We took the opportunity that Charleston Supported Arts presented to collaborate in a ceramic conversation to try new techniques and literally stretch the medium to new limits. Clay can be thought of as the original plastic transformed by fire or extreme heat from a pliable material to a vitrified form. We tested and pushed the clay’s strength and flexibility to create exciting forms and textural surfaces. While these pieces stretch the physical limits of porcelain, the results are rooted in function. Theses pieces are not complete without your collaboration to put them to use, as a vessel for the ordinary or extraordinary. Each use will invite you to discover something new about the vase, its environment or perhaps even yourself. Thank you for purchasing this Summer Share. We would love to see how you use your vase.


Ruth Ballou, a native Charlestonian, received her MFA in ceramics from Antioch College and continued her education with specialized intensive workshops such as wood firing at Peters Valley School of Craft, NJ and Penland School of Crafts in NC and paper clay porcelain at La Meridiana International School of Ceramics in Italy while she lived in Belgium. She has pursued artistic development through international conferences in ceramics and personal glaze formulation mentorship with Ian Currie, author of Stoneware Glazes: A Systematic Approach and Revealing Glazes. She has exhibited at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA; Reagan National Airport, Strictly Functional Pottery National, International School of Brussels, and Walls Do Not Breathe at Cone 10 Studios in Charleston. She currently maintains a studio at her home and is also a member of Cone 10 Studios where she teaches throwing and design.

Rena Lasch has always been involved in the arts, interested in nature and looking for something new to learn. She prefers working in three dimensions, whether that is in the form of landscape or architectural design or sculpture. She holds a Bachelor of Science in landscape architecture from Cal Poly, Pomona which included an intensive study of European and Japanese garden design. Upon graduation, she was awarded an American Society of Landscape Architects Certificate of Honor for her work. She has formal training in figurative and portrait sculpture from the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. She received a Faculty Award in honor of her outstanding ability and sincere interest in learning. Most recently she has resumed her work in clay and continues her practice in landscape design.

We began working together this year, each bringing our previous experiences with functional ceramics and sculpture to the collaboration. We have chosen porcelain, the epitome of ceramic materials, as the medium for the CSA. The vases will be hand built from slabs of porcelain, in which form and surface are integrated at the outset. Porcelain’s unique working properties make it possible to transform the subtle texture in the soft clay into fired translucency, thus infusing the custom glazes with an inner light. We want this elegant utilitarian work to provide an oasis of playful beauty in the modern world.

We are endlessly fascinated by the possibilities and delightfully unpredictable results of both our collaboration with each other and the clay. In the process, the work has developed along an exciting path that we never could have predicted at the outset. The collaboration extends through the work with each user to the flowers or other objects they might contain, unifying diverse elements into a fluid whole.

*Contact [email protected] to purchase a Summer season.


Arianne King Comer
Riki Matsuda
James Wine

DISCLAIMER: The images of artists’ work shown here represent the style and quality of their work, but do not necessarily depict the works they produce for their seasonal share.