Skip To Main Content

Ohio Northern ceramic faculty and alumnus contribute to Wood County Humane Society

July—The Manabigama Pottery Center in Bowling Green hosted a fundraiser that brought together many of Northwest Ohio’s finest ceramic artists under its roof for one night. The event, Potters for Pets, raised money for the Wood County Humane Society and Nature’s Nursery.

Prof. Luke Sheets (BFA ’95), assistant professor of art at ONU, along with Prof. Bruce Chesser, professor emeritus in art from Ohio Northern, and Prof. Ed Corle (BA ’78) were invited to participate in this first of its kind fundraiser, which took place in early April.

Luke Sheets is an assistant professor in ceramics and director of the 3D program at Ohio Northern’s Department of Art & Design. He earned his BFA from Ohio Northern University and his MFA from Bowling Green State University. His research interests include experimenting with clays and glazes to discover how they react with wood-kiln firing and incorporating local materials into the process. His work has been accepted into many national competitions including “History in the Making: Ceramic Traditions / Contemporary Objects,” the Majestic Galleries’ National Juried Competition 2009, the “Drink: Functional Forms for Every Libation” international competition, the 8th Annual National Juried Cup Show and the 6th Annual “It’s Only Clay” National Exhibition. In 2005, he had work included in “500 Cups: Ceramic Explorations of Utility and Grace,” and most recently in 2013, was published in “500 Teapots: Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design” (Vol. 2), both books published by Lark Books. He has spoken at various national and international conferences including NCECA’s 48th Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI, and the First European Wood-Fire Conference in Germany. At ONU, Prof. Sheets teaches ceramics, sculpture and 3D design. He also is the adviser to the Kappa Pi international art honorary.

Prof. Bruce Chesser specializes in contemporary interpretations of traditional functional ceramics. He retired from Ohio Northern University where he taught ceramics for over 30 years and served as chair of the department of art & design for 12 years. Previously, he taught at Ohio University, Athens. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in fine arts from OU and has participated in more than 100 juried, invitational and one-person art shows. Prof. Chesser also conducts numerous workshops and lectures on salt-glazing and raku pottery.

 • Ed Corle (BA ’78): Ed had a recent ceramic piece accepted to this year’s show. He is an associate professor of art at The University of Findlay where he teaches ceramics, sculpture and three-dimensional design. He has been with Findlay since 1986. Ed attended Ohio Northern University and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1978. He also attended Rochester Institute of Technology School for the American Craftsmen and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1982. He has participated in many art shows including the Toledo Art Museum's area artist exhibition. In addition, he participates in area art fairs and festivals such as the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and The Black Swamp Arts Festival.  He is a member of the Findlay Art League, The Michigan Guild and Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

Over a dozen of the region’s most active and talented ceramic artists donated an original piece of his/her work for a silent auction, with 100% of the profits going to the two charities. In addition, each artist brought other works to sell, with 30% of those proceeds benefiting the animal welfare in Lucas and Wood counties.

The event raised $2,200 in just four hours.

“These artists have agreed to participate out of their love of animals,” explained Tiffany Hyland, a practicing veterinarian at Highpoint Animal Hospital in Maumee and the co-owner of Manabigama Pottery Center. “Together, they covered a very wide spectrum of creativity in the ceramic arts and it was great to see them in one place.”

Nature’s Nursery Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Education is a nonprofit organization located in Whitehouse, Ohio. It provides medical care to injured and orphaned wild animals, and conducts nature education programs for children and adults.

The Wood County Humane Society, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, is a full-service, no-kill shelter providing care for homeless and abused pets and investigating cruelty complaints in Wood County. In addition, the organization assists Wood County residents with its Safe Haven and food assistance programs, spay/neuter transport, and educational presentations.

Manabigama Pottery Center opened in January 2011 and is the home studio of ceramic artist John Thies and his partner, Tiffany Hyland. They produce a wide assortment of handmade, wood-fired, functional and decorative pottery. The studio and gallery are open to the public year round by appointment. In addition, they offer pottery classes and wood fire pottery workshops to area ceramic artists.

For additional information about this event, please feel free to contact the Manabigama Pottery Center at (419) 206-0320 or

Ohio Northern University’s quality, student-centered education distinctively combines nationally ranked sciences, arts and professional programs for more than 3,500 students in its five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2014–15 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.