Clay play

Clay play

by AbStrong

This semester Simpson unveiled a brand new pottery studio on campus next to Goodwill. Complete with a gas-fired kiln, the new studio can accommodate larger classes than previous semesters.

Sophomore Laura Hersom is particularly excited about the new facility.

“We have a lot more room to work with now,” Hersom said. “We have more storage and more space for pieces to dry.”

For eight years Simpson art students have attended pottery classes in a makeshift studio in the basement of Mary Berry Hall. That studio had limited space and resources. Now students have ample space and more advanced equipment to work with.

Students also have access to the studio outside the 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. class periods on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Ceramics instructor Richard Kazmerzak is enthusiastic about the new studio. He has taught high-school art for 20 years, so he knows firsthand how details such as a good kiln can make a difference in his classes.

Kazmerzak said the new kiln will improve the whole pottery process because it’s more efficient. The gas-fired kiln allows students to create their own glazes whereas the old electric one used in Mary Berry required the college to buy glazes commercially.

Senior Abby Janssen thinks the new studio adds credibility to Simpson’s Art Department.

“I think adding the new pottery studio was a smart move,” Janssen said. “I like the direction the Art Department is going in. It’s nice to have something new and different.”

Students work on both sculptural and functional pottery in the only pottery class offered this semester: Art 143, Pottery I.

Janssen is in that class, and she said it’s more difficult than people initially think it will be.

“Pottery is a challenge,” Janssen. “It involves a lot of hand and eye coordination. You can’t be sure of what the final product will be.”

Kazmerzak said he aims for his students to develop the skill of personal expression.

Another goal he has for students is to create at least one piece they really love. To do that, he encourages them to be creative.

“In ceramics we color outside of the lines, we think outside of the box,” Kazmerzak said.

Kazmerzak looks forward to the further development of the studio. Eventually he hopes it will become a fixture of the Indianola community.

“It’s a work in progress,” Kazmerzak said.