Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How I came to the world of clay

            In the previous post, I linked to the homepage of my college, Simon’s Rock. Simon’s Rock has been such an important part of my life and interest in clay that it bears some discussion.
            I spent the first two years of my college career pursuing a degree in music. In the spring of my sophomore year, I stumbled upon the ceramics studio, which I had been mostly unaware of. I found myself coming back again and again to watch others work with clay while I wrote essays and response journals (yes, musicians have to write essays, too).
            The following semester, the fall of my junior year, I took an introductory ceramics course. I knew after the first week that I was going to keep working with clay for the rest of my life, if only as a hobby. It was just too fun. The more I learned how to get the clay to do what I wanted, the more ideas I had for ways to manipulate it.
            One of the many remarkable things about Simon’s Rock is that all students who stay for four years and receive their Bachelor’s degree must complete a senior thesis. This is a two semester project that includes substantial writing. For the arts, there is usually also a significant component of making or performing.
            I don’t know at what point I decided to pursue ceramics as more than just a hobby. It is just as hard to say when I became frustrated enough to lay down my music for a time. These two processes happened over a long period, simultaneously and slowly.
However, the summer before I was due to begin my senior thesis, I suddenly realized that the objects I was sketching in my notebook would be an excellent basis for a thesis. And just as suddenly, I realized that I really did not want to create a thesis in music.
            And the product of this realization, three semesters later, was this: 

My exhibition in the Daniel Arts Center at Simon's Rock.

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