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I have been making pots for more than 30 years now..... every day, steadfastly. They are pots for the table, cooking and serving, celebrating and sharing. They are objects I love to make. As I grow in this devotion, this work of my hands, my direction has changed. At one time, early on, I chased skill and competence.... later maybe, some notion of beauty. At this point in my life, both personally and artistically, I am striving for clarity. My aim is to make pots that sing of their nature in a total way. In rim, foot, surface and form...a common language...a single voice.

I think there is a deep appreciation for the grace and beauty of well-made functional pots. In a gallery setting, however, you can take in only part of what they offer. Over time, through continuous use, you uncover the remainder. Some forms I make are simple, others complex, with lots of altering after throwing. But they are all part of the monthly cycle of work that is made in the studio, day in, day out, cycle-by-cycle, year-by-year. The continuous involvement with this body of work brings about a slow natural development of form with which I am comfortable. It is easy to imagine this passion continuing to ripen and evolve, sustaining me another 30 years.

Ellen Shankin has been a studio potter in the mountains of south west Virginia for the past 27 years. She received her B.F.A. with honors from the NY State School of Ceramics at Alfred. Honored recipient of a 1990 National Endowment Visual Arts Fellowship Grant and a 2001 Virginia Museum Grant, she exhibits her work in shows and galleries throughout the United States. She has pieces in the collections of numerous museums including the Mint Museum, The International Museum of Ceramics at Alfred, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art and the Art Museum of Southwest Virginia. Her work has appeared in many periodicals and books of ceramic art. for the past 14 years she has pursued a growing interest in teaching workshops and has been a guest lecturer and instructor in more than 50 universities, craft schools, and art centers.

She lives with her husband, Brad Warstler, a woodworker, in Floyd Virginia. They have built their home and studios in a tranquil rural setting where they raised their 2 sons. They are both founding members of 16 Hands, an association of Artist / Craftsmen in their region.

August 22, 1952
N.Y.C., New York

New York State School of Ceramics at Alfred. Alfred, New York B.F.A. with Honors
Rhode Island School of Design: Providence, Rhode Island
Goddard College: Plainfield, Vermont

"Making the Ordinary Extraordinary" Terra Incognito
"Potters of the Southern Mountains" Red Star Studios Kansas City, Mo
"Differences within Functionality" Andrews University: Berrien Springs, MI
"la Mesa" Santa Fe Clay NCECA show Baltimore, Maryland
"Potters of the Mid-Atlantic" Whitte Hall Gallery NCECA Annapolis, Md
"A touch of Elegance" McBride Gallery NCECA shoe Annapolis, Maryland
"Bottled Spirits" Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft Louisville, Ky.
"National Teapot Show Vl: Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, N.C.
"2nd Annual Invitational Pottery Show" Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, Ma.
"The Potters of 16 Hands" Santa Fe Clay: Santa Fe, N.M.
16Hands: Gallery 108: Roanoke Virginia
"This Splendid Table: Fantastic Dishes for Food": Kentucky Museum of Arts and Design
"Duets": Kentucky Museum of Arts and Design: Louisville, Ky
"16 Hands": Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History Danville, Va
2 man show: Akar Gallery: Iowa City, Iowa Ellen Shankin and David Crane
2 man Show: Cedar Creek Gallery: Silvie Granatelli and Ellen Shankin Creedmoor, NC
"Dinner is Served" Worcester Center for Crafts: Worcester, Massachusetts
"Women in Clay" Odyssey: Asheville, NC
"Hundreds of Cups" Santa Fe Clay: Santa Fe, New Mexico
"Tea for 2" Clay Studio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
"Winterfest 2003" Baltimore Clayworks: Baltimore, Maryland
Solo Exhibition: College of William and Mary. Williamsburg, Virginia
"National Ceramics Invitational" Bruce Gallery Edinboro University. Edinboro, Pa
"Stoneware for Daily Rituals" Red Star Studio: NCECA Conference. Kansas City, Mo.
"For the Table" Santa Fe Clay. Santa Fe, New Mexico
"Historical Influences on Contemporary Ceramics" Guilford College. Greensboro, N.C
"Wayne Higby: Reunion" Helen Drutt Gallery. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
"25 Select 25" Lill Street Gallery. Chicago. Illinois
"Solo Exhibition" Red Star Studios. Kansas City, Missouri
"American Pottery Festival 2001" Northern Clay Center. Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Teapots" The Clay Connection. Charlotte, North Carolina
"Honor the Mug" Cedar Creek Gallery. Creedmoor, North Carolina
"Earth and Abstracts" Greensboro Cultural Center. Greensboro, North Carolina
"16 Hands: Group Exhibition" Lill Street Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
"Drinking Vessels" Elipse Art Center, Arlington, Virginia
"Ceramics Invitational" Sul Ross University. Alpine, Texas
"Studio Days" Chester Springs Studio. Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
"Le Grand Buffet" The Clay Studio. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
"From Shoulder to Foot" Quinlan Visual Arts Center. Gainesville, Georgia
"Teapots Transformed" Ferrin Gallery. Northampton. Massachusetts
"Ceramics USA 2000" Juror University of North Texas. Denton, Texas
"American Pottery Festival 2000" Northern Clay Center. Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Community in Clay" The William King Art Center. Abingdon, Virginia
"Cup 2000" Fifth Element. Portland, Oregon
"Earthworks 2000" Juror: Kingston, Rhode Island
"Focus on Function" University of Minneapolis. Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Community in Clay " Art Museum of Western Virginia. Roanoke, Virginia
"Pots for Daily Living" Show of Hands. Denver, Colorado NCECA
"Solo Exhibition" Lill Street Gallery. Chicago, Illinois
"Ritual of the Table" Odyssey Gallery. Asheville, North Carolina
"Select 12" Ohio University Art Gallery. Athens, Ohio
"Ceramics Invitational" Astra Design. Richmond, Virginia
"Person to Person: Interpretations of Function" Brockport, New York
"Ceramics U.S.A." Denton, Texas
"Strictly Functional" Ephrata, Pennsylvania
"West Virginia Ceramics Invitational" Morgantown, West Virginia
"Vessels that Pour" Lill Street Gallery. Chicago, Illinois

