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Colleen Riley

I fell in love with ceramics in 1990 while taking the first class ever offered at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. For several years, I worked in clay part-time while running a Twin Cities graphic design business. I made the transition to full-time ceramics work in 2005, after moving to a new home and studio in rural southern Dakota County.

From the beginning I have pursued a non-traditional approach to ceramics learning. In addition to coursework at the Northern Clay Center, I have worked with accomplished artists in intensive workshops throughout the US. I have passed along this learning through teaching at area art centers.

In 2008, in response to my transition to a more isolated rural setting, I founded Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists (MNWCA). MNWCA is a non-profit professional organization that hosts events, sponsors exhibitions and provides camaraderie for its 70+ members.

My work is primarily functional high-fire light stoneware, with a current emphasis on serving pieces and vessels. My recent work merges the subtle patterns, colors and textures found in historic textiles, the graceful forms of early 20th-century design, and the rich surfaces achieved in soda and wood firing. 

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