Teachers to explore interest in ceramics

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Photo by Eric Song (10)

Caitlin Lopez, ceramics teacher, will open her studio every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. after the Lunar New Year, to offer teachers and staff members an opportunity to work with clay. As of Feb. 9, 25 teachers have expressed interest in participating. Though she will teach them techniques every week, the teachers will ultimately be free to make what they desire. According to Mrs. Lopez, people have been interested in learning how to throw clay for a long time, but logistical challenges prevented them from doing so.

“[We couldn’t start earlier because] I was busy afterschool in the fall due to coaching commitments for the cross country team,” Mrs. Lopez said. “While in the winter, nobody is willing to come because the Ceramics room is really cold when the heater is off. [As a result], we decided to start once the weather starts to warm up.”

In the past, faculty members, such as Jin Shin Ekin, art teacher, had to travel far away to learn how to throw clay. Such an opportunity to use the ceramics studio at school hence provided advantages for faculty members interested in working with clay.

“I always wanted to learn traditional Korean Ceramics and found a small studio in Icheon where I could learn how to throw clay from Master Ji,” Ms. Ekin said. “But because it is difficult to commit a whole day to travelling there, I even considered buying a wheel for myself. I love the softness and flexibility of clay, with which I can make a lot of different things.”

According to Ms. Ekin, there are upcoming events that will offer teachers and students the opportunity to experiment with clay, including plans for Master Ji to visit the school and work with first and second grade students in March or April. Teachers and their children are also visiting Master Ji’s studio at the Icheon Ceramics Village on Feb. 28, where they will be able to throw clay as well as visit many pottery shops.

“As foreigners, many teachers are interested in experiencing Korean customs and cultures,” Ms. Ekin said. “Since the traditional celadon pottery is very famous, almost 30 teachers and their family members have signed up to go.”