Sandy Spring Museum Presents Inspired by Malcolm: A Passion for Shino

By Editorial Team on June 14, 2021

Fri, 11 June 2021 - Sun, 05 September 2021

Copyright © 2021 Joe Hicks Ceramics, All rights reserved.
On View: June 11 – September 5, 2021

This juried exhibit features the work of forty-seven artists from all over the nation and illustrates the depth, range, and variations possible with Shino glazes. Inspired by Malcolm: A Passion for Shino honors the memory of Malcolm Davis, a man who influenced and inspired so many to listen to and follow their heart’s desires. After serving as a minister for twenty years, Davis’s life changed when he took his first ceramics class in 1973. Within a few years, he left his career as a campus minister to pursue pottery full-time. Davis established his own mountaintop studio in West Virginia in 1985, where he experimented with a Japanese-style glaze called Shino. He perfected his own Shino technique, which allowed him to create pottery unlike any other. His glaze, now known as “Malcolm Davis Shino,” is found in studios all over the world. The glaze is prized for carbon-trapping, which creates extensive black areas and black dots in contrast to the more typical white, red, and orange colors of other Shinos.

After perfecting his glaze, Davis took the unusual step of publishing the formula for public use. Recognized for his artistry and passion, Davis traveled widely teaching others about pottery.

On exhibit are sixty-four works of art that were inspired by Davis and his passion for Shino.

First, second, and third-place prizes will be awarded during the opening week by exhibit juror Matthew Hyleck, noted ceramic artist and education coordinator at Baltimore Clayworks.

Virtual Exhibit Programs
Malcolm Davis: How Did I End Up Here?
June 17, 2021 at 7:00 pm
This program includes a streaming of Malcom Davis’s closing lecture at the 2010 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), shortly before his unexpected passing the following year. In this talk, Davis shares his passion for pottery and examines the inner question of why someone devotes themselves to something – in this case, to clay. Opening statements for this program will be provided by Judy Davis, Malcolm’s wife and partner for over 50 years, and closing statements by Shoji Satake, Associate Professor of Ceramics, School of Art and Design, West Virginia University.

Shino: An American Translation of a Japanese Glaze
July 11, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Five master potters, experienced in working with Shino glazes, will discuss the fascination and mystery – the challenges and difficulties – of the Ancient Japanese glaze and the updated American versions. What are the differences between Japanese and American Shinos? Why are there so many formulas? How do Shino glazes react to different firing techniques? Listen in as our panelists discuss the answers to these questions and much more.


  • Joe Hicks (panel moderator): Associate Professor of Fine Art at Marymount University, Joe developed the ceramics program for the Department of Fine Arts. The program has grown from two introductory ceramics courses to a full Ceramics Minor.
  • Kevin Crowe: Based in the Blue Ridge Foothills in Virginia, Kevin produces wood-fired functional stoneware with strong Asian and English roots.
  • Jim Dugan: After a decade as Wood Fired Kiln Manager and a Resident Artist at Baltimore Clayworks, Jim now manages the wood kilns at Monocacy River Pottery.
  • John Jessiman: Founder and Director of Cub Creek Foundation, a residency program for emerging clay artists.
  • Loren Scherbak: Loren has been using clay for 45 years and is committed to minimizing her environmental footprint by using local materials and fewer chemicals.

For accommodation requests, please contact the museum via email or at 301-774-0022.

Inspired by Malcolm: A Passion for Shino is sponsored in part by Judith Davis, Montgomery Potters, District Clay Center, Baltimore Clayworks, and The Clay Co-Op.

Gallery Hours:

  • Mondays & Wednesdays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Fridays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Sundays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sandy Spring Museum Exhibitions
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Sandy Spring Museum is located at 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD.