Date of Award
Ms. Summer Bruch
Dr. Sara Hubbard
Dr. Johnny Wink
There is something magical about taking lumps of cold clay and turning them into a functional form. The transofrmation process is what first peaked my interest in ceramics. I turned this visual art form my junior year of college after being completely overwhelmed by my chemistry major. Not only did Ceramics 1 teach me basic hand building and surface design techniques, but it allowed me to literally pound out my stress. I've gained a strong adoration for ceramics because it relieves my stress and gives me the opportunity to express myself.
After taking Ceramics 1, enrolling in Ceramics 2 was a no-brainer. The second course was all about learning how to throw on a wheel. Using the pottery wheel permitted me to make more refined and symmetrical forms. Ceramics 2 was even more enjoyable for me, because I was able to make functional kitchen ware forms like bowls, mugs, and casserole dishes. However, the part of ceramics that interested me the most was the different glazes. In the second semester, we began to mix glazes and see how they interacted with each other. I was amazed at how you can layer one glaze over another and get a completely different color....
I turned to ceramics to get a break from chemistry. But little did I know, they are very intertwined. Seeing how glazes transform during firing made me wonder what causes the different color and texture variations. Ceramics led me to see that the elements, which I've spent the past four years learning about in chemistry classes, have fun and practical applications.
Hargis, Jessica Mariah, "Creating Color: Unearthing the Chemistry of Ceramic Glazes" (2016). Honors Theses. 218.