She graduated as an outstanding graduate and was selected to show her work in the Annual BFA Honors Exhibition at the University. After graduation, her passion for pottery led her to Helena, Montana for the opportunity to intern at the Archie Bray Foundation Clay Business. After completing her internship, Sam moved to Missoula, Montana to study ceramics at the University of Montana as a post-baccalaureate student. She currently resides in Missoula and will now complete a summer residency at the Clay Studio of Missoula as the University of Montanaís summer resident.

In my work, I am interested in the comparison between body and vessel. This comparison guides my approach to utilitarian pottery. I aim to clothe pots much like we clothe our bodies. I am most excited about the moments in my work where the seams come together and where the prints become activated as they are formed into an object of use.