Dennis Parks-Founder/Instructor Emeritus

BA English Literature, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
MFA Ceramics and Sculpture, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA 

Dennis started ceramics and sculpture departments at Knox College (IL) and Pitzer College (CA). He has conducted workshops and lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and the Czech Republic. Technical and critical articles by and about him have appeared over the past 35 years in numerous ceramics magazines. His book, "A Potter's Guide to Raw Glazing and Oil Firing", was published by Scribners (NYC) and Pitman (London) in 1980, and a memoir of settling in Tuscarora and establishing the pottery school--"Living in the Country Growing Weird"-- was published by the University of Nevada Press in 2001. He has served as curriculum chair for the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). In 1983 he was elected to membership in the International Academy of Ceramics, and in 1990 he was honored with the Governor's Arts Award in the state of Nevada.


Ben Parks-Board/Owner/Instructor Emeritus

BA Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
MFA Ceramics and Sculpture, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA 

AAS Nursing, Great Basin College, Elko, NV

Ben has taught at the University of Nevada, Reno, and teaches ceramic classes at Great Basin College in Elko. He has written articles for "Studio Potter and Ceramics: Art and Perception", and his work is included in Susan Peterson's book "The Art and Craft of Clay". Ben has lectured and taught workshops at a number of schools, including Chico State, Mendocino Art Center, and the University of Utah. He was commissioned by the governor of Nevada to design and make sculptures for the 89th Annual Governors' Meeting—these were presented to every governor in the U.S. and the five territories, as well as to President Bill Clinton. In 2003, he received a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Nevada Arts Council for his sculptural work. Ben moonlights as a registered nurse on the medical-surgical-pediatric unit at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko. 


Goedele Vanhille - Instructor, Board Chair

St Lucas Institute in Gent, Belgium

The Academy of Art in Eeklo, Belgium

Special student with Paul Soldner in Claremont, CA


Goedele played with clay as a kid, went to art school, studied with several ceramic artists, has thrown pots and smashed pots, has built intimate pieces and monumental work, has raw glazed pots and subjected pieces to multiple firings, has fired wood kilns, electric, oil and gas ones too, has salt glazed work and slip trailed work, has bought pots and sold her own work, and still feels the same joy and excitement working with clay as when she first touched the material.


Elaine Parks -

Instructor /Board Treasurer

MFA Ceramics, California State University Los Angeles

A native of Los Angeles, Elaine relocated to extreme rural Nevada, where the sparse landscape’s elusive beauty shaped her ideas about the human relationship to the environment. During a decade in Nevada, she exhibited at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Oats Park Gallery, Fallon, Barrick Museum, Las Vegas, and Sierra Arts and Holland Project, Reno. Elaine taught for seven years at Great Basin College and twice received the prestigious Fellowship Award from the Nevada Arts Council. 

Elaine returned to Los Angeles to care for elder parents, in 2009. While in LA, she showed locally with Antebellum Gallery, NewTown Pasadena, Angel’s Gate Cultural Center and LA Artcore. In 2010, Elaine curated a pop-up exhibition with 24 artists, music and performance events called pLAyLAnd. Nationally and internationally, Elaine participated in LA Contraventions in Germany and Cryptographics: a tribute to the Voynich Manuscript at the EXPO Chicago, and, online is part of Telephone: An International Arts Experiment, presented by the Satellite Collective. Elaine designed sets and costumes for Cabaret Revoltaire: 100 Years of Dada, a performance event at ArtShareLA. 

Elaine is thrilled to be mostly back in Nevada, her spiritual home.

Jerry Hendershot-Instructor/Board

BA English-Writing, Boise State University, Boise Idaho 

MA Visual Arts Literacy, Boise State University, Boise Idaho

Jerry Hendershot is a ceramics instructor in Boise, Idaho at Timberline High School.   He runs a private ceramics studio, Parched Earth Pottery, in Boise, Idaho.   He has taught ceramics for 18 years to students of all age ranges and skill levels and also teaches adult pottery classes at the Boise Community Center.  He sells his work at Art Source Gallery in Boise and is a member of Boise Open Studios Collective.  Hendershot has brought groups of adult and student potters to Tuscarora for weekend raku, soda and throwing workshops for the last 18 years.  Jerry specializes in thrown and altered work.  He draws his aesthetic influence from the wealth of natural and man-made artifacts of the Great Basin. 


Anne Moore- Assistant Instructor and Cook

BA-Elementary Education

MA-Art Education


Anne is an Elementary Art Educator in Boise, Idaho at Anser Charter School. She works in a variety of mediums with children of all ages. In her home studio, she enjoys working with clay and painting. She attended Tuscarora Pottery School for the first time through the Fund for Teachers Grant in the Summer of 2016. She has since called Tuscarora her home away from home and committed to efforts to support and sustain the important work that happens at the school.   


Terry Shepherd -
Guest Artist, 2022

     A professional potter for more than 38 years, Terry Shepherd is currently director of the ceramics program and resident artist/Ceramics at The Art Center in Grand Junction, Colorado. Since 1984 he has been teaching and developing the Art Center’s year round ceramic’s curriculum, conducting workshops in Colorado and other states and facilitating workshops with nationally known ceramic artists. Terry works in high fire reduction stoneware and porcelain and introduced salt vapor firing, saggar firing,and raku firing to the Art Center’s repertoire of clay studio practice.

     From 1972 to 1983 Terry developed and operated Shepherd Clay Studio in El Jebel, Colorado, located in the Roaring Fork Valley between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Over the years Terry has exhibited in many national exhibits and has taught more than 25 workshops in Colorado, California, and Wyoming. He also co-curates The Art Center’s Contemporary Clay Biennial, a national juried and invitational exhibit hosted and displayed at The Art Center’s gallery every other even numbered year.

      Terry has become known for his developments in low-fire saggar and thin-shell saggar firing, salt-vapor fuming techniques utilizing natural combustibles such as tamarisk, salt brined fescue grasses, salt, copper and cobalt sulfate to produce unique surface embellishment as well as Raku firing techniques. 

     Terry brings a diverse background to his approach of working in clay. With a strong sense of form and gesture, his work explores the mysteries of both ancient and contemporary methods of firing and interpretation.