Lincoln Square Pottery Studio – Learning Center is a not for profit that specializes in ceramics classes for children and adults of all skill levels. Opened in May of 2003, our storefront space has grown to include 13 wheels, an extruder, a slab roller, an ever expanding palette of glazes, several field trips to raku and wood firings, and many display shelves to show off the work being made here. We have 8-week evening classes for adults, as well as a Saturday kids class, independent study for artists looking for a place to work, and one day mini-sessions for people who just want to give clay a try.
The pottery studio represents a labor of love for studio owner Margaret Biddle, an art teacher and longtime volunteer at the Jane Addams Hull House Association ceramic studio.
“I decided that there was a need for a ceramics studio that catered to artists who needed work space in the Lincoln Square/North Center neighborhood,” Biddle says.
Margaret Biddle is certified as an art teacher by the State of Illinois and has taught in the Chicago Public Schools for seven years, as well as instructing classes at Daley College. She volunteered at the Jane Addams Hull House Association ceramic studio as a workshop leader for six years before opening Lincoln Square Pottery Studio. Biddle earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Southern Maine and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Sara found her way to working in clay after ten years in advertising and graphic design. Burned-out and with a tight job market – she moved into general administrative work. The Jane Addams Ceramic Studio in Lakeview caught Sara’s eye and gave her an opportunity to discover a new medium for her art projects. Whatever open studio time was available, Sara was there. Ceramics was a totally new creative path for her. She became a volunteer at Jane Addams and shortly thereafter began teaching basic handbuilding. She has also participated in workshops at Lalola Ranch Clay Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with Tom Coleman and Susan Filley.
“The time spent on each piece is a gift for the spirit, the medium is sensuous and the camaraderie enriching.”
Ann has been involved in clay for many years, and is familiar with several community art studios in the Chicago area. She has trained at the Hyde Park Art Center, Lill Street, and at the Jane Addams Center, where she was also a studio volunteer for several years.
While her technique is primarily hand building, she has collaborated with wheel throwers by altering their pots. For years now Ann has been concentrating on organic looking pieces that resemble bones and fungi. Pinch pots and coil construction are used in the majority of Ann’s work, although an occasional slab may find its way in.
“While some of my work can hang on the wall and be admired, I do prefer to make pieces that can be used and add beauty to everyday life,” says Cibulskis. “I strive to give each item I make a particular line and sense of balance.”
Ann’s creations have been exhibited at the Wholesome Roc Café. She received a BA in Painting and Art History from Providence College in Rhode Island.
Alice started out her clay adventure in 1998 at Gallery Park West where she eventually worked as a weekend volunteer. After taking a break to have two children, she came over to LSPS-LC and has been a fixture in the Tuesday class ever since. She can also be found at the studio on Saturday mornings teaching the children’s class with one or more of her children in tow.
Alice enjoys both wheel-throwing and hand-building. Most of her work these days are wheel-thrown, altered, and functional pieces. She is currently exploring different surface treatments in her work.
Alice was formally a high-school chemistry teacher but can now be found around town with her four homeschooled children.
Anneliese has been working with clay since 2003 at the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio Learning Center. She was searching for creative expression as a way to balance life. Her work focuses primarily on functional pieces, both wheel thrown and hand built. She teaches the children’s pottery class on Saturdays.
You can see her work at the Lincoln Square pottery Studio Learning center, her work can be seen at Cafe Corazon in Milwaukee Wisconsin and Estrella Negra in Chicago. Her pieces are available for purchase at Stumble and Relish in Evanston, IL, Art Island in Darien, IL and at the Beechwood Manor in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Aside from her love for clay, she is first and foremost a mom to her daughter. Anneliese holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, and an Art Therapy Certification from Northwestern University. She is also a Capoierista and enjoys photography, painting, sketching and everything else under the sun.
Sheila has been working with clay for many years and concentrates primarily on wheel throwing. She has been involved with ceramics classes at several state Universities and community colleges, as well as private studios. Her work has been displayed for sale at the Prairie Avenue Bookshop in Chicago, as well as at several weekend Art & Craft Fairs around the Chicagoland area.
She has studied many different forms of art including paper making, glass blowing, neon sign bending, metal casting and welding, and painting.
Sheila’s formal education is in Architecture from the University of Illinois with a Masters degree.
After playing with clay as a student at the Hull House Arts Center, Mindy became a volunteer, running the open workshop on Friday nights. She came over to the LSPS-LC and began taking wheel throwing classes. She now volunteers on Saturdays and substitute teaches for the children’s classes. She works on the wheel and does handbuilding, and is interested in creating functional Judaica. Mindy’s day job is as a licensed clinical social worker in an Uptown social service agency.
Ed found his way to Lincoln Square Pottery Studio and Learning Center while searching for a way to exercise a passion begun over 50 years ago while a college student at St. Benedict’s College, Atchison, KS. He experienced this medium as a perfect partnering of his creative urges with the basic elements of earth, water, air, and fire. In addition, Ed says: “Creating a piece of art from the very stuff from which we are made is, for me, an experience of our oneness with the earth and our environment. It is a meditative experience that helps me keep centered and focused. As I work, I enter into dialogue with the clay…there is a mutuality that develops…in fact, I find it much like the experience of raising a child….one always hopes that the child or the piece will turn out a certain way, but there is always a certain element of surprise when the child leaves home and when the kiln is opened and the final product shows itself to the world.”
Ed continues to enjoy both hand-building and throwing. He considers the field trips to Rolling Meadows for Raku firings to be his high holy days. In addition to his work in the studio, Ed pursues a private practice as a mediator in developing improved cognitive skills in high school and college students who are struggling to improve their grades and in young adults who have had a history of incarceration. Young states his most rewarding moment in his practice was a comment received from one of his students: “Mr. Young never answered any of our questions, but he taught us we could answer our own.”
Ed has a B.A. in Theology from St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, KS, a J.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law, and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. He has also done graduate work in Hebrew Scripture at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL, and has studied at the School for New Learning at DePaul University here in Chicago. He is a Certified Mediator in Levels I and II of the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program and is an active member of Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organization promoting education, international cultural exchange, and a commitment to global peace.