Sue Canizares likens her surface decorating on stoneware and porcelain to 'embroidery' saying the technique called "Sgraffito" design is finished using clay as thread and fire as loom. Having lived for a time in the rich historical region of Burgundy, France, Canizares says she draws inspiration from the culture of the medieval period, viewing ancient tapestries both as a window to the past and as a resource for creation of the stylized flowers, vines, leaves and animals that adorn her three-dimensional pieces.

Megan Connor, ceramics teacher at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, says her work is strongly influenced by the colors, patterns and textures she sees in the natural world. To her, the veins of a leaf or the texture of eroded stone represent growth and the passage of time and she refers to those ideas for expression in the carved and stamped surfaces of her pottery and textural compositions of her tiles. Connor's current theme of work focuses on landscape and its connection "between our physical and emotional landscapes." She describes her works as "hand built textural wall tiles using slips and stains on layered slabs of clay."

Miyo Hirano says her wheel-thrown and altered stoneware reflects her Japanese heritage and adds that she is grateful to all those who helped in her journey from when, as a child in Japan, she first experienced the joy of rolling a small clay ball in her cupped palms, to venturing down a potter's path and ultimately opening her own shop called, "Pleasing Pottery." Hirano says that "working in clay is a continuum of mystery" and understands that her joy arises in connecting with elements of earth, water, fire and cosmic presences beyond ideas and forming techniques. Compelled to work through her inner self, Hirano says that she applies the concept of "sitting

with a beginner's mind."

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