XiaSheng Bi Carol Long Tim See

13th Biennial Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference


October 3-6, 2019

Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center
600 4-H Center Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630

About the Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference:

The Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference is held every other year in the beautiful landscape setting of Front-Royal, Virginia. Ceramic artists of all skill levels will benefit from our four day conference! On Saturday and Sunday, three nationally-known potters will present demonstration workshops featuring their unique techniques for constructing, decorating, glazing and firing their work. On Friday, multiple regional ceramists will lead a variety of exciting hands-on and demonstration workshops. There are also great opportunities to socialize, make new acquaintances, and renew past friendships! Participants come away with new ideas and inspiration from this stimulating learning experience!


About Our Main Presenters

Xiaosheng Bi, “Mr B”


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Xiaosheng Bi, (Shys-shen Bee) was raised in the countryside near Xian, China, an area that was China’s ancient capital for centuries and is replete with traditional Chinese art and culture.  After studying graphic design, Xiaosheng worked at the Xian Craft Art Research Institute where he traveled throughout China to study and document classical and folk art.  In 1989, he was admitted to the Ceramic Art Department within the College of Art at Qinghua University in Beijing, China where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and then taught ceramics for eight years.  In 1997 Xiaosheng immigrated to the United States and soon established himself as a ceramist and teacher in Chicago.  In 2004 he moved to the Washington, D.C. area and now lives in Derwood, Maryland with his wife and young daughter and teaches at Montgomery  College.

 Xiaosheng’s work reflects his traditional Chinese influences, yet is infused with a contemporary aesthetic.  Suffused with gentle colors, his delicate forms shine with the brilliant translucency of bone china porcelain.  Traditional Chinese motifs such as bamboo leaves or lotus blossoms are painted with dynamic, nearly abstract strokes.  Through his life and work, Xiaosheng has formed a bridge between the introspective sensibilities of Chinese culture and the dynamism of modern Western culture.


Carol Long


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Carol Long draws influence from plant and animal life and is fascinated by the small complexities of the micro aspects of nature. Her work continues to evolve as she experiments with new ways of expressing the tiny beautiful intrinsic qualities of nature that we often take for granted.

Carols work has been featured at the Strecker-Nelson Gallery in Manhattan  Kansas. Her work can also be found at Bella Luz in Wichita Kansas as well as the Courtyard Gallery in Linsdborg Kansas. She has a booth each year at the Outdoor Living Show (formerly known as the Wichita Garden Show) in Wichita Kansas. Her most recent work is always available on her website http://carollongpottery.com

Born in 1965, Carol Long was raised on a farm in Stafford County Kansas. The farm having been homesteaded in the 1880's had by the time of her childhood matured with enormous trees and a thick shelter belt. In these wooded areas Carol explored and found a connection with nature developing a total appreciation of plant and animal life. Her mother also had an interest in art and often took Carol to art museums. Carol often felt a need to express herself by bringing her imagination to life. She remembers as a child using one of her fathers cattle syringes filled with mud to draw structures in the driveway.  In High School, Carol excelled in art. Her teacher, Sheldon Ganstrom, who is now a prominent Raku artist helped spark Carol's interest in ceramics. She then moved on to Barton County Community College where she realized that she was always drawn to the ceramics lab. She has studied under Glenda Taylor, Linda Ganstrom, and Steve Dudek.




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I am a ceramic artist born in Syracuse, New York in 1979. I have lived in the Greater Syracuse area, commonly known as Central New York, all of my life. I began working in clay while an art student at Onondaga Community College and completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics with Honors at Syracuse University in 2004.

My work has been shown at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C, the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY, the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY,  and, at Baltimore Clayworks in Maryland  – as well as many other galleries and shows. The work has been recognized with awards every year since 2003.

I have taught beginning, intermediate and advanced pottery to adults in a community-based ceramics studio at Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. since 2006. I also have taught children and teens at the elementary, middle and high school levels in workshops, as a visiting artist, and, in year-long after school programs. I have really enjoyed traveling throughout the northeast engaging potters in half-day, full-day and multi-day workshops tailored to their unique goals.

As a founding member of the Independent Potters Association, I work collaboratively with fellow artists to organize and implement several charitable events each year as well as group exhibitions. I help organize group shows, an art trail and a high school ceramics competition annually as well.

Social media have provided me many platforms to communicate with more than 11,000 potters  nationally and internationally. Since 2007, I have produced 92 educational videos on pottery that have been viewed almost 2 million times and attracted more that 13,000 subscribers.

My wife Brenda Pierce and I live in Bridgeport, NY with our cat Viggo.

Add me to Conference e-mail list

for information about the conference.

Registration will begin in the spring 2019.

thE 2019 conference WEBSITE IS under CONSTRUCTION.



Friday Workshops|  Open to All Skill Levels

NEW! PRE-register and Pre-pay for Eight Limited-enrollment Hands-on Workshops!  Register today online or by mail for the limited-enrollment hands-on workshops that you want to attend. Choose the session(s) you want and indicate the times (AM, PM, or evening). Spaces are limited but observing is allowed except for all Raku and Primitive Firing sessions due to safety reasons. Mark your selections on the registration form or submit them with your online registration.


Limited-enrollment Hands-on Workshops:

Slab-Built Boxes: Michael Hough (Hands-on)

This will be a 2 1/2 hour, project-intense workshop using leather-hard slabs, textured surfaces, and decorative elements to create a one-of-a-kind lidded cubist box form. Limit 12 participants, others may observe. AM Session.

Michael Hough – Bio

Michael has a BA, MA, MFA in Ceramic Sculpture and is Associate Professor of Art at Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA. “I have been an artist, creating ceramic, (and more recently) steel sculpture, and pottery for the past twenty-eight years. My love of all things clay began during my second year as an art student at California State University, Sacramento where I eventually earned a BA and MA in Ceramics. Prior to that, I studied film making and worked as a graphic designer for several local California firms. After several years of teaching high school art in Sacramento, I returned to school earning my Masters of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design. The MFA led to a variety of teaching positions, the most recent at Bridgewater College in Virginia, where I began in 1997. My large sculpture and ceramics studio is in New Hope VA, next to my home and garden.”


Robert Devers: Hand-built Extruded Vases. (Hands-on)


Explore the use of the extruder to create multi-chambered crystalline vase forms using soft and leather-hard hollow extrusions. Through the lens of geology we will explore mineral and crystalline formations as distillations of matter, in consideration of various categories of rock, such as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic, we will explore the intersection these three with the formal parameters of the vessel, figure, and landscape. In this workshop we will explore the use of the extruder in the creation of multi-chambered vase forms. Using soft and leather-hard hollow extruded forms, we will create multi-chamber vase forms, which interpret and reinvent crystalline forms found in nature. A variety of shapes of simple and complex forms will be created based on the idea of multiple crystal forms which seemingly grow and evolve into forms for flowers. Limit 12 participants, others may observe. PM Session.

Robert Devers - Bio

Robert Devers is an artist with a multi-faceted practice that includes ceramics, sculpture, painting, and photography. Ceramics remains his essential focus and provides the lens through which the other mediums are engaged and ultimately brought back into play in ceramic practice. He is the owner and founder of Blue Fire Studio in Mt. Rainier, Md., where he holds exhibitions and workshops, as well as serving as his primary studio.

Robert Devers received his MFA degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, majoring in ceramics at both institutions. He is currently Professor of Art at NOVA, teaching Ceramics and 3-D Design, in Annandale, VA, and Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Silver Spring, MD. Previous teaching experience includes: The George Washington University, The Corcoran College of Arts + Design, American University, Montgomery College, and VisArts at Rockville, among others.Since 2004 he has served as the Visual Arts Coordinator and co-founder of the Visual Arts Program of the Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, based in Maiori, Italy, where he also leads ceramics workshops in maiolica glaze painting.

Mr. Devers exhibits his work and teaches workshops internationally.Recent exhibitions include venues such as Grattacielo Pirelli, Milan Italy, VisArts At Rockville, Katzen Art Center, Washington, DC, and Fabrica La Aurora in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Works in public collections include: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, American University Art Gallery; Katzen Art Center, Museo Artistico Industrial Manuel Cargaliero, Vietri sul Mare, Italy, Museo Manuel Cargaliero, Castelo Branco, Portugal, International Monetary Fund, and the Washington Brain and Spine Institute.


Kate Westfall: Surface Ornamentation. (Hands-on)

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This 2.5 hour hands-on workshop will emphasize the use of various surface ornamentation techniques. Participants will embellish wet leather-hard tiles with silk-screened transfers and will have the opportunity to practice creating and applying sprigs (delicate ornamental pieces). Demonstrations will include silk screening, sprig mold making, sprig application, and decal application. Discussion will go beyond the technical and revolve around the potential to create content through layering. (Please bring a paint brush (1/2”-1” is ideal), and a hard rib (not metal!) to participate. All other materials will be provided.) Discussion will include both technical issues and the potential to create content through layering. Limit 15 participants per session, others may observe. AM and PM Sessions.



Kate Westfall – Artist Statement

Art has the power to change the world. Through my work, I seek to emphasize the beauty of unity and common ground by overlapping patterns and ornamental architectural details from various cultures and faiths with the simple message that we are better together. I develop narratives in many of my pieces by layering silk-screen transfers, sprigs, decals and luster.

