Like many other university students working full-time, and being involved in the campus community makes finishing in four years near impossible. For most of us, a summer course and here there can aid us in finishing school in a reasonable amount of time.
While I may be in my fourth year at the university, I have skipped out on summer courses thus far, and taken the penalty of being at the university for extra time, in order to make the most money possible to aid tuition costs.
This summer I decided I would take one day to focus on picking up six credits at a community college in order to reach the magical 124 credits for my ticket to cross the stage in December of 2019.
After exploring the college's website, I decided to register for two courses, both related to the arts. The first course was an Introduction to the Visual Arts and counted as an Art History credit. The second was a Studio Ceramics course.
Growing up, I always had a love for the arts. I was constantly doodling, painting and sculpting from whatever clay or items I could find.
When I was in my third year of high school, my love for fine arts took a shift into the digital world-- with photography and graphic design at the forefront. I fell in love with the clean lines and environment of digital art.
Despite all that, I was incredibly excited to get into a studio and begin working with my hands. Over the years, I've been faced with the challenges of creating two-dimensional artwork on computer screens, so the idea of working with something physical had me, quite literally, feeling like a little kid again.
As the fifteen-week course comes to a close, I've started to reflect on what I learned over the past few months.
Of course, now I know the difference between a pinch, slab, and coil pot, as well as how to mix my own glaze, but I learned so much in ceramics that had absolutely nothing to do with ceramics.
Patience is key.The Colosseum was not built in a day (and neither was your artwork).
The Colosseum was not built in a day (and neither was your artwork). Nothing is more intimidating than being given a piece of the earth and someone saying, "okay, make now something." Clay is forgiving and will work with you, as you work with it. Take your time, there is hardly a rush.
It's okay to take a step back and start again.
Take a break every now and again, your piece won't grow leg and walk away. Remember to walk away and revisit your artwork, not everything was made to be completed in one sitting.
If at first you fail, try again.
You may look back on a piece and say, "What the hell was I thinking?". If at first you, fail, try and try again.
Working solo is not always a bad thing.
There is something nice about being in tune with yourself the clay in your hands. So many hours in this course called for me to check in with myself for several hours on a Wednesday morning, which I may not have made time for if it weren't for this course,
Your hands are extraordinary tools.
We, as a people, spend more time touching our phones than we do interacting with one another, So much of our time is consumed by technology and machinery that we've forgotten the magical we can create using just out fingers.
Watching your favorite art piece tumble to the ground after being knocked off the shelf might be heartbreaking, but shit happens. We have to pick up the pieces and make something even better the next time.
Everything is perfectly imperfect.
So it's crooked, lopsided, a little wonky? Fantastic. Everything is perfect, imperfections and all.
Everyone and everything has something to teach you.
The most I've learned along the way is that the world and the people ion it have so much to teach you. I went into this course expecting to learn about the creation of ceramics and I left with tools and skills that will last a lifetime.