The Ming Award is named in honor of ceramic icon, Mrs. Chen Sui-Ming, fondly
known as “Ming” in the ceramics industry. An accomplished artist, ceramist, and
teacher of ceramics, Ming ran her own studio on Long Island, New York, then
later in Folsom, California, for many decades.
Her passion for calligraphy, brush work, and clay began when she took her very first
ceramic class in the early 1950’s. Her love for the art began as a hobby and gradually
evolved into teaching adults classes, starting her own studio, winning numerous awards
in different categories at various ceramic shows, and publishing her designs and techniques
in major ceramic trade and hobby magazines.
In 1973 she became the educational director of the only internationally know non-
product-oriented teacher certification program.
From then until her retirement in 1997, she directed the educational and certification program
of the National Ceramics Manufacturers Association (NCMA), later acquired
by Ceramic Art Institute (CAI). In its heyday, the program has a roster of fourteen
Master Teachers and was taught extensively in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
In the late seventies and early eighties other programs were added to expand ceramic
education. The judging program taught CAI certified teachers how to assess show entries
for the quality of work – for flaws as well as unusual displays of talent that might
foretell gifted ceramic teachers of the future. As well, regional forums in new
techniques and products were held for certified teachers. The NCMA and CAI
programs were the only certification programs that could earn students college credits.
The Ming Award figure was chosen by the Judging staff of the Exhibitors Association
Production Company. Research has found it to be a Chinese princess of the Han
dynasty. She is a teacher and a symbol of knowledge for the arts. She holds a
scepter which is signifying authority, position and respect. Her expertise was in
demand throughout China during the Han dynasty.
Chen Sui-Ming has approved the award.
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