Vertical Torque, Ember

Mason helped revolutionize clay under the tutelage of Peter Voulkos at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California in the 1950s. This revolution was responsible for changing ceramics from totally utilitarian works of clay to fine art. Abstract Expressionism directly influenced the artists involved in this change in ceramics. Many museums contain Mason?s works in their permanent collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri; the Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; and the American Craft Museum in New York, New York. Vertical Ember Torque is part of a series by Mason that exudes strength and beauty. The hand-built work conveys the massive energy and strength employed by the artist to twist and manipulate the clay. The resulting totemic sculpture closely resembles a twisted steel beam.


After having been drafted to serve as a military photographer during the Korean War, Leedy found his ?spiritual home? in Asian philosophy while witnessing the atrocities of war. This experience left a great impact on Leedy. Studying art and art history on the G.I. Bill after the war enabled him to meet some influential artists in New York. Wilhelm de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Philip Guston were among the group that impacted Leedy. These painters were known for painting in a style coined ?Abstract Expressionism?. Leedy discovered that there were similarities to Asian thought in this form of art and thus were the beginnings of Leedy?s quest for spontaneity and discovery. ?The teacher?s attitude was that if it had a finger mark, or a drop of glaze, you wiped that away, or you ground it off. And I realized with this Zen/Taoist philosophy that it was this aspect that made it unique and different than all the others.? ? Jim Leedy

Platter with Running Hare

Ferguson was Chairman of the Kansas City Art Institute Ceramics Department for more than thirty years. Voted one of the 12 greatest living potters in 1981 by readers of Ceramics Monthly, Ferguson has received numerous honors over the years. The recipient of two National Endowments for the Arts grants for craftsmen, a Mid-America College Arts Award for Studio Art, a Tiffany grant and an Alliance of Independent Colleges of Arts grant. His awards demonstrate how he has been recognized as much for his teaching as his art work. He has a reputation for inspiring his students to develop their own idiosyncratic styles while simultaneously instilling a respect for the medium of clay and its history. He has had over 100 exhibitions worldwide including a retrospective exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City in 1995. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Syracuse, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the American Craft Museum in New York City are among the numerous public and private collections worldwide that include works by Ferguson.