Please join Craft in America to inaugurate the opening of Couples in Craft. This exhibition  features the work of artist couples who create fiber and ceramics, either collaboratively or independently. An opening art party will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, from 3-5pm. See RSVP info below. Come celebrate with the artists.

About Couples in Craft

Whether divergent or partnered in their practices, these artists have shared decades of mutual creative growth with one another.

Many of these artist couples met during their formative educational years and thus share a lifelong dedication to each other and to their respective craft. These partners support and inspire each others’ extensive pursuit of mastering materials and continued exploration of their potential. Their intuitive knowledge of process allows for layers of meaning to become integrated into the works as they are made.

These artists, as couples and as a group, share a passion and curiosity for the craft they have devoted themselves to. Many have also worked as educators, nurturing an interest in the ancient traditions of weaving and ceramics with future generations.

Couples in Craft Artists

Artists include: Jim and Veralee Bassler, Susan Garson and Tom Pakele, Nobuhito Nishigawara and Lesley Kice Nishigawara, Yael Lurie and Jean Pierre Larochette, Susan and David Wulfeck.

Veralee Bassler graduated from the UCLA Art Department with a concentration in ceramics. She shared her passion for creativity, teaching, and ceramics with the students of the Los Angeles School District for 25 years. Jim Bassler graduated from UCLA with an MA in Art in 1968 and later served there as professor and department chair between 1975–2000.

Susan Garson creates hand-built ceramic vessels with highly illustrated surfaces, using colorful, lyrical imagery thus evoking a sense of ritual and mystery. She earned her MFA at UCLA and met her future husband Tom Pakele during her studies in the 1980s. Tom Pakele attended CSU Northridge and also earned his MFA at UCLA as well. His interest is in the finer points of porcelain processes, working the surfaces with carving and traditional Asian glazes such as copper red, celadon, and iron saturates.

Couples in Craft

Yael Lurie apprenticed with her father and studied with Jacob Wexler and at the Leshem Mosaic Workshop. Jean Pierre Larochette is the son of a third generation French Aubusson tapestry weaver. Yael and Jean Pierre have collaborated for five decades. These collaborations include numerous commissions for temples along with works in public and private collections throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Lesley Kice Nishigawara‘s work stems from a fascination with grids, patterns, and structures that are inherent in the medium of weaving. Therefore, coming from observations of the built environment. She attended the Kansas City Art Institute in the early 2000s, where she and husband Nobuhito Nishigawara first met. He is a Professor of Ceramics in the department of Visual Arts at CSU Fullerton. Because he has lived in Japan and the U.S., his work addresses the relationship of perception, ritual, and interpretation to cultural identity.

Susan Wulfeck creates hand-built forms that investigate the interaction between intricate, repetitive surface designs and bold geometric contours. Susan received a BFA from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and an MFA from UCLA. David Wulfeck received a BA from CSU Northridge, and an MA from UCLA where the two met in the early 80s.

If you would like to attend this event, please rsvp by emailing

On view: June 3, 2023 – September 2, 2023

What:  Couples in Craft
Where: Craft in America Center, 8415 W. Third St., LA, 90048
When: Saturday, June 3, 2023, 3:00pm – 5:00pm