About Our Scholarship Fund

Our scholarship fund is designed to help pay the way through college for students studying ceramics. The goal of our program is to raise enough money to really make a difference in the ability of a young student to graduate college.

K12 Clay wants to serve our top students with scholarships that really matter. While our Awards Program recognizes excellence in younger students, using awards and funds for that purpose, scholarships require much more money to truly be meaningful to a student facing college costs. At this point our fund is large enough money to give some money each year forever. Today the amount we can safely give away, and still maintain the integrity of the fund, is limited.

Our fund-raising drive aims to continuously add more money to the fund so the interest will generate enough money to make a major difference in college plans for our scholarship winners. We also have named scholarships that are refreshed annually, forever, by families and company's for a set amount each year.

The scholarships we give are linked to The National K12 Ceramic Exhibition. The students who win them are winners in the exhibition. When seniors respond to the call for entries, they can read a questionnaire made available by the foundation board. Their responses to the questionnaire, and the quality of their art work, determine eligibility for consideration of scholarships.

Our Scholarship Fund Raising History: The Dream and A Promise

When Nancy and Ken Ernst began the scholarship fund in 2005 with a $10,000 contribution, they were promised the fund would be grown. Scholarship fund-raising began at the 2006 exhibition in Portland and our program has been growing steadily since then. During the three days of the exhibit, more than $1,000 was raised for deposit into the sinking fund thanks to a large donation by The Williams` of Trinity Ceramic Supply of Dallas, Texas, a jurors grant from Professor Michel Conway, and a donation from Barbara Beasley, an amazingly generous donation from the Damore twins, Maddy and Maxine, (and parents Robin and Dennis) who, as students, worked the desks at the exhibition.

In 2007 we received our largest contribution from Ingrid and Marvin Mahan and The Ingrid Mahan Foundation. That year juror Dan Hammett created the first scholarship and award for a teacher of ceramics, The Regina Brown Teacher Development Award. His work and generosity was joined by Rick MacPherson of Aardvark.

Again in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Ingrid and Marvin Mahan matched their previous donations, assuring that our foundation and its scholarship fund would endure.

In 2010, two new major awards were created. The Emily C. Specchio Foundation created an annual $1,000 scholarship in Emily's name.

2010 also witnessed our first Scholarship Benefit, an on-line sale of ceramic work donated by our friends. The generosity was impressive and management by Charlie Cummings Gallery made the entire event a success.

In 2012 two new scholarships were created by Jeff and Bond Sandoe on behalf of American Art Clay Company and Amaco/brent. These awards, in the amount of $1000 each, are for direct payment toward tuition.

In 2012 we also received another grant from The Ingrid Mahan Foundation aimed at helping us to complete the revision of our website and better serve students seeking scholarships.

To "really make a difference" in funding the educational costs of a serious ceramics student, we need the kind of big money all parents understand when considering college for their children. The excellence we seek to showcase at k12clay informs us each year which students deserve scholarships. Sending these young students off to college with the pride of knowing they have contributed to solving financial problems with quality ceramic art is our goal. We have been succeeding at this since 2005. Our program continues to grow as we aim to fully support the best in young ceramic artists in America.