Current Residents


Crista Ann Ames

Crista Ann AmesCrista Ames workCrista attended Washington State University where she obtained her BFA in Ceramics with a minor in Art History. She attended Utah State University for Post Baccalaureate studies in Ceramics, and recently completed the MFA program at the University of Montana. She begans a long-term residency at the Clay Studio of Missoula upon the completion of a summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in October 2015.

I am a sculptor who works primarily in ceramics and textiles. I find that the integration of both permanent and impermanent materials conveys my interest in approaches to memory, loss and transformation. Just as the act of remembering transforms an experience into something different, time degrades some elements and leaves others to endure. Through the layering of mythology, iconography and personal narrative, my work explores how our own animal nature relates to the ways we establish and sustain personal relationships. I draw on my own experiences to explore pastoral life, animal husbandry, women’s craft and fertility. In bridging the gap between myth and experience, I utilize my artistic practice to create altogether new stories that tell contemporary tales of trauma, joy and womanhood.


Chris Drobnock

Chris Drobnock workChris DrobnockChris Drobnock began his ceramics studies at Juniata College (PA). He received his BFA with a dual concentration in Ceramics and
Printmaking at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has worked as both a Studio/Lab Technician and an independent studio potter and sculptor in Pennsylvania. Chris recently completed his MFA at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

I have been investigating and making based on the idea that all objects, all things, have a preconceived understanding of object use that is culturally imprinted in our psyche; into our subconscious or even deeper our subliminal mind. The sculpture presented references the mundane, the profane, things that we come in contact with on a daily basis. These objects have been taken for granted, but in focusing on presenting these things a rarified sense of awareness is given to them. By fabricating them they become symbolic or iconic, immediately understood as having a direct purpose or referencing specific action. Functionality is a truth, historically and ultimately assumed or pronounced utility objects that, collectively, we have faith in. The clay material is of the physical world and records touch as it is handled. Color choice and formal decisions are playful and methodical, used to mimic blurry vision in the periphery of our point-of-view or to react to the thought that the everyday object might exist like a John Cage-style of ‘silence,’ that nothing is ordinary; that nothing is, in fact, sacred.

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Donna Flanery

Donna FlaneryDonna FlaneryDonna Flanery is a resident artist at The Clay Studio of Missoula, having recently moved from Asheville, NC. She received her MFA from the University of Florida in 2013 and her BFA in 2005 from the University of Montana. Between academic endeavors she has been a resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT (2007-2009), The Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN (2006-2007), The Pottery Workshop, Shanghai, China (2009-2010) and The Zentrum fur Keramic, Berlin, Germany (June 2013). She has been spreading the good word of clay through teaching classes in all of those places and at Odyssey Clayworks in Asheville, NC. (2013-2015).

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Miriam Griffin

Miriam GriffinMiriam GriffinMiriam Griffin was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and has lived in Missoula since 2011. She received her BFA from The University of Montana in 2013, and has also studied at Bard College at Simon's Rock, Penland School of Crafts, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Her work reflects interests in animal life, environmental destruction, and social injustice. Currently, she is a long-term resident at The Clay Studio of Missoula.

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Joshua Kuensting

Joshua KuenstingJoshua Kuensting workJoshua received a BA in Psychology University of Missouri-Columbia and was a Core Artist in the Fellowship Program at Penland School of Crafts. Joshua received his MFA in ceramics at Utah State University, Logan, where he was awarded a number of fellowships and was named Graduate Student Teacher of the Year. From July 2015-June 2016, Joshua was a studio tech and instructor at Winthrop University (SC).

 Drawing inspiration from the works of contemporary studio potters who were influenced by historic Asian ceramics, I work within a catalog of forms that are designed to serve food and drink. I design my pottery forms so that they will create an engaging landscape on the table. My work evolves steadily through thoughtful making in the studio. In my work I explore the power and beauty found in simplicity. Making simple pots will always be a worthy challenge for me because in order for a simple pot to be successful, many subtle nuances must coexist amicably. I create the soft, approachable matte surfaces I want my pots to have by applying slips or leaving the clay raw and firing my work in atmospheric kilns. I employ the potter's wheel and simple press molds so that my pieces do not feel sterile or overly mechanical. The touch of the hand is present in my finished pieces.

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Holly Grob - Community Resident (Sept/Oct)

Sarah McNuttHolly Grob workHolly Grob recently received a BFA at Montana State
University, Billings, where she was also honored with Edith M. Freeman Memorial Award Outstanding Service to the Arts. In November 2015, she participated in the MART International Residency Programme in Dublin, Ireland.

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