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Fine Craft Collective



  • Cathy Collison

    Cathy Collison

    Cathy Collison 2015

    Almost any day of the week you can find me at my torch blowing glass ornaments or making glass beads. I start making ornaments in September and stop by Christmas, so every year it is new and fresh to me. When I work I love using non-traditional colors and, because there are endless combinations and outcomes, the process always keeps my interest. After 15 years I still find that there is so much to learn and to improve onI still feel like I am just beginning.

    I am the owner of Trinket Foundry, an online store with a wholesale division where we make beads and charms from bottle caps and found glass pieces. Please visit for more information.

  • Becky Jokela 2014

    Becky Jokela

    Artist’s Statement
    I live on a farm overlooking Sogn Valley near Cannon Falls, Minnesota. I love my surroundings and am inspired by nature and the changing seasons.

    Painting outdoors, en plein air, is my favorite approach. I’m in the fresh air~ I can take my easel on a trip to the lake or park or on a hike to a hilltop vista. Maybe best of all is when I paint the barn or the maple tree in my own back yard.

    Why pastels? The intense colors capture the richness of the natural world.

    Becky Jokela began studying art at the University of Oregon and later graduated with a degree in Art Education from the University of Minnesota. She taught art to Zumbrota-Mazeppa high school and elementary students for thirty years. Newly retired, Becky now fills her time with painting.

  • Carla Brown

    Carla Brown 2016

    I am inspired by the simple moments in life.  Bright colors are truly my friends! It is what makes me feel alive and energized. Painting on wood feels natural. I enjoy collecting, cutting, sanding and adding color to it. The texture, smell, and weight are always unpredictable. Allowing the imperfections of the wood to speak to the viewer adds a sense of where the creative process originated, and might even be a gentle reminder to be content with the imperfections of life.

  • Marisa Martinez

    Marisa Martinez

    Marisa Martinez has owned and operated her own jewelry design and art business in the Twin Cities, Marisa-Martinez/Meztiza Designs since 2005. She attended both the College of St. Catherine and the University of St. Thomas where she studied Art, Business, and Spanish.
    Her belief in the power of healing through creating something with your hands and her passion for teaching led her to begin teaching Art right out of college. Having taught in local non profits, and in private workshops she has and continues to work with adults and youth to teach various art techniques. She currently teaches out of her private studio in St. Paul, offering private or group classes in silver smithing and jewelry design. These classes help the students to build self-esteem, confidence and encourage creativity in all areas of their life.
    In her own work Marisa loves to play off her rich cultural Mexican and Indigenous heritage to create collages of personal adornment and Ofrendas/ Shrines. In her jewelry, she works mostly in silver and semiprecious stones but also loves working with, gold, and copper and brass. Her shrines are composed of up-cycled found objects and other mementos she has collected or has been given. All of her work is hand fabricated in her studio in St. Paul. Some of her collections include The Milagro (miracle) collection, The Enchantment Collection, The Sugar Skull Collection and the Papel Picado (cut paper) series. She especially loves to create one of a kind custom pieces for her clients. If you are interested in more information please contact her at

  • Joel Froehle

    Joel Froehle

    The pot is one of the few aesthetic objects that we are asked to touch and I have always been interested in emphasizing the tactile quality of my work. Most of my work is carved, either from solid pieces of clay or from forms that are thrown on the wheel with thick walls.  This process of removal speaks to time as it records my process and simultaneously generates textures that engage the viewer on both a visual and tactile level.  The slips and glazes I then apply to the form serve to accentuate these textures.  Underlying all of this is the idea that the material and the process of making are both prominent in my work. Ultimately, my hope is that my pots function as well in the hand as they do on the shelf.

  • Barbara Zaveruha 2014

    Barb Zaveruha

    After wandering through engineering, sociology, anthropology, motherhood and technical writing, I finally found my true calling in the mid-1990s, when I first got my hands in real clay. I loved the idea that you could start with earth and water, air and fire, and end up with dishes. I took classes at Northern Clay Center, then did an informal apprenticeship with Richard Bresnahan, at the St. John's University Pottery. We moved to the Northfield area in 2004, building a house 6 miles south of town, so that I could build a wood-fired kiln (3rd version finally complete, and getting a new shelter...).  For several years, I fired in Nancy Halling's kiln.  Then last December, Glynnis Lessing and I bought a propane kiln from Donovan Palmquist, and are enjoying firing a more manageable kiln.

    I make high-fired stoneware for its strength and durability, and glaze with a palette of colors that do not depend on toxic compounds. I make things for every-day use that I hope will delight the user whenever they are picked up.


  • Wendy Nordquist

    Wendy Nordquist

    I sew things. Mostly useful items. Sometimes my ideas,
    sometimes those of others. My favored raw materials have
    already had a useful life elsewhere... I especially love
    natural fibers, handwoven, hand printed, hand sewn, unique.
    I work with a grown-over-decades trove of finds from
    second-hand stores, garage sales, things thrust upon me,
    and wonderful things purposely abandoned
    on my doorstep. Good form and good function, along with
    some good fun here and there - that's my ambition.
  • Amanda Kopplin

    Amanda Kopplin

    I spent my childhood exploring the wonders of small town Minnesota, which led me down the road to St. Catherine University, where I earned a BA in Studio Art and English. My current home and studio are nestled in the capital city of St. Paul.

