Crimson Clay brings ceramics fans together

Crimson Clay brings ceramics fans together

By Logan Doctson | Staff Reporter 

Crimson Clay, a student-run organization, strives to bring students together through the love of art and clay.

Amy Smoot, the current president of Crimson Clay, believes the act of expressing one's self through clay has become therapeutic for many of the organization’s members.

“My favorite part of Crimson Clay is seeing students from different majors sharing a studio and making things together,” said Smoot, a second year graduate student pursuing a master's of fine arts in ceramics. “Clay tends to bring people together in amazing ways. They start off together, struggle through the process of making, celebrating their wins and laughing at their failures together. I love walking in the studio on Sundays and seeing old members helping new members with throwing clay on the wheel.”

Crimson Clay sells their work at events throughout the school year, with the objective to put 30 percent of their individual profits back into the club for funding. The organization displays their work at events like the Druid City Arts Festival and the Kentuck Festival of the Arts. 

Additionally, the Crimson Clay team has upcoming events approaching like the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in April.

“This is an annual event that places our members in an environment full of clay related things,” Smoot said. “This year it’s in Pittsburgh and we’ll get to see demonstrations and exhibitions by ceramic artists from all over the world.”

While working on their ceramic skills, the club is also trying to expand their organization. Officers and members of Crimson Clay attend events like Get on Board Day to talk to students that are not aware of the club or want to learn more information about it.

“I joined Crimson Clay because of the community aspect of it,” said Sydney Ewerth, the former president and part-time instructor of the organization and recent graduate from the master's of fine arts program. "I liked the shared knowledge and team spirit attitude because a lot of the time art can be isolating, but the ceramics process is indicative of a community.”

To join Crimson Clay, potential new members are required to attend a scheduled studio 101 session to get acquainted with the studio and the process of making art with clay. At the session, there are ceramic students, graduate students and members of Crimson Clay that are also in attendance to answer any questions new members might have.

As secretary of the organization, Aleiah Briggs’ main job is to assist new members when necessary.

“This is my second semester as secretary,” said Briggs, a junior majoring in ceramics and graphic design. “I mostly run our social media account and help newcomers when they need it. I love all the newcomers we get who have never had a class before. It’s refreshing to see their excitement when they throw their first vessel.”

Smoot finds it rewarding when her art is useful, like being able to drink out of a mug that she made herself.

“Crimson Clay is a chance to have fun and make mugs, cups, bowls etc.,” Smoot said. “There’s nothing better than drinking out of cup that you made yourself. There’s no projects or prerequisites and you don’t have to have experience with clay to join – we will teach you all you need to get started. We want to share our love of clay with others who want to explore their creative side. Not everyone can take a ceramics class, so clay club is a way for them to get involved.”

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