Ceramics: Kilns, Clay, and Craftsmanship


Courtney Huitt

Macy Schreiber works on her Medusa bust.

Courtney Huitt, Photojournalist

YLHS offers a multitude of art classes for students to express their creative side, including ceramics. Brent Hendry is the teacher of regular and advanced ceramics here at YLHS. Brent Hendry (Staff) recollects that his first encounter with ceramics was in high school. He had taken all of the other art classes at El Dorado and decided to sign up for ceramics because it was the only one he had not taken. Hendry fell in love with 3D art and took many hand-building crafting classes in college including woodwork, jewelry design, pottery, and stained glass, deciding to teach ceramics because he wanted to stay in the realm of hand building. Apart from other art forms, Hendry believes that ceramics is unique because it has the “ability to be functional.” What you make has a real-world application and can be used. Like all teachers, Hendry has goals for his students who take his class. He says he “wants students to learn about the creative process” and overall “have fun.” His only advice for those who decide to take ceramics is “don’t be afraid to fail.”


Macy Schreiber (12) is currently in advanced ceramics, taking her second year of ceramics at YLHS. Schreiber shares that “[she] decided to take ceramics because [she] want[s] to pursue a career in the art field.” To do this, Schreiber has determined that she needs to practice art in as many mediums as possible to become a well-rounded artist. Schreiber also reflects that “[her] grandma was also a ceramic artist so being able to feel connected to her even though she is gone is an amazing feeling.” In regards to the class, Schreiber reveals that she loves the atmosphere of the class because “everyone is just there to have a good time.” She also finds it “therapeutic to be able to sit and play in the studio after a stressful day.” Of all the pieces she has made so far, Schreiber’s favorite is the Medusa bust that she just finished. For students taking ceramics, Schreiber advises taking chances because “the worst thing that can happen is that it won’t work out.” She believes that failure is valuable because it allows you to learn and grow from your mistakes. Because sculpting clay can get pretty messy, Schreiber also shares to make sure “clean the tools and tables at the end of class.”


Among various other art classes, Cynthia Choi (12) is taking regular ceramics this year. She decided to take the class because it seemed fun and unique to other art forms. Being most experienced in painting and drawing, Choi expresses that she was “interested in trying ceramics because you get to work with your hands to create a 3D, tangible object.” Choi also shares that she wishes she had taken ceramics before senior year in high school so she could have the opportunity to create more intricate pieces in advanced ceramics. Even so, Choi recommends the class to anyone debating. One of her favorite aspects of the class is the relaxing work environment. Having ceramics 6th period, Choi states that “it is a nice class to end the day with because of the relaxed nature of working with clay.” Contrary to what some student may believe, Choi reveals that this class is not an “easy A class” saying that “it requires effort and dedication during and outside of class because Mr. Hendry requires you to come in after school and work at least four hours per semester.” But Choi reassures that this is not a difficult task to do if you enjoy the class because “putting in the extra effort will make the result of your finished project that much better.”


Athena Kieu (12), currently taking advanced ceramics, says that she really likes ceramics because it allows her another creative outlet to be artistic and express herself. She recounts that “at one point, ceramics was all [she] could think about because [she] had so many ideas about pieces [she] wanted to make.” Kieu shares that her motivation in taking advanced ceramics stemmed from Hendry stating that “while he is super comedic in his classes, Mr. Hendry is probably one of the most supportive teachers on campus, always trying to help where he can.” As for her favorite piece that she has made, Kieu states it would have to be the huge vase she is currently working on, sharing that “[she] is planning on using textural and space elements to make a really nice piece.” To future students, Kieu’s advice is simple: “if you care about your work and put in an effort, the class will be fun.”


Courtney Huitt
Athena Kieu focuses while sculpting her bowl during class.