Arts & Reviews

Is Ceramics the Right Choice for You? 

By: Fiona Laddey

Are you looking for an art elective to take next year? If so, Ceramics may be a great choice for you! Over the years, ceramics has become an extremely popular class that students have grown to love. If you’re looking for an art elective to take in the future, Ceramics may be the right choice for you. 

Photo courtesy of Fiona
Laddey

Although the class may seem simple, a lot goes into it. Students start with a block of clay; before starting their project, the clay must be wedged, meaning it is thrown against the table. Wedging ensures that all trapped air bubbles escape the clay. If there are air bubbles, your project may explode in the kiln. After the clay is wedged, students have the freedom to start their projects. Right now, they are working on pinch pots. The clay is rolled into a ball and shaped into a pot. Once the basic structure is formed, students can then shape the clay and smooth it out with sponges and metal ribs. Once the shape is complete, a design is transferred on with a carving tool. Next, the pots are fired in the kiln. After they are fired for the first time, the pots are rock solid. The fired pots are painted with either glaze or underglaze. These special paints will give the project a glossy finish.  

During my freshman year, I took a full-year ceramics class and learned different techniques such as pinch, slab, and coil. It was one of my favorite classes, and I loved being able to relax for a period to work on my projects. I found it highly therapeutic working with the clay. 

Photo courtesy of
Fiona Laddey

“I like it because it is a nice break in my day. I enjoy being able to express my creativity in my projects,” said Jamie Bricker, a senior taking ceramics for the first time. She is finishing up her pinch pot, which she carved a cowboy hat into.

Erica Gustavsen, a sophomore also taking the class for the first time, explained that she “likes ceramics because of the super relaxed environment. Although it requires effort, it is definitely a fun and easy class.” She continued, “You do not need to be super artistic to succeed, just determined with an open and creative mindset.” Erica is also working on her pinch pot which she carved a passionfruit into. Like many others, both students are eager to start their next projects. 

So, if you are looking for a class where you can express your creativity and make something you can keep forever, you may want to consider taking ceramics.

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