Pandemic Glaze Studio and Firing Station (Student Art Center enclosed patio)
Luckily many ceramics students were allowed to take home pottery wheels, or create a home ‘studio’ work area, when the pandemic shut down the campus at midsemester. 2,000 pounds of clay was purchased with Clay Club funds (later reimbursed by the Art Department), and I delivered this clay to my students on the Eastern Shore, around Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
One of the unforeseen advantages of working at home during a quarantine – many of my students were able to produce more work than I would usually expect on-campus (our studio at SU is under 1,000 square feet, with very little storage). Students also enjoyed unlimited access to their home ‘studios,’ and I heard many stories of students practicing and working all night on their ceramic projects.
I promised my students that any work made during the semester would be fired sometime during the summer, even after the semester had ended. Since the end of the Spring 2020 semester I have fired several hundred pieces, and we have also organized Raku firings (in the large field near my home where we can socially distance) and pottery sales at Assateague (wearing masks, spread out in a large field!).
(Left) A view of the pandemic glazing/firing facility on the enclosed patio at the Student Art Center. (right) View of ‘green’ loaded work before the firing, dropped off June 2020!