The Studio Art Department was thrilled to welcome potter Valerie Banes Hancock to the ceramics studio for a master class on Nov. 16. Hancock is a ceramic artist who specializes in functional dinnerware and serving ware. Her work is wheel thrown and altered porcelain, soda fired to cone 10 in an oxidation environment. During her visit, Hancock demonstrated for the students various techniques for creating functional pitchers and lidded jars; two forms the students are currently working on as their final project. Hancock also shared information pertaining to her work, studio practice, and current position as Studio Technician and Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas (UNT). 

Hancock manages the ceramics facility, teaches beginning through advanced undergraduate ceramics classes, and keeps a personal studio at UNT. She is also the UNT Clay Guild Faculty Advisor and helps coordinate the visiting artist workshops for the Ceramics program.

Hancock received her BFA in Ceramics & Photography from the University of Oklahoma and her MFA in Ceramics from UNT. Her functional ceramic work has been exhibited all across the US. We are so grateful to have had Ms. Hancock spread her vast knowledge of ceramics to our students in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts!

“Cooking is and has been an integral part of my life and it seems only natural that I am drawn to creating dinnerware sets and casserole dishes along with cake stands and bakers, all items that are centered on cooking and serving food. We live in a society where the days of families spending the evening together talking over healthy, well-prepared, home cooked meals are disappearing, only to be replaced with fast-paced dinners bought on the go. By creating pleasing and functional altered dinnerware, I hope to inspire people to slow down, examine and enjoy, while restoring, creating or simply embracing the bonds between family and friends during mealtime.” - Valerie Banes Hancock