The Potter

What art classes have you enjoyed the most?

I have only taken three art classes at W&M: Drawing and Color, 3D Foundations, and Wheel Throwing I. I have loved every one of them!

Is art a way of stress relief/relaxation for you? If so, how does it help?

Absolutely! Art puts me in a completely different mental space than anything else that I do. It is so relaxing to enter that space; it lets me escape from the stresses in my life and forget that they exist for awhile. Since I began taking art classes here, dedicating the time to exercise my creativity has become extremely important to me, and taking a class demands that I put in at least 6 hours of creative work a week. I know that I would not take the time to do that if I did not take art classes, but making myself take the time has brought me so much joy.

What would you say to encourage other students who might not want to be art majors/minors to take an art class?

Our art department is really incredible. All of the professors I have worked with are very encouraging, and they really teach you a lot. I came into my first art class with absolutely no experience, but I came into it with an open mind, and really applied myself to learning the techniques my professor was excellently demonstrating. If you put in time and effort, and are open to the experience of leaning from your professors, you will get an incredible amount out of it. The classes here give you a great opportunity to really develop your artistic skills in a low pressure environment, so I would highly recommend that you take advantage of that. You may just find your next great love in art.

What is it you like about pottery specifically?

Pottery is such an incredible full-body experience. After my first class throwing at the wheel, my arms, legs, and back were sore. It is very physical, but still allows me to enter that creative space that I so greatly cherish. I love that I can put my whole mind and body into my work. I love the way the wet clay feels under my hands. I love the sense of control I feel when I work at the wheel. I love that, in order to build one really great pot, you often have to crash two or three first. I love that you can recycle your mistakes and turn them into something truly beautiful. I love that clay has a mind of its own, and, as a result, everything does not always turn out exactly the way you intended it. Most of all, I love the satisfaction of making an object that could actually be useful to somebody, someday. There is really nothing else like it, and though I am just a beginner, I hope to continue on with my work in pottery for the foreseeable future.

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