Nancy Plum said: “I am a studio potter who works in stoneware and porcelain. Making pots is a way of life for me, as I attempt to capture a spirit that lies beyond their function.”
Nancy Manes Plum (1932-2019) grew up in Providence, RI, and went to Antioch College, OH. During a summer workshop at the Black Mountain College, NC (1953), Peter Voulkos, Warren MacKenzie and Daniel Rhodes introduced her to ceramics which proved to be formative to her career choice.
Until 1956, Plum studied ceramics at Cranbrook Academy of Art, MI with Marguerite Wildenhain and Takakazu Takeuchi. In 1957, she spent a year at Mills College, CA on a teaching fellowship with Tony Prieto as her mentor.
The same year, she was awarded Fulbright fellowship which she declined and instead joined the faculty at the New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM to teach ceramics and weaving.
In 1960, Plum went back to Michigan to join her husband, the painter Jens Plum, professor at Michigan State University. Nancy Plum taught at pottery guilds, first in Ann Arbor and then in Lansing.
Nancy Plums’s ceramics are part of permanent collections, for example, at the Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; Mills College Gallery, Oakland, CA; Witte Museum, San Antonio, TX; St. Paul Gallery , St. Paul, MN. Plum had both One-Person as well as Regional and National Exhibitions.
Nancy’s ceramics shown here are part of my own collection.
Nancy was a member of the vibrant artist community surrounding her. With her knowledge of the visual arts – ceramics, sculpture and painting – Nancy had been a mentor to me.
Epitaph by Mark Chatterley: I considered Nancy the treasure for the community. She was an elegant lady who transferred her personality into clay.