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BEN PARKS—Program Director/Ceramics Instructor

BA Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
MFA Ceramics and Sculpture, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA

AAS Nursing, Great Basin College, Elko, NV

Ben Parks preparing to demonstrate

Ben has taught at the University of Nevada, Reno, and teaches ceramic classes at Great Basin College in Elko. He has written articles for "Studio Potter and Ceramics: Art and Perception", and his work is included in Susan Peterson's book "The Art and Craft of Clay". Ben has lectured and taught workshops at a number of schools, including Chico State, Mendocino Art Center, and the University of Utah. He was commissioned by the governor of Nevada to design and make sculptures for the 89th Annual Governors' Meeting—these were presented to every governor in the U.S. and the five territories, as well as to President Bill Clinton. In 2003, he received a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Nevada Arts Council for his sculptural work. Ben moonlights as a registered nurse on the medical-surgical-pediatric unit at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko.

DENNIS PARKS—Founder/Artist-in-Residence/Instructor Emeritus

BA English Literature, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
MFA Ceramics and Sculpture, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA

Dennis started ceramics and sculpture departments at Knox College (IL) and Pitzer College (CA). He has conducted workshops and lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and the Czech Republic. Technical and critical articles by and about him have appeared over the past 35 years in numerous ceramics magazines. His book, "A Potter's Guide to Raw Glazing and Oil Firing", was published by Scribners (NYC) and Pitman (London) in 1980, and a memoir of settling in Tuscarora and establishing the pottery school--"Living in the Country Growing Weird"-- was published by the University of Nevada Press in 2001. He has served as curriculum chair for the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). In 1983 he was elected to membership in the International Academy of Ceramics, and in 1990 he was honored with the Governor's Arts Award in the state of Nevada.
  Dennis Parks working on sculpture, at workshop in Poland, circa 1990

VICIE MIXER—Teaching Assistant

BA Fine Arts, California State University Fullerton
Teaching Credential, CSUF

Vicie was a student at the pottery school in 1982. After Tuscarora, she settled in southern California, continued her work with clay, enrolled in college, and started a family. Now, she is a high school art teacher and adult education ceramics teacher in Orange County. In 2000, she purchased a summer home in town, and has assisted with the pottery school ever since. Recognition and awards for her work and teaching have come from the CSUF Art Alumni, the Retired Teachers Association, the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts, and Saddleback College.


Vicie Mixer at the wheel, summer 06

JERRY HENDERSHOT--Teaching Assistant and Mess Cook

BA English, Boise State University, Boise Idaho

Jerry Hendershot is a ceramics instructor in Boise, Idaho at Timberline High School.  He has taught ceramics for 9 years and also teaches adult pottery classes at the Boise Community Center.  He sells his work at Browns Gallery in Boise.  Hendershot has brought groups of adult and student potters to Tuscarora for weekend raku and throwing workshops for the last 8 years.  Jerry specializes in thrown and altered work.  He draws his aesthetic influence from the wealth of natural and man-made artifacts of the Great Basin. In addition to assisting with throwing and raku techniques, Jerry is responsible for preparing lunches and dinners each day.  His specials include Almond-Orange Chicken, Coconut-Curry Stir Fry, Iowa Corn Chowder, and Polish Perogies. 




Jerry at the end of the rainbow