Blair ceramics, run by Mrs. Kate Sykes, explores three-dimensional art that helps one express themself through an array of media ranging from clay, plaster, paper, wire, 3D printers and more. The program is offered to anyone.
Nancy Dufour is a four year Blair senior who has taken ceramics for the past five semesters of her Blair career. She is currently taking AP Ceramics and has developed a strong passion for the art. I interviewed her to better understand her perspective on ceramics and what makes it so exciting and timeless.
Sophia Papadopoulo: How did you get into ceramics?
Nancy Dufour: I wanted to take an art and had taken 2D Art the first semester of my freshman year. and wanted to do something new, so I took Ceramics 1 the second semester of my freshman year.
SP: To what extent has ceramics helped you express yourself creatively?
ND: Ceramics has helped me express myself creatively more than I can explain. I love the medium and being able to form the clay into any shape I can dream of. It has really allowed me to explore the depths of my imagination and creative mind.
SP: Do you think ceramics has helped you live a balanced lifestyle?
ND: 100%! I have a heavy academic course load and ceramics is my main stress reliever. Going into the ceramics studio immediately lifts a weight from my shoulders, and once I’ve left the ceramics studio I always have a clearer head and the ability to focus better on my studies.
SP: What movement or art piece has had the most significant influence on your ceramics pieces?
ND: No specific professional artist or movement has inspired me. In truth I am most inspired by my mistakes. For instance, my concentration for my AP portfolio is “Altered Pieces off the Wheel,” because in the last 3 years of doing ceramics I have messed up a lot of my work by dropping it, bumping it, or just not being careful, and have had to create new shapes from those mistakes. So now for my concentration, I am doing those things on purpose and refining the shapes to push them to their full potential.
SP: What do you love and appreciate most about ceramics?
ND: I love the freedom I have when creating my ceramics pieces. I love how it allows me to be creative, yet also acts as a stress reliever. Ceramics re-centers me.
SP: Who has been the most influential person in your ceramics career and what have they taught you?
ND: Mrs. Sykes has taught me almost everything I know about ceramics. I attribute all my work and success to her great teaching.
Through reading Nancy’s responses, she highlights the creative expression that ceramics lets her release, as well as the relaxing aspects that come along with it. Ceramics is a great elective that students are highly encouraged to take during their Blair career.
(Copyright 2018 Sophia Papadopoulo)