Fine Craft Collective

A cooperative sale featuring talented local artists

Colleen Riley

I create ceramic works to be enjoyed with food, displayed in the home, or tucked into a serene garden.

I fell in love with ceramics 30+ years ago, when on a whim I took the first class ever offered at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. Fifteen years later I transitioned from a career in graphic design to full-time ceramic artist, living and working in rural southern Dakota County. 

From the beginning I have pursued a non-traditional approach to ceramics learning. I have worked with accomplished artists through coursework, intensive workshops and informal mentorships. I feel fortunate to work in a region rich with an abundance of talented ceramic artists – benefiting from their generosity, camaraderie and inspiration. In 2009, I founded Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists (MNWCA), an organization dedicated to providing support and opportunities to women ceramic artists throughout their careers. 

My work celebrates the historic ceramic tradition of employing decorative botanical themes, while making an intimate connection to my rural surroundings. The raw piece serves as a canvas to build imagery, layers, textures and color. Firing my work in atmospheric kilns adds an element of surprise, challenging me and ensuring that each piece is lively and unique.