Ceramics take over the Hugh McPeck

The Clay Body Ceramic Invitational exhibit in the Student Union’s gallery is full of unique, ceramic artwork created by the Clay Body Club and a few new ceramic students.

“Little Spikey Bun Bun” by Maxine Fekete. Photo by Christian Cielo

The majority of the art was created last semester and the gallery features around 14 students. This is the club’s fourth exhibit overall. The artists are chosen by Steven Godfrey and Alanna Derochi, two professors in the ceramics department, to showcase their work in the gallery.

“[Clay Body Club is] really nice. I’ve been in a lot of clubs over the years, but this is one of the ones that give me a lot of experience, as far as what it means to be in a group and putting on sales,” Erin Cockreham, Clay Body Club president and senior UAA ceramics student, said. Cockreham also has her art, a wheel thrown plate, on display in the exhibit.

There are two types of methods for creating ceramics featured in the exhibit: wheel throwing and hand-building.

Wheel throwing consists of creating pieces that are more functional; think plates, vases, mugs and cups, items that are more easily made for mass production. Hand-building is more of an artistic concept, making creative works through using tools, plaster and molding the clay for visual purposes.

Brian Adams, UAA ceramics student, primarily works in hand-building, particularly solid building. He works a lot with the idea of human relations with technology and is currently experimenting with space exploration. His project displayed in the gallery is an astronaut’s pair of spacesuit gloves, entitled “Pressure.”

“To make something out of nothing is very exciting,” Adams said. “Just the tactile nature of clay and being able to touch things and feel the form of it in your hands while you’re building it is useful.”

"American Bison" by Amy Schilling. Photo by Christian Cielo.
“American Bison” by Amy Schilling. Photo by Christian Cielo.
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Another senior ceramics student, who also has art in the exhibit, is Jessica Saiki. Saiki is exhibiting her hand-built sun. She calls working in ceramics a “magical process.”

I also love the feeling of accomplishment when you see a finished piece. I’m not a mother, but I feel like my sculptures are my babies,” Saiki said.

The Clay Body Club has approximately 20 members, hosts workshops and other events through the year like their end of semester pottery sale.

The Clay Body Ceramic Invitational exhibit has been on display since Jan. 22 and will stay on display until Feb. 20 at the Hugh McPeck Gallery.