Ceramics

Ceramics Program Intensive Summer Seminars

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Hood College Ceramics students haven’t just been relaxing this summer! They have had the option of taking several short but intensive seminar classes. Two of these 5-day classes included Throwing Large Forms (ARTS 509) and Salt/Soda Surfaces and Firing (ARTS 599MM).

 

Taught by visiting artist Kevin Crowe, Throwing Large Farms explored creating large-scale pots using “method…not machismo”, as explained by the instructor. Requiring throwing skills, imagination, and sense of humor, participants were able to explore using techniques to create pieces on a grand scale! IMG_0187 small IMG_0183 small IMG_0173 IMG_4685 IMG_4667 IMG_4633

 

Salt/Soda Surfaces and Firing, taught by visiting artist Cathi Jefferson, gave students the uncommon opportunity to explore ways to create variations in the surfaces and firing of their work using these techniques. Experimenting, they were able to create beautiful effects in a variety of ways!

 

Photographs by Steven Luttrell and Emily Bernstein

Outstanding Student- Ceramic Arts

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i-ZhsxXcR-L Janet is a member of the Potters Guild of Frederick and sells her work
in their Frederick Gallery. A notable Frederick artist, she exemplifies what it means to be a successful ceramic artist. She has explored form and image transfer with a variety of firing methods including electric, gas reduction, soda, wood and raku. Although her emphasis at this time is wheel thrown, functional pottery, she continues to explore new methods and techniques that enable many possibilities.  As she explores new directions in her personal work, Janet demonstrates proficiency and caring in working with students. She is always available in the studio or the kiln yard to assist any student who is struggling. She maintains the glaze lab, mixing glazes in advance of need and providing current samples of glaze interactions. She loads, fires and unloads kilns, always open to questions and sharing information. She works to perfect her skills in order to share the knowledge.

ARTS 507- Plates and Platters

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One of the course offerings from the Hood College Ceramic Arts graduate program is entitled Plates and Platters. The college catalog states “Plates and Platters is an in-depth study of the throwing and finishing of plates and large platters, including structural strength concepts for low open forms, methods for centering, a variety of throwing techniques, information on trimming, finishing, firing and composition.”

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Plates and platters are a difficult form to create successfully, with many problems showing up in the final firing. Students learn to use a variety of procedures for throwing, shaping and trimming plates, platters and low open forms, with specific emphasis on problem solving and aesthetics. The focus of the one credit class is skill building and problem solving, which resulted in the creation of beautiful forms, which now line the shelves in the wheel studio.

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Spring 2017 saw thirteen students enroll in the course with instructor Kristin Muller, an MFA graduate of Hood. Kristin is a wood fire potter who well versed in the creation of platters that survive wood fire.

One of the participants, Jafar Alhamar, expressed his desire to learn to create large platters due to the tradition of meals served from a large platter in the center of the table in his home country, Kuwait. Proof of his success in the class is the large platter he created.

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Professor Muller adds, “It is always a pleasure to teach such a dedicated and focused group of students.  The keys to successful skill building are developing excellent basic core skills through repetition upon which more advanced skills can developed.  The program at Hood has clearly articulated techniques and concepts coupled with high-level design principles that are the foundation for every course. This allows students to build their skills incrementally and instructors to point out specific areas for improvement. The immersive 3-day course format facilitates this growth to happen rather quickly because everyone is focused for several days at a time.  It was a joy to see so many examples of their success!”

Donor Gives $30,000 to Ceramic Arts Graduate Scholarship

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Matthew Gaddie, Tea Bowls, MFA ‘16

Matthew Gaddie, Tea Bowls, MFA ‘16

Fleur Bresler, a long-time collector and supporter of the arts, recently made a generous contribution of $30, 000 to Hood College’s Ceramic Arts and Technology Graduate Scholarship, launched to attract talented students to the school’s Master of Fine Arts program.  One $10,000 award will be made for each of the next three years, which will enable one new MFA candidate to fund their first year of full-time enrollment.

