Great River Pottery Throwdown

Six potters will compete in different challenges on wheels in front of an audience for three hours using technique and creativity on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

One winner will go home with a $250 cash prize after being judged.


2022 Artists:
Linda Ross
Lillian Rubin
Ryan Smith
Detrich Totemeier
Jessi Tucci
Myrna Joy Wenger

After the competition, the ceramic pieces will be raffled off to some lucky winners! The proceeds from this event will go towards our ever growing ceramic studio!

Tickets are $15 or get a table for 4 for $75. Front row tables are $100 each.

Doors open at 4:30pm, competition starts at 5pm.

Gallery Lounge will be open with beer, wine, and charcuterie boards. Live music, too!

Linda Ross has been working on the wheel since she was 16 years old. Her art teacher at Burlington High School gave her her first lesson. Her biggest support when she was younger were her parents who bought her her first wheel. Nowadays, she works out of her own studio on their new property which her husband built for her. She says that her reason to keep creating is that she just cannot help herself!!! Her favorite form to make is a cylinder because you can turn it into anything! She loves to get that cylinder off the wheel and manipulate it into something fun and funky. 

Lillian Rubin has been working with ceramics for 3/4 of her life! We have her to thank for this growing ceramic department here at the Art Center of Burlington. She has been here since the very beginning. When asked Lillian says that she keeps creating simply because it is fun. Her favorite things to create off the wheel are large raku vases and altered decorative pieces. Her biggest support over all these years has been the ACB.

Ryan Smith has only been working with clay for nearing 2 years. He hit the ground running, growing his skill set faster than your average artist. He immediately became obsessed with it as soon as he was forced to give it a try by our other competitor Jessi Tucci. Needing healthy outlets in life on his journey through recovery he has built up his own studio in his garage and works in there regularly. His partener Wes is his biggest support, helping Ryan construct the studio space and solve any issues in the studio they come across. Ryan's favorite things to create are raku planters which go alongside his succulent business Spikes and Sucs.

Detrich Totemeier has been working with clay for the last 9 years. He learned in high school but really started his love of the medium in John Bybees ceramic class at SCC. He worked as a studio technician learning how to prep clay, glazes and load kilns. Once he graduated he came here to the Artscenter in order to continue his practice. Detrich gets the biggest amount of support from his wife. The two of them do a lot of compilation work where Detrich will throw the forms and Morgan will alter and glaze them. Bowls are his go to form, but recently he has been exploring all sorts of other shapes from mugs, vases and altered pieces. What started as a fun way to get credits in college became what looks to be a lifelong passion. 

Jessi Tucci has been working with clay for almost 15 years now. She had found a wheel in the back of her high school's ceramic room and begged her teacher to use it. With too many students in one class she had to stay after school hours to play around on the wheel. It was an immediate addiction. Restless after highschool Jessi moved around the country and every semester, at every college Jessi took a ceramic class, even after she had way too many art credits. Functional pottery is her passion, making mugs has been the most fun as of the last few years because "Who doesn't love their coffee in a nice handmade mug?". Her biggest support has always been her mother, she is behind her daughter's art since the beginning. Now Paulie, Jessi's partner is another huge support, always helping her passion in any way she needs. 

Myrna Joy Wenger worked with clay when she was younger. Raising a family and now retired she says that "I want to be a potter when I grow up." Though she admits she refuses to grow up. Coming back to her wheel practice she is excited to compete with us! Her reason to create is that it is great therapy. Her son Seth is her biggest supporter. Helping move heavy clay, setting up her kiln at home and just being a 'cheerleader' as she brings her work home. Being that she can gift her work to her friends and family she loves making functional work, who wouldn't want some hand made mugs and bowls in their kitchen?

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