Visiting Artist Workshop with Tom Jaszczak and Mike Helke


Friday, August 4, 2017, 10:00am to 5:00pm


Ceramics Program, 224 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134

Presented by: Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard

Workshop Description

Mike Helke & Tom Jaszczak
L-R: Mike Helke; Tom Jaszczak

Join us for a two-person demonstration by Mike Helke and Tom Jaszczak prior to their joint exhibition at Lacoste Gallery  in Concord, MA, August 5-26.

Both artists explore the vessel in very distinctive ways – Tom Jaszczak celebrates utility through his sublime soda-fired, earthenware forms. His surfaces are inviting with bold graphic lines and bright color contrast the slip covered surface. “I want my pots to be grounded in form and have an identity as a material…A successful pot has depth through these processes, obtains humbleness through form and thoughtfulness in function.”

Mike Helke creates bold form that play with the senses – working within two and three dimensions, appearing at times completely flat, only to reveal its volume as you when you handle and experience the work directly. Helke states, “Each piece physically and conceptually records an animate sensibility derived from my experiences. This record is the catalyst for a call and response relationship that exists between maker, object, and user.”

The cost for this one day workshop: Free for Harvard Undergraduates; $50.00 for Harvard Graduate Students; $75.00 for adults enrolled in a course; $125 for adults not enrolled in a course. Space is limited!!!

This workshop will feature a pot-luck lunch from 1-2pm as well as a slide presentation by both artists. To register, download our registration form here or email Shawn Panepinto at

Questions? Email Kathy King at

Related Event Information:

Tom Jaczczak and Mike Helke – Two Young Minnesotans
August 5 – August 26, 2017
Lacoste Gallery, Concord, MA

Opening Reception with Artists at Lacoste Gallery: Saturday, August 5, 2017 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Artists Talk at Lacoste Gallery: Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Artist Biographies

Mike Helke holds an MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Prior to that, he studied ceramics at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and spent formative years as a studio artist and employee of Northern Clay Center. Helke recently moved to Stillwater, MN, where he maintains a studio. Helke says of his work, “As a maker, the action of my hand can trace the memory or energy of an experience through elusive rhythms generated by form, positive and negative shapes, and building process marks.” Helke’s work has been exhibited regionally and nationally, most recently in the exhibition New Work—Mike Helke and Sarah Jaeger, TRAX Gallery, Berkley, CA; as part of the Artstream Nomadic Gallery, NCECA 2015, Providence, RI; and in the Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA. In 2008, he received a Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant, awarded by Northern Clay Center.

Tom Jaszczak received a BA in Visual Art and a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Bemidji State University. Tom was an assistant to both Simon Levin and Tara Wilson. He was a summer resident and a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation. In the fall of 2015 Tom began a 3-year residency with his wife Maggie Finlayson at Penland School of Crafts and have recently become parents. Tom has received several awards and honors including, a Jerome Projects Grant, Emerging Artist Award at NCECA, Lincoln and Lil Street Fellowship through the Archie Bray Foundation and in the Summer 2014 Tom was an Honored Maker at the Maker’s Faire at the White House. Tom exhibits his work at several galleries around the nation, this includes exhibitions at the Holter Museum of Art, Greenwich House Pottery, Trax Gallery, the Pottery Show at the Old Church, Northern Clay Center and Leedy Voulkos Art Center. Tom’s current body of work is made of red earthenware and is soda fired to cone 3 with a small minimalist decorative element.


va_workshop_registration_jaszczakhelke_sp17.docx250 KB
va_workshop_registration_jaszczakhelke_sp17.pdf267 KB