Clay and tile, especially, is a wonderful medium for tactile experience. The bas relief images with matte glazes interact with light to cast subtle shadows, enhancing the textures and colors of the tile. The matte glaze flows and pools slightly during the hottest part of the firing process, creating its own textures and crystals which reflect light. Each firing contains tests of new glazes, a continual search for color variation through glaze application and firing temperature. And the finished tile offers limitless opportunity for creativity in installation; pattern and design come together in architectural elements and fireplace surrounds, kitchens and bathrooms. Extruded ceramic moldings, custom field tile and metallic glaze accents work together to make a beautiful architectural statement.

Mary Kuilema Resume'

Architectural Installations:
Tile Murals: 

  • Fair Housing Center, (NGO) Grand Rapids, MI, donor recognition wall 2007- ongoing
  • Cherry street Health Services, (NGO) donor recognition wall, 2005 - 2007
  • South End Community Outreach ministries, donor recognition wall, 2005 -2007
  • Outdoor tile mosaic wall, as artist in residence with Unity High School, Lowell Riverwalk, Lowell MI, 2005
  • Girl Scouts/Michigan Trails Donor recognition wall, Camp Anna Behrens, Greenville MI 2005
  • Donor recognition frieze,Wittenbach Agri-science Center,
  • Lowell Area Schools. MI. 2004 
  • Classroom Designation, Knapp Forest Elementary, Forest Hills Schools, Gr Rapids MI, 2003
  • Kuilema Pottery, home and studio: installations of bathrooms, fireplace, kitchen, floors as well
  • as insets in cement porch and sidewalk, stair risers, 1995-ongoing.
  • Art-Deco style donor recognition wall, Home Repair Services, Grand Rapids, MI ,2000  
  • Outdoor Head Start mural, Grace Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI 1998 
  • Outdoor Frog Frieze, Cedar Springs, MI, 1997


  • Cooper fireplace, Kalamazoo, MI; 
  • Pastoor/Jansens, 2  fireplaces, Grand Rapids MI;
  • Walker fireplace, Grand Rapids MI;
  • Hock fireplace, Ann Arbor MI; 
  • Kresock fireplace, Rochester, NY;
  • Caston fireplace, Grand Rapids, MI;
  • Kovack Fireplace, Schoolcraft, MI; 
  • Kuilema fireplace, Lowell, MI; 
  • Bell Fireplace, New Buffalo, MI.
  • Rossler Fireplace, Rochester Hills, MI.


  •  “Architectural Ceramics” by Peter King, fireplace illustration, Lark Books, 1999.
  •  Lark Books, “500 Tiles,”  edited by Angelica Pozo, 2008

Workshops, Seminars:

  • Tile Heritage Seminars and exhibition; Erie, Ohio, 1999.
  • Tile Heritage Conference and Workshop; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1998; 
  • Functional Ceramics Workshop; Wooster, Ohio,  1997, 1996
  • Public Art Installations Workshop; Cleveland Institute of Arts, Cleveland Ohio,  1996; 
  • Peter King,  Architectural Ceramics Workshop; Pensacola, Florida, 1995; 
  • National Conference for education in Ceramic Arts, 1999, 2004 

Annual Art Shows:

  • Pewabic Tile Invitationals:  Winter & Summer Shows in Bloomfield Hills, Grosse Pointe, MI
  • Tile Heritage Foundation Invitationals: Doylestown PA,  & Erie, Pennsylvania 
  • West Michigan Potters Guild Spring and Fall Shows, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Handmade Tile Association: invitational exhibition, Minneapolis, MN
  • South Haven Art Show, South Haven, Michigan  
  • GrandValley Artists: Clothesline Art Fair,  Art On the Grand, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts/ Bronson Park Art Show, Kalamazoo, Michigan 
  • Royal Oak Clay and Glass Invitational, Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Suttons Bay Art Show, Suttons Bay, Michigan
  • Traverse City Outdoor Art Show, Traverse City,  Michigan 
  • Fallasburg Fall Festival, Lowell, Michigan

Professional Associations:

  • West Michigan Potters Guild, ’83-’06; board,  secretary, president, fall show chairperson 
  • Tile Heritage Foundation, ‘96-’07
  • Lowell Area Arts Council, ‘99-’07  
  • Artist in Residence at Kelloggsville Public Schools, January, 2000, 2002
  • Instructor: Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, fall, 2003, 2004
  • Artist in Residence, Unity Alternative high school, Lowell, Mi 2005

Gallery Representation: 

  • Khnemu Studio, Allegan, MI
  • Gallery 154, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Whistling Moose Gallery, Petoskey, Michigan
  • Suncoast Tile, Largo Florida
  • Eagle Tile and Marble, Eagle, Pennsylvania
  • Once Upon a Tile, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Structures International, Nisswa, Minnesota
  • Take Me Home, Palos Heights, IL
  • Ruth Conklin Gallery, Glen Arbor MI

References: Provided on request.
Background:1979-present: self-employed; designing, producing and marketing functional pottery and tile.

Mary Kuilema, Khnemu Gallery Artist

Mary Kuilema Bio

Cascade Township, Michigan is the setting for Mary Kuilema's home and studio. She has been working in clay for the last 30 years, initially as a potter and more recently in tile production and design. Her tile is influenced by the beauty of the Michigan woodlands and is indebted to the tile of the arts and crafts movement as well as historic Dutch and German tile which elevated everyday events and common sights to the level of art.

Just as each new wave of art tile design is a reflection of its own culture and society while building on the vast repertoire of historic tile, so the current resurgence of handmade tile is due, in part, to a society which values the beauty and fragile nature of our environment while encouraging the production of hand-made artwork. The task of the artist is to help us see and celebrate what is all around us. 

...a connection to the artist and the land

6322  113th Ave
Fennville, MI

​Phone: (269)686-6343