Z Kaplan (they/them) is a queer, trans ceramic artist from Chicago currently living in Minneapolis. Working with clay began as a pastime as a child taking neighborhood park district classes but has since transformed into a means of expression and community. Ever since they began a year-long Emerging Artist BISQUE residency in 2021 at the Northern Clay Center (NCC) in Minneapolis, they have been using their resources to explore a new relationship with clay and the firing process to form creations that are kinetic and dynamic. While at NCC, they discovered the beauty and excitement of soda firings — the unpredictability of those outcomes motivates Kaplan to create work that reflects an excited yet grounded energy. As a very community-oriented person who works for the betterment of their world through organizing and takes on the role of a teacher in various contexts, they are motivated by bringing joy to others. They believe that pottery has a place in adding a spark of play into the mundane and that principle motivates them to continue to make work and teach.