Seigfred Hall houses the nationally ranked Ohio University Ceramics program, where clay cultivates creativity. Students and faculty alike utilize studio spaces to create intricate, meticulously sculpted artwork. The annual OU Ceramics Exhibition and Pottery Sale allows artists to share those creations with the Athens and OU communities.
The event is set to take place Dec. 13 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stuart Gair, a ceramics instructor and sale organizer, said the exhibition will highlight eight undergraduates, six graduates and two faculty members’ hard work and dedication to the field of ceramics.
Christopher St. John, a third-year graduate student studying ceramics, said attendees of the sale can expect to see a variety of different creations including mugs, vases, bowls, plates and intricate sculptural work.
“It gives them (students) the opportunity to try things out and to see how the public is engaging with their work and see how much money they can charge, they can bring in (and) what people are willing to pay for this kind of piece,” St. John said.
Siegfried Hall 111, a ceramics classroom, will house the event. St. John said there will be multiple tables set up with beautiful displays of pots, vases, mugs and other imaginative artworks.
Some of St. John’s own work will be for sale — sculptures of animals, mugs and plates.
Jason Wang, a second-year graduate student studying ceramics, will also showcase his art during the exhibition, specifically soda fire ceramic work. Wang said the technique of soda fire allows control over the creative process, resulting in creations with unique textures and colors.
“I wanted to give pots more idiosyncrasies, uniqueness,” Wang said. “Even though they are a set, they're all different from one another, but they still work together.”
Wang also said he plans to give a live demo at the sale, showcasing the creative process.
“I want to give a demo, make work and people can see the process of what goes into some of my work,” Wang said.
Artists will take home a large portion of their proceeds. The rest will go to the ceramics department to fund materials, equipment, conferences and visiting artists.
“This is a great opportunity for artists to share their hard work with a much greater audience, converse with individuals from the OU and Athens community and make some money for themselves as well as the Ceramics department,” Gair wrote in an email.
Beyond fundraising, St. John said he hopes the sale will bring a sense of camaraderie and community while cultivating an interest in the world of ceramics.
“We're happy people want to buy stuff, but just please come, see the work, the space,” St. John said. “If they’re students and they’re thinking about taking ceramics classes, it’s a good opportunity for them to check out what’s on display, meet some of the instructors.”
According to Wang, the dedication that goes into a handmade piece is meaningful and directly correlated with human connection.
“I feel like in our fast-paced society, people don't really find the time to smell the flowers and appreciate the little things,” Wang said. “I think handmade objects can do that.”