Student Work: Ceramics
Professors: Jury Smith and Patrick Coughlin
Mary Kate Daly
Coming from the Greek word, keramikos, meaning pottery, ceramics is an art that has been practiced for over 2,000 years worldwide, including Mayan, Chinese, African, and Greek cultures. Considered an art and a science, ceramics is the practice of creating objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials, which are then solidified through heat. Requiring much skill and patience, this practice is well exemplified through the works of Professor Jury Smith’s Advanced Ceramics class and Professor Patrick Coughlin’s Ceramics I class.
The Advanced Ceramics class is comprised of students who have excelled in furthering their ceramic practice. After learning the basics in Introduction to Ceramics, the students are able to express themselves more fully as artists and able to “get creative.” Focus on space, balance, texture, and form allow for the students to explore and express their artistic freedom and ability. With the guidance of Professor Jury Smith the students are able to make their ideas come to fruition. Lindsay Lahoda and Mary Kate Daly, both seniors, explain that you begin to think about your relationship with the work that you’re creating while taking the advanced class.
The Ceramics I class offers an introduction to three-dimensional design. Students learn hand built pottery making and sculpture techniques as well as traditional glazing methods. The sgraffito technique, where you paint a layer of colored slip on your unfired piece and then scratch away at it to create a design, is common practice in this introduction class and is evident in many of the pieces in this exhibit.
This exhibit combines functional and sculptural pieces. Daly adds textural elements to her functional pieces to enhance their aesthetic appeal. It is through function that Lahoda connects with her audience. Seeing someone hold the object you made with your own hands generates an elevated relationship between the user and the artist. Aside from the relationship between the functional and nonfunctional, aesthetics play a large role in the creation of the works. Julian Smith draws much inspiration from the organic beauty of everyday life, as well as from innovative architecture. You can see Alicia Ezekiel-Pipkin’s Chemistry background influence her work in her organic looking hand-built vase. The exhibit reflects each students’ own individuality.
~ Essay written by Aileen
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant