Dennis Swartzlander


I fell in love with ceramics while a junior at Adrian High School in Adrian,MI.  I had transfered in at the start of my junior year and I suspect I was looking for an easy class to help get me through my last two years of school.  Immediately, however,  something clicked and I started taking ceramics very seriously.  My teacher, John Hartom, was a wonderful instuctor who spent a lot of time and energy with his students,  especially those who seemed to have a real interest in clay.  Field trips to The University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Cranbrook, and various studios and museums exposed us to the  work of John Loree, Suzanne Stephenson, John Glick, Marie Woo, Toshiko Takaezu, and many  other  ceramic artists as my interest was growing.  After graduating in 1976, I went to work in our family printing business and left ceramics alone for about five years.  On my honeymoon in 1981 I happened upon a ceramics gallery and bought a bowl, beginning a period of serious collecting.  Fast forward to1999, my wife noticed an article for ceramics classes at the Toledo Potters guild, and suggested I might give them a try.   I then signed up for classes at Siena Heights university, studying with Paul Mcmullan, and later, Tim Van Beke.   I now teach adult ceramics classes at Siena with Cody Sieler, and have my own studio as well as being able to use the facilities  at Siena.  I cannot thank Siena enough.  Later, John Hartom,  with his wife, Lisa Blackburn, founded the Empty Bowls movement.  I still keep in touch with John regularly, and he is a wonderful sounding board as I attempt to make a career of ceramics.

Announcement: Welcome!

Although the event is still the third week in July Fair days have changed to Thursday through Sunday  Please join us for the 2018 Art Fair Thursday July 19 – Sunday July 22! “Diversity, Live it on South U.” Located on the south edge of the U of M campus, the South University Area is […]