Arts Integration Project

Ceramics with Fran Palkovic

Fran Palkovic

Artist & Art Instructor

Fran Palkovic is one of the instructors for Introduction to Art, Three Dimensional Design, Ceramics, and Art Survey Modern Art classes at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington. He has been teaching at Big Bend for 23 years, and he’s a proud member of The Seattle and Moses Lake Art Museums, The Washington and National Teacher’s Associations, and The College Art and Foundations in Art and Theory Associations.

Palkovic has been in shows in Mesilla, New Mexico; Alfred and Albany, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Minot, North Dakota; Pomona, California; Vancouver, British Columbia; Tacoma, Spokane, Soap Lake, and Moses Lake, Washington; and numerous private collections internationally.

He has been the recipient of many awards, acknowledgements, and grants for his work in arts education including The Northeastern Refractories, and Soap Lake Art Guild awards for Ceramics, and Best in Show at the New Mexico State University Art Show in 1993 for a mixed media installation, a collaborative Lumina Foundation Grant for The Enduring Legacies Project in Washington State, a NEH grant to study at Black Mountain, and a couple of Title Five Grants.

His hobbies are reading, gardening, and playing guitar. He is in a band and they make him do the vocals, and he only has five guitars after playing for 50 years… so he needs more guitars.

Part 1 – Introduction

Meet Francis “Fran” Palkovic, an artist based in Moses Lake, Washington. Fran shares how nature influences art and how it led him to become an artist.

Part 2 – A Trip Into the Labyrinth

Fran walks us through a man-made labyrinth based on the Chartres Cathedral in France and explains the meaning behind it.

Part 3 – What got you interested in art?

Fran explains his pathway to changing his medium of choice to clay while he was an undergraduate student leading him to his career in ceramics and pottery.

Part 4 – Tell us about your work

Fran shows us examples of his work including several hand-built pieces that focus on sculpture and slab construction.

Part 5 – Failure or Something New?

Fran talks about failure and how changing how you look at it can create something new. He also discusses how growing up around industrial things has influenced his work.

Part 6 – Biology with Clay

Fran talks about how fish and other biological inspirations have been incorporated into his pottery and glaze work.

Part 7 – Artists Doing Other Art!

Fran shows us more of his art and walks us through the process for creating pattern compositions made with pen and paper.

Part 8 – Demo on Pottery Wheel (for students)

Fran demonstrates throwing a bowl on the pottery wheel for young children (and above!).

The NCESD Early Learning team has prepared a lesson plan for you to use in your classroom that was inspired by Fran’s work. You can view the document below or click the “pop out” button in the top right corner to open it in a new tab to download the PDF file.

Learn About Other Local Artists & Lesson Plan Ideas


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