Ceramics students to present a semester’s work in Annual Spring Pottery Sale

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Shelsea Dodd designed several “pocket fertility goddesses” to sell at the Spring Pottery Sale hosted by the UAA Clay Body club. These Venus-inspired figurines are seen throughout cultures as far back as 28,000 B.C. Photo credit: Shelsea Dodd

On May 4 at 8 a.m., the doors to the wheel throwing studio will open for the Annual Spring Pottery Sale. UAA’s Clay Body club hosts the event at the end of every spring semester, along with their sale in the fall. Pottery, sculptures and jewelry, all handcrafted by ceramic students and faculty at the university, will be up for sale.

The Clay Body club has been hosting sales for over 25 years. Jade Ariah, bachelor’s of fine arts student and Clay Body club president, advises customers to arrive up to an hour prior to the start time, as a line typically forms.

“We definitely have established a following of people who come to every single sale and bring their friends and family. There’s usually around 100 people running around when the sale starts. It’s a hot mess,” Ariah said.

Although students name the prices for their own work, Steven Godfrey, chair of the art department and advisor for the club, says the sale is “the best deal in town,” and a little support goes a long way.

“It gives students the sense that they can make a living doing this. It feels like a pat on the back or a nod from the public when they sell something,” Godfrey said. “It also helps students with their confidence. They realize they’ve gained great skills and knowledge in the field.”

Profits from the sale help fund the individual artists, as well as other events within the Clay Body club, such as hosting visiting artists and sponsoring a yearly trip to a ceramics conference.

Shelsea Dodd, a post baccalaureate student from Maryland Institute College of Art, has been working in the ceramics field for around nine years. Her sculptures in this semester’s sale have a special meaning behind them.

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“My work investigates topics concerning feminism, LGBT and queer issues and human-animal relationships,” Dodd said. “The pieces I am most proud of are ones that are not only visually appealing, but that communicate these concepts successfully to the viewer.”

Dodd is attracted to the ceramics field for the support and bond of its community, as well as the flexibility of the practice itself.

“I love that clay can become sculpture, or it can become functional pottery. In this duality we can enjoy ceramics visually, conceptually and as an integral part of our everyday routine,” Dodd said.

Ceramics term instructor Alanna Derocchi is impressed by the dedication of the Clay Body club and the quality of work available at this semester’s sale.

“The ceramics students run such a great club because of the inclusive community they form while working in the shared studio. Everyone supports each other, which has created a dynamic environment that has increased the level of engagement in the pottery sale,” Derocchi said. “There is always a great selection of unique and creative pieces all across the board.”

The club’s Annual Spring Pottery Sale will take place on May 4 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Gordon Hartlieb Hall, Room 108. The event is open to everyone, and now accepts credit cards.