Diana Pancioli was born in Detroit, Michigan. She received a BFA (cum laude) from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan in 1970 and an MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, New York in 1989. She began teaching at EMU in 1990.
Humans have been making pots for over 10,000 years; I have been making pots for only forty. I make useful forms: to drink from and eat from, to make tea in, to display flowers. Although they are simple utilitarian formsâ€”cup, plate, teapot, vaseâ€”their variations are limitless. Creating within the boundaries of these formal themes is the endless delight of making pots.
Making and firing clay objects requires various kinds of knowledge: of materials and processes, of clay and glazes, of kilns and firing, as well as the hard won skill of creating clay forms. I love the multiplicity of learning necessary to the craftâ€”the technical, physical, intellectual, aesthetic, and historical challenges.
I am awed by the beauty and variety of the objects that comprise the long ceramic continuum. I am curious about the connections between the kinds of pots that people in history made and the everyday lives they led. That interest influences the ceramic history course book that I am writing, and the work that I make.