The application deadline is July 15, 2017 and the recipient will be announced at the end of July.  To qualify for this award, applicants must be accepted as a full time MFA candidate, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to Hood’s Office of  Financial Aid.

For a scholarship application or information on the MFA program, contact the Hood College Graduate School at 301-696-3600 or gofurther@hood.edu.

Hood College Ceramic Arts students join with collectors in campus art exhibition

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Graduate students in Hood College’s ceramic arts programs recently participated in a campus exhibition, “Collectors’ Voices in Ceramic Art: A Leading Edge Exhibition.”  The students were enrolled in ARTS 543, History of Ceramic Arts and completed the exhibition as part of the class.  Students were paired with a regional art collector to research and present on collected ceramic artwork.

Professor Joyce Michaud, Hood’s Program Director for Ceramic Arts, had this to say about the exhibition.

How did you decide to stage this exhibition? 

Eric Serritella Tea potMarc Grainer, a member of our advisory proposed the exhibition and the advisory council voted in favor of its staging. The exhibition and the accompanying lectures are a part of our yearlong colloquium and is sponsored by the Humanities Council and Ceramic Arts Program.  ARTS 543 places special emphasis on broadening the knowledge and experience of students through personal involvement in researching and encountering historic work.  This exhibition brought together a breadth of ceramic history, especially in the up close and personal experience provided by our collectors, who welcomed students into their homes to talk about their collections and the motivations behind their collecting.  These people have knowledge and passion for ceramics, both contemporary and historic.

 

 

How did you decide on which pieces to display? 

Jenna Gianni, Director of the Galleries, and I, along with members of the advisory council, visited collector’s homes.  The collectors then honed in on a unique piece that they were willing to loan to Hood College for the month long exhibition.

How did the collections in this exhibition differ from the works showcased at prior exhibitions? 

The value of this exhibition was extremely high.  Being able to see these pieces in the beautiful Hood College Whitaker Gallery was a real treat.  The intermingling of historic and contemporary work in one gallery/exhibition was a rare experience.  The ages intermingling provided an eclectic conversation both human and ceramic.

What were the high points of the exhibition?

Collector and former Advisory Council member David Rehfuss wrote to a friend after attending the exhibition opening reception.  “I visited the Hood College Collectors Voices in Ceramic Arts: A Leading Edge Exhibition yesterday and was impressed. The array and diversity of the 22 ceramics there made for good viewing and good conversation between the visitors”.

 

What were the outcomes for the students that participated in this exhibition?

The students were exposed to a wide range of historic and contemporary ceramic art to which many had not yet been exposed.  Additionally, they developed personal relationships with the collectors, learning more about building and maintaining a collection, as well as the periods in the history of ceramic art with an emphasis on how ceramic arts fit into the contemporary art world.

Also, the students were brought into the real world of their own passions and career choices that may rely on the collectors to provide and support, including primary research and integrating the history of the work, the stories of the collecting, and the legacy that will last beyond the collectors themselves.

Are there plans to hold a similar exhibition soon? 

The 2018-2019 gallery calendar offers great opportunities for another exciting exhibition and the conversations have already begun!

Hood College Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics candidate featured in campus exhibition

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PR PicMeg Lau is a Hood College Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics candidate who will be exhibiting on campus this April as part of her thesis.  “The Past is Present” will run from April 12 to 30 at the Whitaker Campus Center Gallery. Meg will also present a gallery talk and host an opening reception scheduled April 14from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The on display at the exhibition include large smoke fired urns ranging from sixteen to thirty-two inches tall and smaller urn forms ranging from six to twelve inches, all created for the containment of personal and communal memories of loved ones. They all have the physical potential to contain relics, memorabilia, or cremation ashes for one or more family members.  The urns celebrate the past and, will be cherished in the future. The exhibition speaks to the history of ceramics and the relationships that have existed between women, family, spirituality and the vessel. The urns in this exhibit represent life, both past and present.