    My jewelry is composed of collected and handcrafted elements – cast and carved fine silver, antique buttons, glass, semi-precious stones and pearls – connected by forged sterling and tied with silk threads.

    The often subtle beauty of the Midwest inspires all of my endeavors from one season to the next, and I hope that the work I do influences those around me to look at our environment with fresh eyes. Objects of everyday life, products of nature and human invention, have much to offer us if we open ourselves to possibility.

  • Colleen Riley

    Colleen Riley

    In our rural setting it is easy to appreciate the quiet yet steady changes that take place from season to season. These parallel the changes that have taken place in my work during the last several years. Every day something from outside gives me new inspiration, such as a pattern of leaves in the woods, the color of a bird's feathers, or the contours of a freshly plowed field. I am constantly testing surfaces and techniques, and have learned to embrace this steady and dramatic evolution of ideas.

    I strive to make pots that are elegant, yet comfortable and inviting for use. European decorative arts of the early 20th century, textiles, and Japanese woodblock prints are primary influences in my work. I am also drawn to the simple lines, bright colors and lightheartedness of mid-century design. Carving, stamping, and incising introduce texture and create a contrast with the clay's smooth surface. To keep the patterns fresh and relaxed, I carve freehand at leatherhard stage. It is a part of the process I particularly enjoy.

  • Jennifer Wolcott

    Jennifer Wolcott

    Every company has a history built by its people and the times. It has images of its past and its future. Every company has a visual vocabulary that comes from the processes of its work. It has rhythms, variations, forms, scale and colors as unique as a fingerprint. My years in industry, as a manufacturing engineer give me an appreciation for collective efforts and elegant processes. My training as an artist allows me to show the visual strength and beauty of that work.

  • Lori Schmidt

    Lori Schmidt

    I am a jewelry artist in Northfield. The meditative process of needle woven beadwork in subtle color variations draws me in. My current challenge is combining the textural beadwork with silver fusing and my handmade beads.

  • Annie Larson

    Annie Larson

    Being creative is like a puzzle. I love working and re-working a piece of jewelry until everything falls into place. As I learn new crafts and skills, I look forward to seeing how my art will evolve, and I will eventually discover what it is I am meant to create.

  • Glynnis Lessing

    Glynnis Lessing

    Glynnis Lessing first became interested in clay at age 9 when she learned to throw from a Japanese potter visiting Carleton college. This began a lifelong love of ceramics. She continued making pots in highschool, working for a potter and on into college at the University of Minnesota. After college, then moved to Chicago to work and raise a family.
    Soon, she was working, studying and teaching at Lill street studios, a Chicago based clay center.
    Although she had been making and selling pots since1989, in 2008 she started participating in shows and art fairs on a full time basis, eventually moving back to Minnesota in 2012 and reconnecting to her mid-western family and pottery roots.
    Her studio is in her grandfather's old milking parlor on the ancestral farm where she lives with her family surrounded by their small flock of chickens, the trees her grandfather planted and the fertile earth.

  • Ian Baldry

    Ian Baldry

    Influenced by Scandinavian textiles and her life growing up in rural Minnesota, Ian creates sweaters, vests, and accessories from extra-fine yarnson her knitting loom at her home studio in St. Louis Park, MN.

  • David Petersen

    David Peterson

    In 2011, after time in academia and heavy manufacturing, I took up wood-turning full time. My work is mostly simple forms – bowls, platters, boxes and vases. Each piece is shaped from a single blank of raw wood, often green. The shapes emerge as I remove wood and begin to see the possibilities. I work with native species. Often I harvest or salvage the wood myself. I am motivated by the wood: colors, textures, patterns, figure; scars from living; stains left by worms and fungus; and a finish that enhances the wood and is a delight to touch. Then by shapes: curves that flow or intersect; forms that are a pleasure to hold; and are beautiful to look at.

