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“Totally Kiln it,” a Short Ceramics Journey and Reflection

In the Arts Management program the experience of the arts is of the utmost importance and sometime you need to do just that, experience it.

I haven’t been doing ceramics for very long. In total I’ve been handling clay for less than 6 months. I have had a fascination with the subject for as long as I can remember; one Christmas over a decade ago now, I received this toy potters wheel. It didn’t work well, and I never really figured out how to make anything and it sadly went to waste, but jump a few years later (say late tweens) and my interest peaked yet again. I was in summer camp and one of the afternoon activities we could choose from happened to be a ceramics handbuilding class. I absolutely loved it. Looking back, I realize everything I had made in that class was 100% completely awful. My aunt still has this itty bitty bowl I had made for the final project, it’s incredibly lop-sided and has terribly thick walls, but she still loves it.

Fast forward again to just under a year ago, fall of 2017; I was finally taking ceramics again! This is where I truly fell in love. I had never thrown on a wheel before, and it was something I really wanted to try. The last few weeks of the course were completely dedicated to throwing, our assignment was to successfully throw at least 8 cups and attach handles. It took me a hot minute to get the hang of it, but soon I had made something that actually stood up by itself, albeit it was pretty short and not very good, but I was proud of it. From there I only got better. I was there two hours before our class started every morning so I could get in extra throwing time, and I tended to stay for a couple hours after on days I didn’t have to run off to CCA111.

By the end of the semester I had 13 successful cups I then gave away as Christmas gifts to my many aunts. After a bit less than a year I’m back at it again. This semester, so far, has been going well. Having not thrown for a little less than a year it took some time and extra practice to remember how. I had nothing to worry about, it was just like riding a bike, it took a couple tries, but I was back to making cups as good as before, if not better. Even with the deadlines and requirements hanging over me throwing brings much need peace to my hectic life. Ceramics in my opinion is one of the most tactile art mediums, and for a person like me who likes to be able to touch things to get that hands-on experience it’s ideal. Sometime we need to get back to just the experience of you and the art, because while arts management is an incredibly important field, there would be nothing to manage, market or anything without the art.

Sidney Edwards is a junior Studio Art major double concentrating in Ceramics and Painting with a co-major in Arts Management. You can generally find her in the ceramics studio or at home curled up on the couch; some days you’ll even find her working at the circulation desk at King Library. She loves her friends family and pandas.

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