Ceramics Reflection

Now that I won’t be doing any more ceramics, excluding using a small amount of clay I have left to make an item or two, I figure I chat about my whole experience.

I went into the class due to class scheduling. I had talked to my professor beforehand asking if I should take it or not, since I had heard so many good things about it from a friend that took it. He told me I should take the Drawing 2 class since it would help me as a painter, which is right. Though there was only one Drawing 2 class and it was once a week from 6-10pm. Pass on that… So it was an easy choice and I took Ceramics 1.

I didn’t really have too much of an idea of what I was getting myself into. I just knew that I was going to be doing stuff with my hands a lot more than what I do with painting. I also didn’t join a class that I knew anyone prior to either so that was another side of a fresh start. About half the students in the class had taken a ceramics class in high school. They didn’t have a ceramics room in my high school till after my younger brother left. My “oh so elite” high school was even more pathetic comparatively speaking.

Anyway, the class assignments went ok. The first two projects faired much better than the third. In order we had to do: A coil pot, a “bucket” pot and a bust of your own head.

The coil pot was a fun way to learn how to make something with your hands from a blank 25lb bag of earthenware clay. I really enjoyed it even though I did have a few hiccups. The only draw back to the project was that we had to re-create a pot we brought in. We couldn’t stray from it.


The “bucket” piece was my favorite. First, I was able to have 100% creative power within a few rules, so that was great. Second, it was made with slabs over coils. Coils became such an annoyance by the time I was done with the coil pot. I am also a ton better at making slabs, though my wedging kind of sucks.

The last assignment was a nightmare. Not only do I hate looking at myself (this is a narcissists’ wet dream) but I did learn that we aren’t always who we think we are. Our voices sound different to us in our heads than what we hear when played back. Our faces are very different from when we look at ourselves. We tend to take all those comments from others about a big nose, small lips or round cheeks to a learned reality and so when we look in a mirror we exaggerate those features so much so. From a wisdom standpoint, this project was good but from a ceramic view, I didn’t get it. If you go onto Ceramics’ 2/3/4 you never do head features ever again. I’m sure you can transfer some of the knowledge but you don’t utilize those specific skills again (i.e. making lips).

My over-all feeling toward the class left with a very torn opinion. I am happy and sad that I took the class. First I am happy because I grew artistically. Learning the basics of a different form of art is always something that can be good, if you enjoy the art form or not. The bad part is split into one thing I don’t want to talk about and one thing I do. The part I want to explain was that I set myself up for failure. It’s a common phrase in the military “Don’t set yourself up for failure” and ultimately I did. Ceramics doesn’t count as an art credit and because of this I can’t take Ceramics 2. I need that other art class and so I choose painting (duh!) and it’s at the same time as Ceramics 2 and there is only 1 class. I sort of let myself down so that I can’t progress in the art and in some ways it feels like I wasted part of my time.

Ultimately, I don’t regret taking the class. I just wish things could have worked out different so I wouldn’t have this feeling of disappointment. My teacher did say that he didn’t mind if I used the remainder of my clay and that I could have it fired. I don’t have too much left but I will be able to make an item or two. I will wait till the beginning of next semester to touch it.

Song: Interpol – All of the Ways. It’s fitting for the above post, among other parts of my life.

My website (not another link to my blog)

www.ericloiselle.com

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