Ceramics students get their pieces into national exhibition

Ashley Drissell
Junior Zarah Habibollah creates a rose-covered coil pot for Ceramics class.

After a semester of molding, pressing, glazing and creating different sculptures in Ceramics class, senior Jack Thomas and junior Zarah Habibollah succeeded in getting their art into the National K-12 Ceramics Exhibition in Rhode Island, which ran through Mar. 27.

The exhibition is a competitive event; their works were judged and selected to be featured by a group of jurors from the exhibition’s organization. Once their art is shipped to Rhode Island, it will be further critiqued. Thomas and Habibollah have to opportunity to win awards and scholarships if their work is successful at the exhibition.

As one of the in-class projects, Ceramics students had to roll clay into individual strips and stack them on top of each other until a pot formed. Habibollah piece in the exhibition is a coil pot covered in roses.

“Making the roses was a very time consuming and challenging process. It required so much detail and attention that when people were on their second or third project, I was still working on my coil pot,” Habibollah said.

Habibollah takes pride in her piece being successful at art shows in both Missouri and Illinois.

“I was always really excited when [Ceramics teacher] Mrs. [Ashley] Drissell would tell me that my work got into a competition because I worked on it for so long, and it’s fun to see my work pay off,” Habibollah said.

Thomas created a slab teapot with the use of a plastic press to imprint designs that entered the exhibition.

“The hardest part was keeping the slabs of clay dry enough so I could press my designs into the clay, but still keep it wet enough to be able to bend the clay into the shape I want,” Thomas said.

Drissell, believing that their artwork had the potential to be successful, submitted Thomas’s and Habibollah’s work to the show.

“I chose to submit Jack and Zarah’s pieces to the exhibition because they show exceptional quality in form and in craftsmanship,” Drissell said. “Jack’s teapot is simple and humble, but the surface texture and color elevate it to a higher level. Zarah’s rose pot is exquisitely made with lots of attention to detail. I just knew the pieces would show well and stand out among the rest.”

Thomas originally did not think that his work would get into the exhibition because he did not have much experience in art before taking Ceramics.

“I couldn’t really tell you what my art style is because I’m not sure I have one. I was never really into art before this class, and really only took it for the fine arts credit. I eventually began to like ceramics, and I never gave up on my work when I would get frustrated with it,” Thomas said. “I like that you can make just about anything you want with just a ball of clay. You have no limits.”