Learning : Ceramics

Ellie. ceramic sculpture

During my days at Cal, my art practice was focused primarily on two-dimensional art: drawing, painting and printmaking. For some reason, that extra third dimension seemed intimidating to me. In an attempt to push myself beyond my comfort zone, I took a Ceramic Sculpture class taught by Professor Richard Shaw. Although I had the skills to translate three-dimensional spaces and objects on to two-dimensional surfaces (paper/canvas), I still found sculpting three-dimensional works challenging, and I ended the class feeling a bit deflated – not understanding the disconnect between my head, my hands, and the clay.

Fast forward to 2013… through a mutual friend, I was introduced to Jenni Ward. Jenni was looking for someone to help her with her website. Serendipitously, Jenni is an amazing ceramic artist who also taught ceramic classes from her home studio. In September 2013, I slipped my toe into the clay (sorry, pun intended) – attending my first ceramic class since the one I took at UC Berkeley. This time around, as my hands began to work the clay – everything felt different – there was no hesitation or intimidation. Over the course of the next 4.5 years, I would learn so much from Jenni – hand-building techniques, how to make teapots that don’t dribble, why ceramics aren’t glazed on the bottom, how to throw on the wheel, to name a few – but most of all a deep appreciation for the workmanship and art of ceramics.

Thank you Jenni for inspiring me with your patience, your guidance, your beautiful nature-inspired ceramics, and your wanderlust. Most of all thank you for reigniting my passion for making art, and showing me that it doesn’t have to be just a “hobby”.

I will be updating the website with a collection of some of my favorite pieces from my time at Jenni’s studio. As an introduction, Ellie – the first ceramic sculpture in the collection – is now on the website: https://www.priscillashihcinque.com/ceramics/in-the-room.

If you would like to learn more about Jenni and her amazing sculptures and installations, please visit her website: https://www.jenniward.com/.