MOUNT OLIVE – Students in Frank Grubbs’ Art 165 and 166 ceramic techniques classes get a chance to mold their creative impulses as they study the art of pottery at the University of Mount Olive.
Students build skills in all major forming methods, including wheel throwing and hand building, and they are exposed to various firing techniques and clay glazing. Experimentation and research are encouraged as students learn to exploit materials and processes for their conceptual works.
Grubbs, allied instructor of ceramic arts, usually starts each semester teaching students the art of hand building a tea bowl using a pinch pot method to form the vessel. Once completed, the class has a tea using their created bowls. “This is usually a class favorite,” Grubbs said.
As students move through hand building and wheel throwing techniques, they get a chance to create an array of pieces, which culminates with a group project. This semester, the Art 166 students worked together to construct a Raku kiln that will soon be test fired and ultimately used during the glaze firing of the Geil kiln. The kiln opening is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The events are open to the public.
“Each student brings his or her own unique skills and creativity when they enter the ceramic studio,” Grubbs said. “Each project is different and diverse to the student.”
According to Grubbs, students can submit their creative works for display and/or competitions. In fact, two former students’ works of art, as well as those of Grubbs, are currently on display in the second floor atrium located in the university’s Moye Library. Included in that display are three of Grubbs’ works that have formerly been accepted into a national juried show.
“I do not expect my students to become potters at the end of the semester, but I do expect each student to leave with a whole new appreciation for the art of pottery,” Grubbs said.
— From University of Mount Olive Public Relations, by student intern Macy Parkhurst