Kate Westfall –Bio

Kate Westfall is the owner of Daedal Earth Designs, a member of Fire on at the Torpedo Factory and a teacher at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. Born to two artists and raised on 32 acres of fairytale-worthy old farm land in western NY, Kate grew up loving nature and all things handmade. Her business, Daedal, is partnered with the National Forest Foundation and donates a tree to be planted for every piece she sells.

Kate graduated with her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2012. After graduation, she moved down to the DC area to teach and continue making her work. In 2016, she moved to VA where she now lives in a little log cabin with her husband and their three dogs.


Marianne Cordyack: Hand Made Brushes. (Hands-on)

Learn the easy steps for making your own “Japanese-style” brushes to decorate your work. Limit 15 participants, others may observe. PM Session from 2-3:30.

Marianne Cordyack – Bio

Marianne has worked in clay for 30 years, half of that time as the owner of Spiral Ridge Pottery in Shannondale, WV. There she fires her work in a salt-kiln she built. She also teaches salt-firing workshops.




Sculpt a Bust from a Live Model with Guy Zoller. (Hands-on

Using clay on an armature, participants will explore sculpting. Limit 12 participants, others may observe. Materials fee: $35. AM Session.

Guy Zoller – Bio

Guy is a sculptor, potter, ceramicist and teaches at the Reston Community Center. He owns River Water Art Works LLC, combining art installation and consulting with sculpture and ceramics on a privately owned island in the heart of the Thousand Islands region.



Ray Bogle Leads Naked Raku. (Hands-on)

Ray will guide you through the process of glazing and firing your bisque ware naked-raku style, a technique that allows you to remove the glaze at the end, leaving a beautifully patterned piece. Bring 3-5 bisqued pieces made of Raku clay per session. Limit 8 participants per session. Materials fee: $45. AM and PM Sessions. 

Ray Bogle – Bio

Ray has been working with clay for over 30 years and for a majority of that time has focused his efforts of various alternative firing techniques such as Raku, pit, and saggar firing. In 2008 he became aware of the Raku variant called "Naked Raku" and began to experiment with it. He was attracted to the soft satin surface and the bold black and white crackle. He continued to study the technique and learned its subtleties so that most of the time pots successfully move through the process. Ray teaches in his own studio in Huntingtown, MD and at a local community clay studio and continues to explore various firing techniques.


MobileRaku Firing with Brett Thomas. (Hands-on)

Brett will guide you through the decoration and glazing techniques and firing process of contemporary Raku, using your personal bisque ware. Then, as a group we will learn the firing process of contemporary Raku using your personal bisque ware.  It's best to use Raku clay.  All work must be bisque fired. Bring 5 bisqued pieces made of Raku clay per session.  Limit 15 participants per session. Materials fee: $55. PM Session and an 8 PM Evening Session.




Primitive Firing Sampler. (Hands-on)

John Jensen, Colleen O’Sullivan, and presenter James Watkins will use several sawdust pit firing techniques: oil drum, brick chimney, and garbage cans; and several options for interesting colorants. Bring 4 pieces per session.  Limit 12 participants per session. Materials fee: $45. AM and PM Sessions.

Colleen O’Sullivan & John Jensen – Bios

Colleen, A professional potter, directs the Ceramic program at The Art Center, Troy, NY. John is the director of ceramics at St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD.



The following are Friday Demonstrations, Workshops, and Discussions with no Limited Enrollment and No Pre-registration Sign-up:


Diana Faris/AMACO/Brent: Mixing and Layering Mid-Range Glazes. (Hands-on. No limit to participate.)

Blend and layer cone 5-6 brushing glazes to create your own color values and glaze effects. AMACO Celadon and Potters Choice oxidation glazes provide limitless possibilities to achieve your own surfaces without all the dry materials and chemicals. Application and firing variables will be reviewed and reference materials provided.

This is a hands-on workshop with visual presentations to explore Volumetric Mixing and glaze interactions. An assortment of glazes will be available for mixing and layering your own colors on textured bisque tiles. Participants are encouraged to bring their own small bisque pots or test tiles to glaze during class. AM & PM Sessions.

Diana Faris – Bio

Diana began teaching pottery in 1992, completing her MFA in Ceramics at UF (Gainesville) in 1995. She is currently Director of Educational Outreach at AMACO, teaching workshops around the country. Her previous clay-work experience includes four years as Glaze Department Manager and two years as Fabrication Studio Director at Historic Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, creating heirloom quality hand-made tiles. She likes to create narrative tile murals, figurative sculptures and wheel-thrown, assembled pots.


Brett Thomas: Contemporary Trenchers. (Demo)

Historically, Trenchers are a medieval dish to serve the poor. Brett will demo throwing oval forms and hand-built large-scale slab forms in making the Trenchers. AM Session.

