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Ceramic professor at Ohio Northern University to present at national conference in Rhode Island

March—Ohio Northern University’s ceramics professor, Luke Sheets, will be presenting a topical discussion session at this year’s “Lively Experiments,” the 2015 professional conference organized by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), March 25–28, 2015.

Prof. Sheets’ session, “Experiments in Low Temperature Wood-Firing,” addresses the merits and drawbacks of low temperature wood firing with others who fire wood kilns to earthenware temperatures and have a discussion of clays, slips, and glazes suited to this process.

NCECA, a professional association for the ceramic arts, promotes and advances the field of ceramics through education, community building, research and creative inspiration. NCECA offers educational programs, exhibitions, events and publications to support its membership of artists, educators, students, individual and corporate patrons, gallery owners, museum curators and providers of ceramic arts.

NCECA’s annual conference has earned a reputation worldwide as a premiere event for ceramic art, attracting thousands each year. Lively Experiments will join ceramic art’s historic engagement with empirical research and discovery to today’s evolving creative commons. Conference programming will investigate, celebrate and promote discourse in lively experimentation through aesthetics, history, criticism, pedagogy, professional practice, technology, and sustainability. Special strands dedicated to K-12 education and student-centered programming will also be incorporated along with opportunities to learn about ceramics study, residency opportunities, services and products.

This year, the conference is expected to draw a group of 5,000+ artists, educators, curators and collectors from across the United States and 50 countries.

Prof. 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. Following graduation, Luke was resident potter at Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center for 2 ½ years before moving to Kanazawa, Japan. While there, he shared a studio space with two local Japanese potters until his return to Ohio in 2005. Through travels to countries like the Czech Republic, Korea, Italy, and France, he has continued to explore wood-firing in various ceramic traditions. His research interests also included 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 local and 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, the First and Second European Wood-Fire conferences, and was awarded a residency at the highly respected Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center located in Denmark. At ONU, Prof. Sheets teaches ceramics, sculpture and 3D design. He also is the adviser to the Kappa Pi international art honorary.

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.