The Center coordinates and supports the International Artist Residency program to give the students and faculty of regional UNC campuses, as well as regional community colleges, an opportunity to work closely with a world-class craft artist from another country on a significant work(s) of art. Each residency is hosted at a different site, depending on the needs and interest of the artist.


  • Magdalene Odundo, Farnham, United Kingdom
  • Patrick Hall, Tasmania
  • Nina Hole, Denmark
  • David Nash, Wales
  • Magdalene Odundo, Farnham, United Kingdom

    Ceramics, August 4 – 18 2012

    Residency location: Bat Cave, NC

    Planned Participants: faculty and students from UNC Asheville, Appalachian State University, Western Carolina University, Haywood Community College, and Warren Wilson College.

    *Up for Discussion with Magdalene Odundo, Public Lecture at the Asheville Art Museum
    August 14, 6-7pm


    About the Residency

    From August 4 to 18, the Center hosted its fourth International Artist Residency – Dialogue in Clay: A Cross-Cultural Learning Experience – with Magdalene Odundo, OBE. The residency provided students and faculty from Western Carolina University, Appalachian State University, Warren Wilson College, Haywood Community College, and the University of North Carolina Asheville a meaningful opportunity to work closely with a preeminent scholar artist over the course of two weeks.

    The residency was structured in a way that allowed for thoughtful dialogue, for consideration of other perspectives, and for exploring cultural diversity. Learning took place on a number of levels within an immersive context. The students contributed to open dialogue in an informal, intimate setting with peers that was outside their current learning environment. During the evenings following dinner, students and faculty shared information about their interests. Each day, Odundo tasked students with different exercises towards realizing one or many resulting works of art. The residency provided a participatory, exploratory experience through craft.

    Photos from the residency:

    week 1 photo gallery

    week 2 photo gallery

    About the Artist

    Magdalene Odundo

    Magdalene Odundo, OBE is a Kenyan-born British studio potter.  She was born in Nairobi and received her early education in both India and Kenya. She moved to England in 1971 to continue her training in graphic art. In 1974-1975, she visited Nigeria and Kenya to study traditional hand-built pottery techniques.  She also traveled to San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico to observe the making of blackware vessels.  In 1976, Odundo received a BA from St. Joseph’s College of Art and Design.  She then earned a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London. She taught at the Commonwealth Institute in London from 1976 to 1979 and at the Royal College of Art in London from 1979 to 1982.  She is currently professor of ceramics at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, England.

    Description of the Residency Project

    The Mantlepiece: a Show-Case for personal stories, memoirs and curiosities

    Mantle pieces and fire places used to be central features in many houses before ugly air conditioners began to intrude in almost all homes in recent times.

    The proposal for this project is to create and construct a collaborative art work based on the idea of a mantlepiece/fireplace that show cases personal narratives, stories and mementoes.

    Aim and objective

    This project seeks to explore, create and make an artwork in clay that will be unique to the group and to the individual through shared learning.

    To learn, experience and gain skills and knowledge in ceramics techniques through practice and participation during the residency. 

    To explore creativity and ideas in clay through observation, dialogue and sketchbooks and to use those records as aids to create a larger collaborative piece incorporating individual smaller works that tell personal stories.

    To exploit the expansiveness and plasticity of clay to maximise its potential to be manipulated into shape and form.

    Residency and Workshop
    A collaborative work will be constructed using extruded raw clay sections taking full advantage of equipment and tools in Michael Sherrill’s studio.

    Demonstrations: Techniques in hand-building and coiling will introduce participants to construction and making methods that will enable each to create individual work. Experiments in surface application will be explored and encouraged to compliment, adorn and complete both the components.  The collaborative piece will be made using slab building methods. The two techniques, slab building and handbuilding/coiling methods will give each participants the opportunity to exploit the materials and enable creativity conceptually and in the making.


    Job Opportunity: Gallery Associate

    The Center for Craft, a national 501c3 nonprofit arts organization located in downtown Asheville, NC, is currently seeking a part-time Gallery Associate. This position will staff the front desk, serve as a primary contact for public interface and provide project, program, and database support.


    VISIT: The Center for Craft | 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801 | map it | Phone: 828.785.1357 Fax: 828.785.1372 | email us | Gallery hours: Tue - Sat 10-6