Meet Chris Singewald, The Creative Force Behind Ceramics at Rumriver Art Center

Creativity takes shape, quite literally, in Ceramics. The lump of clay transforms into whatever sparks your imagination! Create a useful bowl or a unique hand-built piece of art. Techniques and methods are vital of course and that’s where we swoop in. The Rumriver Art Center ceramics program loves to equip our clay artists with the tools to carry out their creative visions.

Behind this thriving program, is a director who is carefully attuned to our community art needs and aspirations. We’re excited to highlight Rumriver Art Center Ceramics Director: Chris Singewald, who stepped into this role in January, 2023. Chris blends his unique innovation, expertise and warm and friendly personality to create an epic ceramics environment.

What were some of your first art experiences?

“The importance of a handmade object was instilled in me at a relatively young age. My extended family had a tradition of exchanging ‘making gifts’ at Christmas, and I remember so much excitement and anticipation surrounding this tradition. Gifts had to be made by the participant, be relatively inexpensive, and had to be ready for our family Christmas Party. At the time, I didn’t realize I was learning about craftsmanship and handmade objects, but now that I look back on it, it’s clear that it was a formative tradition.”

What has your art journey looked like? 

“Art classes in school always intrigued me, and I seemed to fully immerse myself in learning new processes and practicing techniques. I connected with clay after seeing my older brother Pat’s pottery from his High School art classes. I was so interested in how he made a bowl and chose the tri-color glaze scheme. My first clay class was in 5th grade, and I have managed to keep my hands in clay ever since.”

What inspires you?

“Family and friends – I love seeing people making their mark on the world. Items that last decades – things that change and get better with time. The four distinct seasons we are lucky enough to experience in Minnesota.”

What are your hobbies?  

“Making pots is very consuming, but I manage to find time for hobbies!”

“I love spending time with my wife Audra and our chocolate lab Tonks. I enjoy going to concerts and outdoor baseball games with family and friends. I have been baking bread for over 20 years and recently have loved making bagels. During the pandemic, I rekindled my childhood love for LEGOS!”

“I am passionate about creating and providing positive experiences in clay for people. Without clay in my life, I am not sure where I would be and I owe so much of my life to connections made through clay experiences. When I am making pots, I am working through ideas inspired by the material and the making process. I often work in series and find inspiration for the next round of pots based on the success of the most recent firing.”

Any stories about Rumriver Art Center you’d like to share? 

“During my first Art-A-Thon – I facilitated an outdoor firing process called Raku firing. Throughout the night, we experienced every type of Spring weather – rain, thunderstorms, sleet, ice pellets, snow, thundersnow, and a blizzard – all within 6 hours. It was crazy! We were happy to have Art Fair Pop-up tents and participants with really positive attitudes. It was one for the History Books!”

In the world of ceramics, the magic happens not only through the artist’s hands but also with the assistance of essential equipment. Maintaining equipment is an art in itself. Thanks to Chris’s expertise the large kilns, pottery wheels and other ceramics equipment at Rumriver Art Center receive timely repairs and maintenance. We’re grateful Chris ensures the equipment operates at its best, supporting artists in their creative endeavors.

Chris’s Official Bio:

Chris Singewald received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Ceramics from the University of Northern Iowa in 2006. After graduating, he accepted an apprenticeship with ceramic artist Chris Gustin in South Dartmouth, MA. Chris also received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in 2010. From 2011–2017, Singewald worked at Northern Clay Center (NCC) in Minneapolis, MN in many capacities including: Resident Artist and Materials/Glaze Technician, Outreach and Studio Technician, and Outreach Manager. In March 2019, Chris curated Variations of Shino, an exhibition featuring 20 regional potters utilizing Shino glaze during the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Education (NCECA). He was awarded the 2019 Fogelberg Studio Fellowship at NCC. Chris traveled to Haystack Mountain School of Craft 2018, 2019, and 2022 participating as a workshop assistant, technician, and most recently a Ceramics instructor for Haystack’s Student Craft Institute. Currently, Singewald is the Ceramics Director at Rum River Art Center in Anoka, MN, and maintains a home studio in Minneapolis, MN. Chris teaches classes throughout the Twin Cities for many non-profit arts organizations. He has extensive experience leading clay workshops with children and adults, and he is passionate about bringing positive clay experiences to students.

When you’re ready for your next pottery adventure, here’s Chris’s recommendations for beginner or advanced potters: “It’s always the right time to take a clay class! Go for it and remember to have fun.” 

Emerging Clay Artists: “Make more pots! Take some chances and see what happens! Don’t get stuck doing the same thing over and over again, or else you will forget how to experiment.”

Opportunities to elevate your skills: “One time workshops are a great opportunity to jump into a new process and explore it for a short period of time. You don’t even have to take a workshop in your specialty medium! Try something new and don’t forget how to be a beginner.”

Whether you’re brand new to clay slinging or experienced and serious about bringing your skills to the next level, there’s a place for you here! You’ll find one-time classes, workshops, 8 week courses, open studio sessions and more. To learn more, visit:

Thank you for your support. The Rumriver Art Center is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. The art center is 95% funded by people like you taking classes and making donations. To learn more visit:

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