Meg shares her Hood experience with us below.

Background

Meg is from Strasburg, Pennsylvania and teaches high school ceramics in the Lampeter-Strasburg School District.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Millersville University and her Master’s in Art Education from Kutztown University. She will complete her Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts this spring at Hood.

Hood College experience

My experience at Hood has been amazing.  The MFA Ceramic Arts program is very holistic, as it offers students a very strong foundation for technique, aesthetics, history, critical analysis, as well as marketing strategies for the artist.  Additionally, this program has allowed me to meet other artists/students from all over the country.  We have been able to work with one another collaboratively using Hood’s fabulous facilities.

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Impact of the MFA program on your career

As a teacher I have had the opportunity to bring to my students everything that this program has given to me. Professor Joyce Michaud and all of the teachers at Hood have modeled such dedication to their students, which has allowed me to bring an abundant amount of technical, historical and critical knowledge directly back to my classroom.

Sources of inspiration

I am inspired by the history of ceramics as well as by my family.

Hood college graduate school students featured in ceramic arts exhibit

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Students from Hood College Graduate School programs in ceramic arts are featured in an exhibit on campus.

“Collectors’ Voices in Ceramic Art: A Leading Edge Exhibition,” runs from March 2-April 2 in the Whitaker Campus Center Gallery. Collectors have loaned pieces of their personal collections to Hood for a show that features historical and contemporary ceramics from 19 major regional collectors, many affiliated with the James Renwick Alliance, a nonprofit organization that celebrates America’s craft artists. The pieces are from around the globe.

Ceramic arts graduate students were paired with a collector and researched the collected ceramic artwork and interviewed the collectors, researching the history of the work and the stories surrounding the acquisition of the pieces. During the exhibition, two presentations, “History and Legacy: A Conversation with Collectors,” will feature the students and the collectors as they present their research. The presentations will take place March 11 and March 25 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons.

The Whitaker Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The opening reception is March 5 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Whitaker Commons. The project is co-sponsored by the Hood College Humanities Council’s 2016-17 NEH colloquium series, “Narrative at the Edge of the World,” and the Ceramic Arts graduate program. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jenna Gianni at gianni@hood.edu or 301-696-3285.

 

 

Hood Faculty and Alums “Making Good”

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Two members of the Hood community – Jacklyn Scott and Kristin Müller – are among four co-authors of a forthcoming book- “Making Good: An Inspirational Guide to Being an Artist Craftsman”. The book will be released on April 28th.

Jacklyn is completing her degree in the MFA in Ceramic Arts program and also works as Hood’s studio arts manager while Kristin is a Hood alumna (MFA, 2008) and adjunct faculty in Ceramic Arts.  Their co-authors are Tommy Simpson and Stuart Kestenbaum.

The book is a collection of interviews with forty one artists accompanied by more than 260 photos showing the artists, their work spaces, and their creations. According to Jacklyn, one of the authors’ main goals was that “the book serve as a primer for inspiration to motivate young, middle aged and senior individuals who may be looking for guidance and ways to respond to their inner voice, to take risks and take action with their artistic practice.”

The full text of our chat with Jacklyn is below.

How did you get the idea to do a collection of interviews instead of a full-length book?

We wanted to feature the stories of various artists in different craft-mediums to cover a wide range of experiences. Someone who grew up knowing they were going to be an artist will have a very different experience than someone who went to school to be a doctor and then changed directions mid-career to become an artist. We wanted to represent as many of these instances to make sure the book is relatable. The concept of the book is simple, to present forty one makers/artists who have pursued their passion of making art and making a living with illustrations and personal narrative about how they have made their way in the art world.  We prompted the featured artists to address specific opportunities and challenges that have shaped their careers asking them to specify pivotal moments, influential people and opportunities that spurred them on.

What goals did you have for this guide when you set out to write it and did you achieve them?

