Ceramics: Project One


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Ceramics Project 1

I am an Art Major here at Fort Lewis College. I have been interested and passionate about art for most of my life. This semester, I am taking two studio art classes: printmaking and ceramics. I recently finished (for firing, this piece is only half way there) my first ceramic project, in the first ‘ceramics’ class I have taken. I have worked with clay before, mostly in high school sculpture classes. I ended up very proud of this piece; I put a lot of effort into it and I believe that after it is fired and glazed I will be even prouder. Hopefully, I constructed it in a sound way so that it does not explode inside the kiln. This can happen if there is a large amount of air trapped inside, if the clay isn’t completely “bone” dry (as my professor, Jay Dougan describes it) and still has water in it, or if the artist put wet clay directly on top of dry clay without creating a bond between them. ¬†Clay is temperamental, it takes practice to know when the clay is at the right stiffness to build on, carve on, and fire. For instance, when I carved the lines into one half of this vessel, they ended up lighter at the bottom (where the clay had dried) and much deeper at the top. It could have been more unified, but personally I like the effect of the ridges getting larger and deeper until the top of the twisted cylinder, where they fan out. The assignment for this piece was to use a coil pot technique to create a vessel. We were to draw out some silhouettes of ideas for our pots, and then bring them into reality. They must be at least eleven inches tall, but mine is slightly shorter, and after fired may be much shorter. Hopefully, my creativity with and execution of this project will be enough to make up for the deviance from the assignment. Ceramics is a very enjoyable class and prerequisites aren’t necessary to be able to take it, so I would recommend it to anyone. I certainly like it!