I strive to make simple, well thrown pottery with complex wood fired surfaces.

My work is a result of several years of experience working in two wood fire potter’s studios. Working with two very different pottery makers, my work developed into a combination of tight forms with loose, organic finishes.  The forms are all thrown and then altered right before I take the pot off the wheel.  I make mostly functional work thrown on a kick wheel.

All my work is fired in the labor intensive process of wood firing. My forms are kept simple to allow the way I fire to decorate the pots’ surface.

Decoration is minimal, leaving the surface to be etched and blushed by the flame’s movement throughout the kiln.  The way the pots are stacked in the kiln is more important to my pottery’s surface than the individual pieces by themselves.  I use simple glazes, if any, and slip most of my pots with clay that I dug and refined from quarries in Central Minnesota.

My pottery is always changing in both the way I fire and the forms themselves.  I continue to modify the way I fire my pottery and utilize each form to its full potential in the wood kiln.  Through my forms, I can fully express my way of wood firing through simple pots and challenging surfaces.



2003-2006 William Mark Hewitt Pottery, Apprentice, Pittsboro, NC

2000-2003 Assistant at Saint Johns Pottery, Richard Bresnahan, Saint John’s University (SJU), Collegeville, MN

2000-2003 Bachelor of Arts, Major in Studio Art, Summa Cum Laude, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN

1999-2000 Studies in Biology and Art, University of Minnesota Morris, Morris, MN


Solo Exhibitions:

2014 Contrasts, Phipps Arts Center, Hudson, WI

2013 Current Work, Elk River Gov. Center, Elk River, MN

2012 Zac Spates: Recent Works, Gorecki Gallery, College of St Benedict, St Joseph, MN

2003 Provost Office, Invited, College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, MN


Group Exhibitions:

2014 Bowls and Casseroles, Seasons on St Croix, Invited, Hudson, WI

2013 Strictly Functional Pottery National, Juried, Market House Craft Center, East Petersberg, PA

2012 May: Artist of the Month, Invited, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

2011 May Potters Show, Seasons on St Croix, Invited, Hudson, WI

2009 Avon Area Arts Collection, Juried, Loft Gallery, St Cloud, MN

2008 Minnesota State Fair, Juried, Fine Arts Building

2003 Visiting Hours: Graduating Senior Art Majors, Art Building, SJU

2002 Clemens Library Art Contest, Juried, CSB, Honorable Mention

Visions in Clay, Invited Artist, Elk River Government Center, Elk River, MN

Fourth Annual Juried Art Exhibition, Juried, Horse Barn Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD

Benedicta Arts Center Student Juried Exhibit, Juried, CSB

Visual Literacy:1st Annual All-State College Exhibition, Juried, College of Visual Arts- Orbit Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

2000 Clemens Library Art Contest, Juried, CSB



2005 NCECA 2005 Journal, 

Apprenticeship breakout panel with Mark Hewitt


Professional Experience:

2006 Wood Fire Kiln Builder,, Mark Hewitt Pottery, Pittsboro, NC

2005 Wood Fire Kiln Building Assistant, Svend Bayer, Denbigh, Wales, England

Panel for Apprenticeship, NCECA 2005, Baltimore, MD

2003 Wood Fire Kiln Building Assistant, Daniel Johnston Pottery, Seagrove, NC

Wood Fire Kiln Building Assistant, Michael Hunt Pottery, Asheville, NC

2000-2003 Wood Firing Apprentice to Bill Gossman, New London, MN

2000 Wood Fire Kiln Building Assistant, Craig Edwards and Svend Bayer, New London, MN



Ceramics Department, College of Saint Benedict, St Joseph, MN


Current Gallery Representation:

Lillstreet Arts Center, Chicago, IL

The Grand Hand Gallery , St Paul, MN

Seasons on St Croix, Hudson, WI

Stone’s Throw Pottery, Bayfield, WI