CANTON Twelve students were actively engaged in learning new techniques for the ceramics projects they were working on during the Classic Ceramics class at the Canton Museum of Art on Jan. 18. The students were eagerly listening as their instructor Laura Kolinski-Schultz talked about creating a piece that is built with thoughts of excellence versus perfection.
It’s one of the most popular classes held at the Canton Museum of Art and it’s been offered for decades. Many students take the class over and over to learn more ways to make their ceramic pieces.
"I think it is so popular because of the hands-on, tactile and relaxing experience the students get from working with the clay," said Erica Emerson, education manager at the Canton Museum of Art. "Plus, we have three instructors for that class that have many years of experience teaching and working with the art form."
Kolinski-Schultz said most of the students in the class are new to working with clay, while others have some experience and have been making pieces for a number of years.
"Most students in the Classic Ceramics are beginning to intermediate levels, we also offer an advanced class for students who are considered intermediate to advanced," she said.
She added that it is a 12-week class and students work on the projects they want to do. They select from building items by hand (called slab building) or by working with the clay wheel.
Carolyn Gump was working on a slab building project. She said she has never worked with clay using the wheel.
"I’m smoothing out the clay to get a nicer finish, it will become a small pitcher by the end of class," Glump said. "This is the fourth time I’ve completed the class. I like working with slab building rather than the wheel because I think you can do so much more when building by hand than you can on the wheel."
Edie Hamilton was working on her clay piece on the wheel. She has been working with clay and coming to class for three years.
"It’s really a hobby for me, I do sculpture, slab building and work on the wheel," she said. "Working with the wheel is exciting. It’s something you have to be very mindful of and you have to master it," she said.
Edie Springer said she started working with clay when she retired but has been interested in clay since she was a child. She, like many of the other students, has a studio at home and makes items for friends, family and some for sale.
"I work with the clay almost every day over the summer months, I make mostly functional items such as bowls, pitchers, cups and trinket boxes," Springer said.
Kolinski-Schultz told the students, "It’s really about making a piece and letting it be what it wants to be while striving for excellence. You can buy a piece at one of the local retail stores that is perfect. Instead you want to enjoy yourself while making the piece and let go of wanting it to be perfect."
Visit www.cantonart.org to find out more about the Classic or Advanced Ceramics classes. Or, call 330-453-7666 to find out when the next classes start.