5 Ceramicists from the Heartland We’re Swooning Over

 In Guide, Style

This year, we’ve noticed a growing trend on the rise. With Instagram potters reaching superstar-level followings, a vase breaking auction records, and ceramics classes overflowing with beginning potters, it’s clear clay has entered a heyday and there’s no looking back.

Some of our favorite ceramicists are making innovative sculptural and functional work in studios right here in the Midwest. Read on to learn more about five ceramics artists who have recently caught our eye.


Image courtesy of Casey Whittier

Casey Whittier
Exhibiting Kansas-city artist Casey Whittier investigates the fine line between the need to preserve and a desire to re-imagine, re-configure and re-contextualize the world around her. Using clay, Whittier recreates objects from nature and everyday life, asking the viewer to approach the familiar from a new perspective. 


Image courtesy of Kahlil Irving

Kahlil Irving
A rising star in the ceramics world, Kahlil Robert Irving is a multimedia artist, currently living and working in St. Louis, Missouri. His socially-engaged sculptural and thrown pieces have been showcased throughout the U.S. In 2017, he was awarded one of ten Artist Fellowships from the Regional Arts Commission St. Louis.


Image courtesy of Carmelita Nuñez

Carmelita Nuñez
Carmelita Nuñez is a ceramics artists who creates beautiful, functional pieces for people’s homes. Whether it’s magnets, drawer pulls, or mugs, she makes cozy, decorative ceramic pieces meant to bring a brightness to your everyday routines. You may have noticed her wares on the shelves at Union Studio.


Image courtesy of Sarah Cihat

Sarah Cihat
Former New Yorker Sarah Cihat works from her own studio in Nashville, TN, where she makes functional and decorative vases and other homewares. She favors simple, classic shapes, with bold, stano-out glazes. Her most recent collection takes inspiration from outer space, with swirls and starbursts that evoke the rings of Saturn or Jupiter’s stormy atmosphere.


Image courtesy of Norleen Nosri

Norleen Nosri
Norleen Nosri was born and raised in Malaysia. Her public projects and independent work center around community building and bringing change to the lives of others. Her CommuniTea project, which involved inviting the public to participate in tea ceremonies with her students, led to an encouraging letter from President Obama.


Cover image courtesy of Carmelita Nuñez.

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