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Artist's Statement

Nancy Monsebroten

White Earth, a series of porcelain vessels, is a homage to my childhood in the Dakotas, its visual images and memories. It is a deep respect, a bowing down to the earth where I have experienced it.

Walking the freshly plowed fields as a child, I would find fossils, shells and arrowheads. I have renewed and extended my fascination with these shapes. I have discovered new connections between the prairie (once an inland sea) and the ocean. Like the prairie and the sea, my pieces display hues against large neutral backgrounds - a touch of pink or a glint of pearl - finding a prairie rose in an otherwise green meadow, or a single shell on a stretch of sand.

White Earth comes from some part of me that works unconsciously, a part that reaches down into my memories. White Earth comes from that private part of me, and I hope it will touch that part in others.


The Banff Centre of Fine Arts
Banff, Alberta, Ceramics

The Danish Institute
Design in Scandinavia,
Copenhagen, Denmark

Penland School of Crafts
Penland, North Carolina

University of North Dakota
Independent Studies in Ceramics

Washington Women's Art Center
Washington, D.C., Art Classes

University of Notre Dame - St. Mary's
Department of Art

Ceramics Apprenticeship with Eleni Demetriou,
Corcoran School, Washington, D.C.

University of Hawaii
New School of Education

Technical Information

I work exclusively in porcelain, the queen of all clay bodies. The majority of my work is hand built with some pieces wheel thrown and altered. I make multiple, but never identical, one of a kind pieces.

I prefer soft, quiet glazes. Most glazes are a satin matte finish. I mix my own glazes using recipes handed down to me during my apprenticeship, many which originated in Japan, continuing the tradition of teacher passing knowledge to students.

All work is fired to a very hard, vitrified 2185 degrees. It is water tight and much more durable than its delicate appearance. Other than the framed pieces, all work can be cleaned with warm soapy water.


I have worked with porcelain clay for thirty years and have not come close to exploring all of the themes and inspiration I find in the beauty, mystery and wonder of the natural world.

As an independent studio potter, I have exhibited my work and received awards internationally. Selected awards include participation in The Fletcher Brownbelt Pottery Award, Auckland, New Zealand; and Women in Design International Honors in Ceramics, San Francisco, most recently a piece titled “Lotus Vase” was juried into the Lill Street International Porcelain Competition, Lill Street Gallery, Chicago, IL. I have had a feature article published in Ceramics Monthly as well as publications in American Craft Magazine. Various collections include the Auckland War Memorial Museum; The Danish Institute, Copenhagen; American Standard Company; Department of Foreign Affairs, Seoul, South Korea; and Piper, Jaffrey and Hopwood.

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