Our hope is that the book will serve as a primer for inspiration to motivate young, to middle aged and senior individuals who may be looking for guidance and ways to respond to their inner voice, to take risks and take action with their artistic practice. The book is visually engaging, a sort of window into the lives of makers, their practice and the interesting ways in which their creative practice takes form and reaches others.

How did you meet your co-authors?

Kristin Muller is my mother and I met Tommy Simpson when I was very young and he was collaborating with my mother in the clay studio. Now, we are colleagues in the art world. He is a force of nature, moving through various media including clay, rugs, wood, and printmaking.

What key message did you set out to pass across by writing this book?

We hope that our readers will find inspiration to set forth on their own creative journeys and to take risks in their own practices.

How long did it take and how were you able to balance this alongside work and other commitments?

I am working towards my MFA in Ceramic Arts, but thankfully the program is mostly weekend intensive. So after work, if I wasn’t in the clay studio, I was camped out at Starbucks over-caffeinating myself. I also drove home 8 hours every weekend so Kristin and I could meet with artists to interview them, or have conference calls with those that were further away.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of the writing the book was trying to capture the spirit of the artist in a few succinct paragraphs. Some of the artists gave us hours of content, and others we needed to probe a bit more for the interesting tidbits of their history and process.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Gosh, I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to talk to these forty one artists who have so much wisdom and charisma!

Any memorable moments while writing the book?

I met so many talented artists in the process.

Who are your target audience?

Our target audience are those who are just beginning their careers in art, looking to transition into being an artist mid-career, artists who need a push.

Any plans for a sequel?

Not yet… but we have talked about putting together an exhibition of work from the artists involved in the book.
Click to order Making Good: An Inspirational Guide to Being an Artist Craftsman on Amazon.com

Hood College MFA graduate designs Kentucky Governor’s Commemorative Award

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Recipients of the 2016 Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts, the state’s highest arts honors, will each receive a handmade platter created by Kentucky Crafted artist Matthew Gaddie of Bardstown. Gaddie said “I am grateful to be connected to continuing Kentucky’s cultural traditions and proud to be a practicing craftsman in our Commonwealth.”

Gaddie, who completed his Master of Fine Arts in Studio Ceramics at Hood in 2016, owns and operates The Meadows Pottery on his 315-acre family farm in Nelson County, approximately 60 miles west of Lexington.  He has been a full-time studio ceramic artist since 2007 and was an adjunct professor of art at St. Catharine College in Springfield from 2007 until its recent closing. In 2003, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Evansville. He earned his Hood degree by making the 10-hour commute several times each year.

“In a time of mass produced uniformity, my ultimate goal is to create works that are unique, each piece having faithfully recorded its own tale of creation, of struggle, of success, of failure, of imperfection and of hope. A human tale told in clay and preserved through fire,” Gaddie said. “I am deeply honored to be a part of this award ceremony. I am grateful to be connected to continuing Kentucky’s cultural traditions and proud to be a practicing craftsman in our Commonwealth.”

The Governor’s Awards in the Arts are coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council and honor those who have made significant contributions and achievements in the arts throughout the Commonwealth. Each year, the arts council commissions an artist to create a piece of original artwork to be presented to the recipients during the awards ceremony.

The 2016 Governor’s Awards in the Arts were presented on Friday, Oct. 21st, 2016. For more information about the awards ceremony, visit Governor’s Awards in the Arts

MFA Candidate recognized by CCSA

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Bre-Kathman-11-15-edited-150x150Bre Kathman, an alumna of Hood’s Master of Arts in Ceramic Arts program was honored with three awards at the 2016 Contemporary Ceramics Studio Association (CCSA) National convention, held September 9-12 in Charleston, South Carolina. Bre won awards for-

  1. Best Individual Support
  2. Best Individual Educational Instructor
  3. Best Individual Industry Contributor

In addition, Bre was also voted to the Supplier seat on the CCSA Board of Directors for a 2 year term.

Bre is a traditional potter by trade and she currently works as an Education Specialist at Chesapeake Ceramics where she gets to spend a lot of time with schools and teachers.