Ceramics club holds annual art sale: More than ceramics


(Robyn Graham)

The painted over walls from the last exhibit, Pussyfooting Through the Detrius Mindfield of Reality, still shows through and could use another coat of paint, but the previous structures are gone and the gallery is fit to its new purpose with several tables lined across the floor chock-full of ceramics.

The Skyline art gallery transformed for the last time this semester into a venue for a ceramics sale from Dec. 7-9, where Skyline Ceramics club members sold their functional ware, sculptures and non-ceramic crafts.

“There’s always a variety, and this year we have more than ceramics,” said club member Victoria Vargas, passing the slow time of her shift by fitting buttons to her knitted “octopus” scarfs that she sells in the show.  

Including knit scarfs, non-ceramic items this year included, beaded earrings, paintings, and purses, all hand made by students.

In addition to the traditional bowls, cups, mugs, plates, teapots and vases that consisted of most of the items at the sale, other items stood out being hand built yet still functional: lamp bases shaped into faces, colorfully glazed birthday cupcakes with holes for candles, pyramid shaped incense burners that came with cone incense and “no solicitors” signs.

Non-functional items included hand built angels, and small sculptures like acorns. Prices varied from $1-$650 with the majority of the pieces being on the more affordable side.

“People love to come for the deals,” said Ceramics club faculty adviser Tiffany Schmierer.

ECE student Rachelle Hewitt bought two vases last year that she loved.

“I had the pots at my house and they got compliments, so I thought I’d come by this year to what they had,” she said.

Patrons such as Hewitt recognize the craftsmanship in the pots at the sale. Most of the ceramics are food safe and meticulously glazed, each having their own style and character.

Stephanie Clemons, vice president of Ceramics club who has participated in the club for 16 years said that it took her over seven hours to glaze a dragon design about four inches long and two inches tall on her bowl. She priced it at $40.

Members of Ceramics club are allowed to participate as long as they commit to working at the sale three hours for every 10 art pieces they enter. And with 90 percent of the profits going to students who get to decide their own price, who wouldn’t want to participate?

The other 10 percent, Schmierer explained, goes back into the ceramics club and is used to buy ceramic supplies for the studio or to help fund other events they put on.

For example, Empty Bowls, an event where bowls are made and donated by ceramics students and club members and then sold at a dinner where the proceeds go to local food shelter. The next Empty Bowls will be held in Fall 2011, but students have already begun making bowls for it.

Schmierer, also Skyline’s current ceramics teacher for the four years recognizes the importance of the show for students and the community.

“It’s a great way to bring people to the gallery- it seems like people come back every year,” Schmierer said. “It’s also good because it makes students aware of the ceramics program–they see the artwork and are amazed at what their peers can do.”