Ceramics Exhibit Displays Student Work



You may have noticed the selection of colorful vessels and ceramic pieces as you enter the Science Building. From Jan. 11 to Jan. 29, the biannual ceramics exhibition is showcasing student work. This marks the 65th exhibition that Hockaday has held over the past 32 years.

Ceramics teacher Kevin Brady works with each student to collectively decide which pieces they would like to display. Each of the 53 students that submitted to the exhibition chose two to three of their best pieces created during the first semester.

“We do many different projects and then we just pick their best work from the certain projects,” Brady said.

Senior Wendy Cohen, who has been a ceramics student since her freshman year, has been looking forward to showing off her work.

“I chose a mosaic [because] I have been working on it for a long time and wanted to finally display it,” she said.

On the other hand, sophomore Zasca Ristianto chose a bowl, plate and vase to display.

“One of our requirements was to create vessels, but it was my decision [on] what kind to create,” said Ristianto.

Brady’s ceramics program includes assigned projects with some requirements and “open vessel projects” where they can create their own structure. Although each student was able to choose different types of pieces to display, all of the pieces incorporate ceramics techniques in the structure or design.

Cohen used underglazing to add matte color to her pieces, and then used a clear over glaze to obtain a shiny finish. She also used a unique method to design her plate.

“To paint the dots on the plate I used the opposite side of the paintbrush to make sure they were the same size,” she said.

Ristianto also incorporated some unique design ideas on her creations; she designed her plate with a mandala, a geometric pattern originating in India.


Ristianto draws inspiration from other cultures to create her pottery designs. Picture by Shreya Gunukula/The Fourcast

For design inspiration, Brady exposes his students to many different examples, including his own work, past creations of students and historical examples.

“Every piece in the exhibit has a certain level of expertise or skill and creativity that they have worked towards and it’s very important to have exhibits to show off students and how creative they are,” Brady said.

Cohen echoes this sentiment by noting that ceramics, unlike some other fine arts, does not have an assembly dedicating to showing all of their work.

“This is a great opportunity to show our friends and family the pieces that we have worked so ‘hard on,” Cohen said.

The students have another chance to submit their favorite pieces in the spring exhibit, which does not have finalized dates.

Next year, the ceramics students will have even more opportunities to showcase their work with the opening of the new Fine Arts center.

“We will have a gallery and will be displaying [our work] in the new wing as much as we can,” Brady said.

Although this is the 32nd year for the ceramics exhibition, Brady said the biannual displays will always have a place at Hockaday.

Brady said, “Ceramics has existed for [thousands] of years. It’s important to make things with you hands.”