Ferrin Contemporary is pleased to present the works of Coille Hooven and offer them for sale.
The collection offers an opportunity to acquire important historical works from a famously feminist ceramicist, whose work combines sculptural narrative and blue and white porcelain traditions.

For more information, pricing, and additionally available artworks, please inquire




Portrait of Coille Hooven by Brian McLaughlin

Portrait of Coille Hooven by Brian McLaughlin



Coille McLaughlin Hooven was born in New York City and grew up on the east coast.  Art was already in her genes: her father worked as an architect and her sister, a painter. Her Great Grandfather, James McLaughlin, was also an architect and designed the Cincinnati Art Museum.  In addition, her Great Aunt Mary Louise McLaughlin was instrumental in publicizing the American art pottery movement.  Among Louise McLaughlin’s achievements were writing a book on china painting, which became a best-seller, and the discovery of Haviland’s technique for underglazing.  In addition she established the Cincinnati Pottery Club, wrote a manual on underglaze decoration, patented a technique for inlay decoration and became the first American working in studio porcelain.  The year Mary Louise McLaughlin died was also the year Coille McLaughlin was born; the great-niece has carried on and extended the work of her relative.

Always interested in art, Hooven discovered ceramics when she enrolled in a beginning class at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1959.  Her teacher was the legendary David Shaner, then a recent graduate of Alfred University, and he was not only to become her “spiritual teacher,” he and his family would become close friends, naming one of their children for her.  From Shaner she learned the wheel; later workshops with Peter Voulkos and other artists resulted in looser, more expressive work.

Hooven graduated from Illinois cum laude with a B.F.A.  She and her husband, painter Peter Hooven, joined the faculty of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore, MD.  Under her guidance the ceramics program grew from a one-wheel, one-room facility to a full department with complete facilities which she headed as Chairperson.  During this period she continued her own studio work, but most of her time was taken up with teaching and starting a family.


Coille Hooven: ” I Am All This and So Much More”

When porcelain artist Coille Hooven first came to Berkeley in 1970, she knew she’d found her home. Nathan Dalton visited her in her Ward Street studio.
March 26, 2018

Coille McLaughlin Hooven at Kohler 1979

from Coille McLaughlin Hooven

In 1979, Coille was chosen as one of the first female artists for a residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center factory in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. For six weeks, she had access to the facilities, supplies and support of employees. This video, shot on site in 1979, shows some of the work Coille made while in residence.

HuffPost 2016 Article
by Priscilla Frank

For 50 Years, This Feminist Ceramicist Has Told Stories With Clay

“What a fortunate calling it is to have this lifelong affair with clay!”

Read more here.

Delicate and mighty, Hooven’s sculptures resemble household objects that, when no one is looking, sprout mythical critters from their every crack and corner. Aprons, shoes, pillows and mugs become temporary shelters for long-limbed lions and triangular ghosts, forming skeletons of feminist fairy tales the viewer must piece together for herself.

“I liken my work to dream interpretation,” the artist wrote in an artist statement from 1985. “It is both literal and symbolic, intended to invoke a feeling that lingers. The shoe is a shoe, but it is also an animal, a vehicle, and a stage for the play within.”

Brunch: June Art Therapy: Art Inspiration 9

TAI #9 MAD (3) Ceramics
South Korea December 29, 2016

Read More here.

Just as a plant makes a flower, the soul creates its symbol. -Carl Jung

In psychology, the unconscious is the source of raw material, and illusions give form to this raw [sic]. The world of Coille Hooven’s work is an activity similar to transformation, as if props, objects and unique characters in a soft urgency are touched with raw clay from the unconscious. The symbols of Eve and Pregnant Girl change a part of the body, such as hands and arms, to snakes, and the use of reptiles is a symbol of transformation. Another form of transformation is psychological and irreversible – because it occurs internally. Please Me and Howl, showing suffering from a transformation of consciousness, visualize pain in their twists and gestures.


Cincinnati Art Museum
American Ceramic Circle
Spring Newsletter 2017

Coille Hooven: Tell It By Heart
Arts Summary A Visual Journal
September 26, 2016

The Most Risque Sculpture You Ever Seen
Harper’s Bazaar
by Anna Furman
September 28, 2016

The New Yorker Goings On About Town
October 25, 2016

Ceramic Tales
Moodboarders: Materials Poetics
by Cristina Morozzi
October 2016


THE WOMEN Works on view include recent pieces by women whose primary medium is clay and selected works from private and artist archives by female potters and sculptors. ON VIEW Oct 28, 2017 – Apr 21, 2018 Ferrin Contemporary 1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA Click here for details. Ceramic Art and Figural Sculpture


ABOUT THE NYCGF New York Ceramics & Glass Fair Bohemian National Hall, New York, NY January 19–22, 2017Click here for more Bringing together a carefully selected and distinguished international group...

Object of the Week: The Lonely Knight, by Coille Hooven, Feb 27, 2018.

“Considered one of the first ceramists to address feminist issues in clay, Hooven makes whimsical and imaginative teapots, vessels, busts, and sculptural scenes that explore female identity and the roles of women in modern society.”

These 20 Artists are Shaping the Face of Ceramics by Casey Lesser, Feb 22, 2017.

“Artists and artisans working with ceramics have steadily contributed to the art world for centuries. From prehistoric pottery to ancient Greek amphoras, from the rise of porcelain in Asia and Europe to the Arts and Crafts movement in England and the U.S….”

Coille Hooven: Tell It by Heart

“In her strange, pointedly feminist porcelain miniatures, the American ceramicist transports us to a mythic realm of brutal alienation and fantastical transformation populated by animal women, warped dishware, pillows, and slices of pie. This rare solo exhibition, Hooven’s first in…”

For 50 Years, This Feminist Has Told Stories with Clay, by Prescilla Frank, August 9th 2016.

The Most Risqué Scultpures You’ve Ever Seen, by Anna Furman, September 28, 2016.

Coille Hooven: Tell it by Heart at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, January 27, 2017

Coille McLaughlin Hooven: Porcelain 1974–2008

Jo Lauria, Art Curator and Historian
Introduction by Jenni Sorkin

One can always spot a Coille Hooven piece in a ceramic collection. Although frequently small and delicate, they have great impact. Her white porcelain forms, with seemingly naive decorative elements, belie their scale and fragility as the emotional thrust of their narratives powerfully shout out their presence. And the story they have to tell is personal and intimate, as one will see from the depth of the work included in this book. The vessels and sculptures that are featured focus on Coille’s journey as a woman navigating the waterways of life. Shaped and crafted through clay, Coille takes us on many adventures through forms, always complex but also playful, and always worth the exploration.
Available on Click for more.