  • Benjamin Leatham

    Benjamin Leatham

    My name is Benjamin Leatham, and I am the owner and artist of Cannon River Bowl & Spoon. I was inspired to become an artisan after I realized that I was at my happiest when I was able to immerse myself in my craft while making a living.  My focus on fine cooking utensils and cutting boards has emerged after a professional career full of twists and turns. I was raised in a home where my father was a stone mason who built several of the homes we lived in growing up in Western Maryland. My mother was a seamstress, who often sewed our clothes and to this day has a fine eye for detail and design.  Living off the land in coal mining country, I grew up knowing that to thrive, I needed to surround myself with the natural world - and that my relationship with trees was profound. My first woodworking came in my teen years and took the form of making canoe paddles and pool cues.  I then left the field and spent my 20s working in restaurants across the country.  Although I was having fun, I felt compelled to return to working with my hands, and began to work for furniture and cabinet makers.  I learned quickly that my perfectionism and tendency to get lost in my work was leading me to spend all of my time creating pieces that, while they were finely crafted, seemed to be only accessible to families with means. I began to do side projects, building furniture in the styles of George Nakashima and the Arts and Craft movement. I had a variety of spec pieces in galleries, but I missed the personal connection with my clients.  About 8 years ago, I visited the Old Town farmers market in Alexandria, VA and spoke with the market master about securing a place to sell wooden utensils, bowls, and handwoven baskets at the market.  He agreed and I found myself at the Old Town market, reportedly the first farmer’s market in the country.  I quickly realized that I had found my niche (hence my first business name “Studio Niche.”) I realized that my love of cooking and my love of woodworking collided, allowing me to make bowls and utensils that are durable, functional, and ergonomically designed. When my family moved to Minnesota in 2015, I found a studio space on the banks of the Cannon River, in Cannon Falls, MN and began to rebuild my business.  I was relieved to discover a receptive audience for my pieces at markets throughout the midwest.  Although I will never be rich, I am truly living the dream of creating functional art, which continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

  • Juliane Shibata

    Juliane Shibata

    Juliane received her MFA in Ceramics from Bowling Green State University in 2006, having previously graduated from Carleton College with a BA in Studio Art. She has been an artist in residence at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee and The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, and she received a 2014 Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Juliane has taught at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. She regularly exhibits her work nationally and is a co-curator of (Michi) – Distinctive Paths, Shared Affinity: An Exhibition of Japanese American Ceramic Artists, which made its way across the U.S. this year. She was selected as a 2016 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly and her work belongs to the permanent collection of Northern Arizona University’s Art Museum and the Brown-Forman Collection.

  • Heather Lawrenz

    Heather Lawrenz

    I have been making jewelry since childhood, and my passion for creating and networking led me to launch my own jewelry line in 2003.  Although my styles have evolved, my love of non-traditional materials has remained constant. My latest creations include styles I make with unusual gemstones, glass, and metal upcycled from decorative tins. With each new design, I strive to create beautiful jewelry that women want to wear every day.

  • Kip O'Krongly

    Kip O'Krongly

    Kip O’Krongly is a studio artist and instructor living in Northfield, MN.  She earned a BA from Carleton College in 2001, and continued her ceramics education in clay studios across the country.  In 2008, she returned to Minnesota as the Northern Clay Center Fogelberg Fellow, Materials Technician, and then Anonymous Potter Studio Fellow.  Kip has been featured as a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist, on the cover of Pottery Making Illustrated, and was a Best in Show winner of the Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibition.  She exhibits work and teaches workshops across the country, is included in a number of ceramic books and publications, and in 2014 was the recipient of a $25,000 McKnight Artist Grant.

  • Ann Poulson 2015

    Ann Poulson

    Sculptural and Functional Felt 2016
    Nature is the inspiration for most of my work.  When I go for a walk, I am seldom without my camera.  I love to capture the colors, textures, and forms of each season.  Leaves, pods, and grasses fill my photos and influence my work.  The plants and mosses of the wetland where each plant is a different green hue show textural changes and patterns that find their way into my pieces.   Some of my current work is part of an exploration of the element line, and others are inspired by seed pods.

  • Kathy Anderson

    Kathy Anderson

    Inspired by the Saori philosophy of “weave from your heart,” my work can be all over the place: calm and controlled to quite energetic and carefree. Hand spun yarn, woven and rust/eco dyed scarves, runners, clothing and wall hangings reflect a love of experimenting with color and texture and the belief that there are no mistakes, only unexpected design elements!

  • Lars Stromayer 2016

    Lars Stromayer 2016

    Every day I strive to make unique and beautiful furniture, and other wooden items for your home, out of locally sourced materials.  I think it’s important to reduce the environmental impact of shipping lumber from state to state, and to support local businesses, so everything I produce for  sale in the Fine Craft Collective is made from logs that I obtained and processed nearby. If you work with me on a custom project, you have the option to choose wood from my large inventory. My locally sourced lumber isn’t always perfect, but what some call imperfections are in truth the things that can add identity, richness, and character to a piece. Every piece of furniture ends up being a story!


  • Jessie Filzen 2016

    Jessie Filzen

    I design and create luxury backpacks, purses, accessories bags, wallets and pouches.
    I love designing items that may not cost someone like me a student a large amount of money, or someone who works three jobs. But still wants that one piece that still gives them a luxurious look. I like to use luxury fabric but also durable. I want people to have something that will last them not just be around for a week. My life goal is to build my way up to head designer of my own brand some day and being in the art collective may be my kickstart to my dream.

  • Leanne Stremcha 2016

    Leanne Stremcha

    Studio jeweler Leanne Stremcha currently works from her home studio designing primarily silver jewelry using a fusion of traditional silver and silver metal clays. She brings a strong artistic sense and a background in fiber and horticulture to the confident pieces she designs. The metals she uses are re-cycled and her stones are domestically sourced from master stonecutters. The results are innovative and contemporary.