Ceramics Club promotes student creativity

By encouraging newcomers and creating an expressive atmosphere, the Ceramics Club hopes to give people a chance to work with clay. The new club aims to foster a social and stress free space for all of its members.


Photo by Mark Farrell

Ceramic Spinning…Throwing clay on the wheel, sophomore Ava Weismantel enjoy time during a recent Ceramics Club meeting. This new club meets every Thursday in room B120. Members hope to create fundraising opportunities in the future.

To promote a fun and social learning environment, every Thursday in room B120, the Ceramics Club teaches new students how to work with clay and allows veterans to hone their skills.
Totaling between 25-30 members, the Ceramics Club uses air-dry clay to create a majority of their projects.
According to advisor Sean Redmond, what is made in Ceramics Club is largely up to student choice.
“You can make what you want to make,” Redmond said. “Part of the mission of the club is that you get to express yourself creatively while also learning from your peers.”
Another big component of the Ceramics Club is the community. “It’s a merge of anybody. So there are a lot of upperclassmen that come, as well as a lot of underclassmen,” Redmond said.
Co-President Amy Tran, also agrees there is a good mix of students in the club.
“The club is a place for people to learn ceramics and express themselves,” Tran said.
As for requirements in the club, you only need to bring your “motivation and drive,” according to Tran.
Tran took Clay Studio I her sophomore year, but was unable to take the second course her junior year.
This motivated her to create the Ceramics Club for students like her who were also unable to take the class.
“It was made for the people that weren’t able to put ceramics into their schedule, since so many people request the class,” Tran said.
As much of a creative and working environment Ceramics Club is, it is also a place to decompress and socialize.
“It’s like a get away from all the stress,” sophomore Ava Weismantel said. “We really connect and we really bond, no one’s judging.”
Other than motivation, fine motor skills are important for making creations with clay. “There are four basic hand building skills,” Redmond said, “pinch pots, slabs, coils, and then just hand sculpting.”
After building these pieces, the other important component is time, “If you just keep stacking wet clay on top of itself, it’s going to fall apart. So you need to pace yourself and allow things to dry gradually while establishing its structure,” Redmond said.
In Clay Studio, the students use stoneware clay that needs to be dried out, fired in the kiln and then glazed afterward. However, in the Ceramics Club, the students use air dry clay, so it does not need to be fired in a kiln. “Once it’s fully dry, we’re having them use acrylics to paint and add color to their projects,” Redmond said.
Students in the Ceramics Club also create projects based on seasonal occasions.
“We did the ‘idea’ of Halloween,” Weismantel said, “We made ring holders with ghosts in the middle.” In addition, students also made ornaments during the holiday season, “Everyone really liked it,” Weismantel said.
In the future, Tran and Redmond hope to create fundraising opportunities for Ceramics Club, such as partnering up with the Family and Consumer Science department as well as selling ceramic pieces for charity.