"An Accessible Art" NY State School of Ceramics. Alfred, New York (Co-curator with Val Cushing)
"Functional Clay'96" Shoestring Gallery. Rochester, New York
"3rd Annual Teapot Exhibition" Craft Alliance. St. Louis, Missouri
"In-Form-al Function" Baltimore Clayworks. Baltimore, Maryland
"Soup Tureen '93" Helen Drutt Gallery. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"7th Annual San Angelo National Ceramic Competition" San Angelo, Texas
"Women's Visions: Mid Atlantic Invitational" Montgomery College. Rockville, Md
"A Tea Party" Chicago New Art Forms. Chicago, Illinois
"N.E.A. Fellowship Winners" The Farrell Collection. Washington, D.C.
"Tureen Show" Detroit Gallery of Contemporary Crafts. Detroit, Michigan
"Form in Function" Central Park Gallery Kansas City, Missouri
"Pewabic Invitational" Pewabic Pottery. Detroit, Michigan
"Potter's Potters" NCECA Syracuse, New York
"Teapot Invitational" Art Forms Gallery. Louisville, Kentucky
"Clay U.S.A". Radford University. Radford, Virginia Honorable Mention
"Crafts U.S.A." Reykjavik, Iceland
"Function in Clay: New Works" NCECA. Atlanta, Georgia
"Green Meadow Invitational" Spring Valley, New York
"Fourteen Southeast Potters" Blacksburg, Virginia
"Westwood Clay National" Los Angeles, California
Fosdick Nelson Gallery Alfred, New York

Cub Creek Foundation: weekend workshop with Granatelli & Polseno
Jacksonville Center: Floyd, Virginia 3 day hands on workshop
Anderson Ranch: Snowmass Village 2 week hands on workshop
Hambidge Center: Rabun Gap, Ga. week long hands on workshop
Nancy Green Studio: Watkinsville, Ga. weekend demo workshop
North Harris College: Houston, Texas 4 day hands on workshop
"La Meridiana" Certaldo Italy: 2 week hands on workshop and Tuscan experience
Odyssey: Asheville North Carolina: 1 week hands on workshop
Terra Incognito: Oak Park, Illinoise: 2 day demo
The Art league: Alexandria, Virginia 2 day demo.
Ceramics Guild of Bethesda: Workshop and show Jurying
University of Tennessee Knoxville 2 day presentation
University of Pennsylvania: State College, Pa.1 day presentation and demonstration
Appalachian Center for Crafts: Smithville, Tennessee 1 week workshop
Jamaica: Anderson Ranch: Falmouth, Jamaica 10 days
Claymakers: Durham, North Carolina 1 week workshop
La Meridiana: Certaldo, Italy 2 week workshop
Santa Fe Clay: Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1 week workshop
Carolina Clay Guild: Greensboro, North Carolina weekend
William and Mary: Williamsburg, Virginia 1 day workshop
Armory Art Center: West Palm Beach, Florida 1 week workshop
Arrowmont School of Crafts: Gatlinburg, Tennessee 1 week workshop
Red Star Studio: Kansas City, Missouri
The Clay Studio: Portchester, New York 1 week workshop
Anderson Ranch: Snowmass Village, Colorado 2 week workshop
New River Valley Clay Symposium: Blacksburg, Virginia (with Nick Joerling )
South County Art Association: Kingston, Rhode Island
University of North Texas: Denton, Texas
Virginia Beach Potters Association: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Anderson Ranch: Snowmass Village, Colorado 2 week
Texas Pottery and Sculpture Guild: Fort Worth, Texas
Wallingford Potters Guild: Wallingford, Pennsylvania
Arrowmont School of Crafts: Gatlinburg, Tennessee 1 week
N.Y. State School of Ceramics at Alfred: Alfred, N. Y.
Fusion Conference : London, Ontario Canada
Virginia Clay Conference: Front Royal, Virginia
Arrowmont National Utilitarian Clay Symposium: Presenter: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Hinckley Studio: Washington, D.C.
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts: Deer Isle, Maine 2 week workshop
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen: Bennington, Vermont 5 day workshop
North Carolina Clay Conference: Ashboro, North Carolina
American Ceramic Society: Los Angeles, California
Brambleton Art Center: Roanoke, Virginia
14th Potters Gathering : Ripley, West Virginia
Peter's Valley : Layton, New Jersey 10 day workshop
Baltimore Clayworks : Baltimore, Maryland
Duke Art Center: Durham, North Carolina
92nd Street "Y": New York City, New York 5 day workshop
Super Mud: New York City, New York
Radford University: Radford, Virginia
Winthrop College: Rock Hill, South Carolina
Craft Guild of Dallas: Dallas, Texas
NCECA Conference: Demonstration Tempe, Arizona
Lee Art Center: Arlington, Virginia
Wesleyan Potters: Middletown, Connecticut
New York State School of Ceramics at Alfred: Alfred, New York
Wesleyan Potters. Middletown, Connecticut
Roanoke College. Roanoke, Virginia
Landmark Society. Friendship, New York (fall classes)

The International Museum of Ceramic Art: Alfred, New York
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts: San Angelo, Texas
NY State School of Ceramics at Alfred: Alfred, New York
Art Museum of Southwestern Virginia: Roanoke, Virginia
Mint Museum: Charlotte, North Carolina
Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Roanoke College: Salem, Virginia

Virginia Museum Grant
Smithsonian Craft Show Honorable Mention Washington D.C.
First Prize: 7th Annual San Angelo National Ceramic Competition
National Endowment Visual Arts Fellowship Grant

Studio Potter:
Volume 13 #2 Potters of the Blue Ridge
Volume 18 #1 Visions and Prophesies
Ceramics Monthly:
N.E.A. Fellowship Grant Recipients:
December 199O (Cover)
Form and Function in Baltimore: March 1995
Virginia Clay: October 1996
American Craft:
N.E.A. Grants: December 199O
Fellows Choice: June/July 1995
Vessels that Pour: Aug.1998
Exploring Form Keeping Function: Winter 1996/97
Pottery Illustrated:
Surform: By: Ginny Marsh
Clay Times:
Four Floyd County Potters: Fall 1999
Kansas City's Star Quality Exhibits: Volume 8 #4 July/August 2002
16 Hands: Volume 9 #5 September/October 2003

The Ceramic Design Book: Val Cushing
Wheel Thrown Ceramics: Don Davis
The Best of Pottery: Angela Fina
Functional Pottery: Robin Hopper
The Ceramic Spectrum: Second Edition Robin Hopper
The Art of Contemporary American Pottery: Kevin Hluch
Teapots Transformed: Leslie Ferrin
Women Designers in the USA 1900-2000: Pat Kirkham
500 Pitchers: Lark Publishers