Portola Pilot

Moulding Creative Clay Crafts with Ceramics

Junhee Ryu and Tiffany Wu

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In Room 904, the distinctive scent of clay lingers in the air, providing a tell-tale aroma that encapsulates the Ceramics course offered to all students. With simply clay, water and glaze, dusty hands erect beautiful sculptures, which are then set in the kiln to be fired, glazed and re-fired.

“Ceramics is pretty easy to pick up; it’s just working with your hands, kind of like playing with Play-Doh, but you get to fire it in the kiln and keep it and use it as your own object,” ceramics teacher Kearci Moir said. “I find that even if students don’t have any art background, ceramics is a great place to start because they feel confident and comfortable, and they can make fun little figurines and usable items.”

Ceramics incorporates multiple aspects of art, as each structure requires an initial sketch of the project idea, which is then brought to life in the form of 3D clay. So far, students have crafted pinch pot bowls, mugs, coil pots, Pueblo pots and slab boxes.

“I like ceramics because it’s a stress-free class, and although there are a few limitations, you can create the projects however you want to,” junior Niki Szekely said. “I can express my own creativity through ceramics, and I love how we have so much freedom with what we can create.”

In the hubbub of stressful classes, piles of homework and numerous scheduled tests, Ceramics can be a welcome break. The class fosters creativity with a loose structure, so that students are able to openly communicate with peers while simultaneously getting work done.

“Ceramics is unique to me because it is an art class where you are not just working with pen and paper all the time; I can create something real and useful,” junior Haley Truong said. “It is fun, and I can also create cute little bowls and mugs in a stress-relieving way.”

In addition to the projects they have completed thus far, Ceramics is designing a sculpture that will be hand-moulded by a professional sculptor and placed in a sculpture garden located in Cadence Park.

Students were informed of the park theme, “The Nature Around Us,” which inspired them to create designs which were presented in class and 3D printed. All art classes gathered together to vote on the best design, which will be created into the real, life-sized sculpture with the help from professional artists, who have been hired by FivePoint. The ceramics students also took a field trip to the school to see the approximate size of the garden.

The project is on track to be completed and released in May.

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Moulding Creative Clay Crafts with Ceramics