Hot Ticket: A Seat in Ceramics at Gavilan Collegeby Jan Janes on Dec 8, 2017
Gavilan College offers a fully equipped studio and four ceramics classes for students who want to apply their artistic visions to a three-dimensional art form.
Instructor Jane Rekedal has led Gavilan ceramics for decades. And as the owner of Gooey Family Pottery in Aromas, she is also a studio artist constantly experimenting with the art form. Rekedal collaborates with area arts organizations Aromas Hills Artisans and San Benito Arts Council.
Daniel Jimenez glazes his work on the US flag, fulfilling a ceramics project with a social
justice theme. At left, completed, a plate with Greek edging and the symbol for omega in
red is ready for firing.
Reyna Toledo shapes her work on a pottery wheel.
In the ceramics studio, instructor Jane Rekedal (center, in green apron), announces the
order of student portfolio presentations about to begin. As more students arrive, they
retrieve work in progress from storage areas and claim space at one of multiple work tables.
Katie Johnson glazes her current project. Often, unfired glaze colors do not match the
final outcome. The charcoal gray she applied will glow metallic gold after firing in the kiln.
Johnson is known for assiduous notekeeping on all her work. After successfully completing
all the ceramics classes, she returned as a student volunteer and shares her knowledge
with beginning students as they undertake their own projects.
Jane Bear and Guillermo Aranda talk about different glazes and cone levels. Her leaf
ceramics on the table, destined for mosaics, will go through five or six firings in the kiln.
There's still room! One of the kilns behind the ceramics studio, half full.
The end-of-semester firing was scheduled the final week of classes. Students present portfolios of their work to the instructor and their classmates. To showcase student work and raise funds offset materials expenses, the ceramics department presents a massive sale at the end of Spring and Fall semesters.
On campus, Rekedal champions student issues. She served for a number of years on the Gavilan Faculty Association Executive Board. For the past two years she served as chair of the college's Fine Arts Department.
In addition, Rekedal has shaped the curriculum of the ceramics department for more than 30 years.
Beginning ceramics introduces basic skills in a well-rounded approach to students with limited knowledge. They learn pinch, coil, slab hand building and beginning wheel work along with slips, underglazes, stains and glazing as surface treatments.
Intermediate students experiment with slip mixing and testing, more advanced wheel and sculptural work, various surface treatment techniques, alternative firing, and loading and unloading kilns with minimal supervision.
Advanced students are pushed to a high level of skills and artistic thinking to develop a contemporary, personal statement. They draw multiple choices for firing and finishing their works, including raku and maiolica, and utilize mixed media and advanced technology to develop their works. They tutor and mentor each other in studio and exhibit their work on campus.
Students can also enroll in an introduction to the historical developments and cultural influences of ceramic art. Development of a personal expression is realized through the combination of historical elements, observation and actual creations in clay.
Both day and evening classes are offered. Download for class and enrollment details.