Staff & Instructors

Owner and founder Jennifer Lapham brings over twenty years experience as an artist and educator to Midwest Clay Project.  Lapham decided to pursue her interest in ceramics shortly after receiving a BA (1988) in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD, completing two years of post-baccalaureate studies (1993) at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, NY.  Immediately following, she lived, worked and traveled in Japan for a summer where she had opportunities to learn about the tradition of Japanese ceramics. Lapham received her MFA (1996) in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and began an eleven year stretch teaching in academia, including positions as Visiting Faculty in Art at Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  In 2000, she began serving as Gallery Director and Adjunct Faculty in Art at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL.  She held this position until 2007 when she and her family moved to Madison.  In addition to her work as an educator, Lapham exhibited her artwork nationally from 1996-2007, which included collaborative projects with her partner Paul Sacaridiz.

Paul Sacaridiz received an MFA (1998) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BFA from Alfred University (1993).  Since 1997 he has been active in solo exhibitions, collaborative projects and group shows at a diverse number of venues including: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon, Korea, The Dubuque Museum of Art (IA), The Alfedena Gallery, Chicago, The Northern Illinois University Art Museum and the Ceramic Research Center at Arizona State University. His work has been the subject of reviews and articles in Ceramics: Art and Perception, The New Art Examiner and Art Papers among others.  Sacaridiz has been the recipient of residencies at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, The Vermont Studio Center and the Art/Industry Program at Kohler Company.  He is currently an Associate Professor in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ( and serves as an advisor to Midwest Clay Project.

Allison Craver is the Studio Manager at Midwest Clay Project. She received a BFA from Alfred University in 2010.  Following graduation she accepted a job at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, where she spend a lovely summer.  She also completed a residency at Genesee Pottery in Rochester, NY.  In 2011 Allison migrated to the midwest to be a special student in the ceramics department at UW-Madsion.  She loves teaching & making pots. (

Nicky Ross, an instructor at MCP, has over ten years of ceramic experience and wears many hats.  Starting her ceramic career fresh out of college in NH, she worked as a poor contract piece-rate potter.  Yearning for change and nice folks she packed up her tiny car and moved to Madison.  She worked at Lakeside Pottery while it was still in business, first as a teacher, then studio manager.  She now fills many of her days working for Door Pottery in Madison as designer and decorator for their Arts and Crafts decorative vases.  She runs this studio with wit and sass, and of course, lifts countless ware boards with skill and caution.  She’s thrilled to be able to teach again here at MCP.  Nicky Ross also owns her own company, NstarStudio,  compiled of ceramics and textiles and crafted from her love of color and whimsy.  Sometimes she takes off all her hats and sleeps.  (

Marisa Hricovsky is currently a special student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying ceramics in the Art Department. She received her BFA in 3-Dimensional studies from Bowing Green State University. After graduating from BGSU, Marisa was a special student at Alfred University. Upon leaving Alfred, she moved to Chicago, IL where she became a an Assistant Ceramic Technician at Lillstreet Art Center. There, she co-taught and assisted in teaching ceramic courses. Marisa is very excited to be in Madison, WI working on a new body of work and teaching ceramic courses at Midwest Clay Project.

Natasha Hovey, MCP’s newest instructor, was born and raised in New Hampton, Iowa.  In 2011 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Iowa, and is now pursuing her Master of Fine Arts at The University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Hovey has recently exhibited work at the Glassell School of Art within The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas and The Phillips Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.  She has also been awarded the University-Wide Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, scholarships from the Iowa Center for the Arts Council, and The University of Iowa Emerging Artist Scholarship.

Adult Open Studio Hours

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Midwest Clay Project welcomes children and adults w/ special needs. Please call to arrange programming - 608-255-9240.

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