Written by Sabrina Chen
Ceramics helps students express their originality while instilling skills that are used in other subjects. “It teaches kids how to be resilient, creative problem-solvers, fluid flexible thinkers, not to give up and to be persistent in their attempts to solve difficult art problems,” teacher Jordan King said.
Junior Sophie van Seventer enjoys the freedom Ceramics offers. “My favorite part of Ceramics is experimenting on the wheel,” van Seventer said. “You can incorporate yourself and your personal tastes into everything you create.” King traced his inspiration for teaching this class back to when he was in high school. “I was introduced to clay when I was a junior in high school, and I was immediately drawn into the material and it changed my life,” King said. “It was my ambition and motivation to make Gunn High School have theone of the best ceramic programs in the country.”
According to King, Ceramics is different from most classes because of the hands-on aspect. “It’s a lot of fun to make something with your own two hands, and that’s not something really common,” King said. “You have a good connection to your work and what you’re making.”
During most class periods, students have time to work on their projects. “Sometimes I’ll be demonstrating techniques, sometimes we watch videos about other artists and what their approach is, sometimes we have critiques where we lay out are our work and see what can be worked on,” King said. “But most of the time we are working on projects.”
Having taken art classes all through high school, van Seventer notes that Ceramics gives her the most control over her work. ”I absolutely love the fact that you can be the artist,” van Seventer said. “You can do what you want to do stylistically.”
King enjoys passing down his love of pottery to his students. “The most rewarding thing is seeing my students get excited, seeing them develop their own passion with their material and being able to pass on my knowledge, my experience, my passion to them,” King said.