Watermark is currently seeking submissions for It’s Only Clay, a national juried ceramics competition that takes place every November.

It’s Only Clay (IOC), co-sponsored by Watermark and Bemidji State University, is a juried ceramics competition focusing on, and dedicated to, functional clay vessels. Each submission for IOC is judged in four areas: function, form/aesthetic, craftsmanship, and surface design. The competition is national, so anyone in the U.S. is encouraged to apply.

Selected works will become part of the IOC exhibit at Watermark for six weeks during November and December. Competition winners receive $800 (First Place), $500 (Second Place), and $300 (Third Place). There are also Purchase Awards available from Bemidji State University. Pieces chosen by BSU become part of the Margaret H. Harlow Collection, a teaching collection that includes works created by acclaimed ceramics artists such as Peter Voulkos, Lucy Rie, Warren MacKenzie, and Maria Martinez.

Meet the 2015 It’s Only Clay Juror


John (Butch) Holden received his BA in art from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and his MFA degree in ceramics from Indiana University, Bloomington.

He is currently a visual arts professor in the Technology, Art and Design department at Bemidji State University, where he has taught since 1983. He has exhibited in local, regional, and national competitions, and also has had many solo exhibitions. In addition to having juried many shows, he has served on numerous art grant panels.