My degree is in Biology and, surprise, there’s a lot of hard science classes. However, even in the science degrees there are many requirements for humanities and general elective credits that can be really fun. I chose to fill one of these requirements with a 4-credit Ceramics class twice a week. It is one of the best classes that I have taken. I have learned so much about art and crafting, and made some great friends in the process. My teacher did a great job of creating assignments that allowed our creativity to run wild.
During the course of the quarter we had the opportunity to meet with visiting artists and learn about their styles and careers. During the third week of the quarter, one of the artists visited the studio for several days, giving presentations about different ways to create patterns on the surface of your pieces. My favorite that I implemented on several of my cups and bowls was a stenciling technique where you take strips of wet paper and stick them to the surface of your piece. This creates a resist that leaves the designs behind and creates an abstract design. As is always the case, the professionals make it look way too easy, but after much trial and error I was able to use this technique on one of my bowls.
A second technique that I love is called a nature resist. It’s where you pick up leaves or other things from nature and use them to create patterns in the glaze.
The absolute best part of the class, however, was the community atmosphere in the pottery lab. Clark has tons of open lab time, and it is so nice to have access to it whenever you need. It is monitored by volunteers who truly care about helping you experiment and create the best work that you can. They are always around to share tips and answer questions.
Overall, I would recommend this class to anyone who wants a fun class to balance out your hard classes. It is a great way to spend some fun hours playing with clay and learning about the ceramics process.