I wanted to be in the West Senior show because it’s been a goal of mine since my freshman year. I’ve lived in the art department of West, building on my skills each and every year. The centralized idea of getting to be part of the showcase is in my eyes the ultimate goal of mine. It’s a chance to show my best pieces in a professional setting and help show the peak of my artwork. Every year I would think and dream about how I would one day be a part of the art show, one day I can show my art to the world and feel accomplished for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years. My art best represents the best of West art because I have experienced and learned from many different teachers at west who have collaborated and affected my style in pottery today. I have also dedicated myself to taking ceramics every single semester since sophomore year at West and have spent all my time learning from past West students and teachers.
One of my feature pieces is the wheel thrown functional coffee cup with the coil handle. The way I decided to do this piece was my need for a coffee cup that was my own and I didn’t want any generic looking Garfield one. I first started with a tennis ball size amount of clay and threw a cylinder. Then I let it dry to the leather hard where I put a foot on it with different size and shape ribbon tools, I carved a deep lip for the foot to give a more balanced look of the piece. After putting the foot on I used the extruder to make a coil for the handle. I trimed it to size and scored and slipped it onto the piece with the ride stick outward to allow for better grip, then fired it for glaze ware. Once ready to be glazed I chose temmoku and arctic float glazes. The temmoku being the dark base contrast for the bright blue arctic float spots on the outside made with sponge dabs.
My second feature piece being the bluish green thrown bowl. I made this with the inspiration of early Chinese pottery and wanted to incorporate it within my shape. I first threw the bowl and then wanted the clay to dry to the leather hard where I cut it off the bat and cleaned the edges and put a foot onto the pot with many different ribbon tools. After being fired for glaze ware, I chose an indigo float to go along with the curves of the pot. I wanted a greenish blue and then for a surface design I used temmoku and splattered the inside to give a simple but good looking eye catcher. What motivates me as an artist is definitely older pieces of ceramics I love the nelson Attkins art museum and looking through all the old pottery it connects me to past and shows me how than even after hundreds of years pottery is still prevalent. My plans for the future are to continue working on my ceramics skills and maintain the fun side of art that I so much enjoy.
-- Walker M.