One-Stop Shopping Offered at Ceramic Sale

Liz Cameron

Gifts come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and gleaming colors and this Saturday offers the opportunity to buy ceramics at the semi-annual spring ceramic sale.

The GCC Ceramics Department will be selling functional and decorative works in porcelain, stoneware, raku, majolica and earthenware in SC212, as a fundraising event for the department.

The fundraiser will be from 1 to 5 p.m. where “over 65 tables will be packed with pottery,” said ceramics instructor Richard McColl.

Students will be selling their pieces from $5 to $100 with 80 percent of the money going back to the students. “Our department keeps 20 percent and that pays for the postcards, the Post-its and then what’s left we put into our account. When we need equipment or if we want to bring in a speaker or host a workshop that money goes towards that” said Mark Poore, instructor and chair of the ceramics department.

From what’s collected for the department, awards are also given out to the students. More than 30 students will be participating in the spring sale, depending on any given semester said McColl.

“There’s jewelry, tiles, vases, bowls and plates. It’s almost like you get lost in there. There are so many pots, it’s like you can’t see the forest through the trees” said Poore.

Allowing people a chance to meet the artists, students who participate will work at the sale and walk around answering questions about their pieces. The sale has been an ongoing event for many years. This is nearly the 60th sale.

Poore said “it teaches students how to market their work, because we won’t price it for them. They price it themselves so they’ll know if [prices are] too high or too low. A lot of our students are in galleries and shows around the country. One student won a prize that included a trip to China; it was an international show and she won. We have a lot of really talented students.” They currently have about four students showing their work at the American Museum of Ceramic Art.

Poore believes that once students have gone through the classes offered in the ceramics department, they are then capable of setting up their own studios. Students can also achieve a certificate in ceramics said McColl, but Poore warns that it’s not an easy program.

“They’re not just making work, there’s writing involved too [and] there are tests,” said McColl. Once a student learns the process of ceramics, they are capable of transferring to any university in the country. “We give people the vocabulary to work with because [their] learning a new language, the language of form and language of clay, because what you see [the artwork] is not what get. You’re working with chemistry, geology, math [and] physics” said McColl.

The fundraiser is a starting point for the students to show their work, “then we push them to get out in galleries and enter shows” said Poore.

The pieces sold “are wonderful for gifts, a lot of people come and buy in bulk and we’re carrying boxes out to their cars. They do shopping for birthdays and everything” said Poore.

Free parking will be available adjacent to SC212 and in the new parking structure, entering the campus center entrance from Mountain Street.

For more information on this event contact Richard McColl at (818) 240-1000, ext. 3059.