Brett Thomas – Bio

Brett is the owner of Mobile Raku, a traveling ceramic classroom that offers workshops throughout the Northeast. Brett is a ceramics instructor at The Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA.



Barbarah Robertson: Crash Course in Breaking into Online Sales. (Discussion)

This lecture will cover the basics of breaking into the world of online sales.

We'll be covering things like...

  • Social Media

  • Catering to your target audience

  • Product photography on a budget

  • Photo shoot do's and don'ts

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Focusing on your goals and knowing your limitations

AM Session.

Barbarah Robertson – Bio

Barbarah Robertson is a full-time studio potter, concentrating on the production of rustic functional ware for table and garden. With 23+ years of experience behind the wheel & kiln, she and husband Bruce currently produce 2 distinctly different lines of pottery, and fire solely mid-range oxidation.


Jane Cullum: Not Your Average Handle Demo! (Demo)

Using her over 40 years of ceramic experience, Jane Cullum of Manassas Clay will be demonstrating a variety of handles--pulled, coiled, thrown, and slab for mugs, pitchers, casseroles and teapots--using textures, stamps, sticks, and toys. “I just like to throw.  I got all the way through school without an art course.  When my kids were little, we were in Canada one of our neighbors was a potter—I was hooked.  So I've been making pots for over 40 years and Fran [Newquist] and I have had Manassas Clay for 20 years.  I think it was in 1992 when George Brown, Linda Bowman and I sat around my kitchen and came up with the idea for Clay Connection.” AM Session.




Dick White and Natasha Thomas: Photographing Your Pots. (Demo) 

Learn the tricks to improving photos of your ceramic-ware--how to set up a photo booth (fancy or on a budget); use of light–natural or lamps; and using gradient backdrop,  use of a camera, DSLR or smartphone; white balance (WB); how to photograph high gloss glazes (Dick found a $4.99 app for iPhone that gives more control over focus, WB, aperture, exposure, etc., and is playing with it now and would like to find something similar for android owners). PM Session.

Natasha Thomas- Bio

Natasha had been photographing people at live events and in the studio for 10 years until one day she caught the pottery bug. Now she brings her camera to the ceramics shop where skills in photography and pottery really complement each other. After all, a good portrait can reveal true colors of a person as well as of a... pot.

Dick White- Bio

Dick is a recovering accountant, and after spending 30+ years toiling with numbers in the federal vineyard he now relaxes by teaching and making pottery. His classes at Audrey Moore Wakefield RecCenter, Northern Virginia Community College (Alexandria), Alexandria Clay Coop, and Lorton Workhouse Arts Center include handbuilding, wheel throwing, and glaze technology. Even after 15 years of playing in the mud, there are still new things to learn!

Mike Swauger, The Kiln Doctor: Kiln Maintenance. (Demo)

Kiln maintenance can keep your kiln running better and longer without a service call. Mike will share tips and tricks to keep your kiln tip-top:

  • · New technology in kiln controls / automatic kilns

  • · Converting manual kilns over to automatic controls

  • · Understanding firing stages for bisque and glaze firings

  • · Kiln and room venting – Importance

  • · Kiln setup, studio design, safety and preventive care

Mike Swauger- Bio

Mike began The Kiln Doctor in 1989 offering kiln repair as a part time evenings and weekend basis based in Alexandria where Creative Clay studios began. In 1996 he began full time services  until moving  to Front Royal Va. In Dec. 1998 to the present time. He started this business due to need and lack of experienced technicians that were familiar with all brands of studio equipment necessary for a ceramic / pottery studio, school, college, art center or business. To this day Mike stays on top of manufacture design, changes/upgrades and new technology. Mike’s team provides services in VA, WV, MD and DC, along with a full service store that he started in 2010 in an old building on main street. In 2012 he relocated to a much better suited building at 100 East 8th St. Front Royal, VA.


Jayne Shatz Leads a Genius Bar: Diversifying Your Work. (Panel Discussion)

This panel will explore how to diversify for successful pottery business that lasts a lifetime not just a temporary fling; having a pottery business, providing workshops for the clay community; writing; blogging; ceramic research; making dvd’s; and more. PM Session: second half, from 3:30-5.


Vendor Presentations Ongoing Friday & Saturday. We invite many ceramic industry vendors, who will provide demonstrations and have ceramic supplies for sale. You may stroll through the vendor area throughout the conference weekend. There will be vendor demos at 1 pm on Friday, and other times, which will be listed in the program. 



 the 12th Biennial Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference 

Add me to Conference e-mail list for information about future conferences.

You should attend the conference if you…

  • Love working and playing with clay

  • Want to learn more about clay and see new techniques

  • Want to connect with the Mid-Atlantic clay community

  • Want to have a blast!

For more information, contact us at conference@theclayconnection.org!