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Study Tips with The Raj

A WEEKLY COLUMN OF THE MEDIEVAL TIMES


Introduction

Hello and welcome to my column! For those who are new to the column (everyone in this case), allow me to explain how Study Tips with The Raj works. Every week, I feature 3 different classes (e.g. English 10, AP Bio, Sports Medicine) and an upcoming assignment that is due in each class, and give tips as to how to complete the assignment, as well as general tips on how to succeed in the class. This time, we’ll have a special Halloween edition where I’ll feature ceramics, an art class, and see what they’re doing to keep the holiday spirit.


Ceramics



Ceramics is a fine arts class where students learn about the process of turning clay into pots, bowls, and other sculptures. This class is taught by Ms. Diaz, who turns her piles of clay into works of art as if by magic. In spite of her expertise, she knows that many of her students have never handled clay before and understands that students are in a learning process, so you can do well in her class as long as you put in the effort.


Assignment Name: Spooktober Clay Project Students worked on it the first 2 weeks of October


  • Let your creative side shine: In ceramics class, like most other art classes, the focus is shifted away from simply memorizing facts and taking notes and towards thinking outside the box with what you want to make. If you feel like you’re getting an artist’s block (i.e. “I just can’t think of anything to make”), then take a second to think about what’s important in your life and let that inspire your artwork.


(The bowls and cups in this image may not resemble the first clay art you, or likely the creators of the bowls and cups themselves, make at first)


  • Don’t get discouraged by messing up: Clay is a pretty difficult material to handle, especially if you’re new to ceramics. Oftentimes, you may not know if your sculpture will stand until it’s out of the oven and it turns out kinda wonky. You may feel tempted to give up but know that for every piece of art found in a museum, there are tens, if not hundreds of failed attempts, with each one getting closer to that perfect finished product.



(An October-themed bear made by senior Elena Grijalva in her ceramics class)



  • Put in the effort: Although you might not be at that stage of pottery where you’re making pots out of thin air, that doesn’t excuse you from getting your hands messy and making something you’re proud of. At the end of the day, while others might see misshapen proportions or a hole or two, you see the work that you put in.


General Tips for Ceramics

As I mentioned before, many students who take ceramics will be handling clay for the first time, and that’s okay. Ms. Diaz recognizes when you’re trying, and will see that through any of the perceived imperfections that you may find while making your sculptures. At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to get your hands messy and try out a new art form.


Closing

That wraps up this Halloween edition of Study Tips with the Raj. If you’re in ceramics, I hope that you have fun and enjoy the process of learning how to make clay art. If you’re not in ceramics, hopefully, you’ve gained valuable insight into a class that you might want to take in the future. Next week I’ll be back with a few more featured classes where I’ll explain how to get their assignments done. If you have any comments or want to suggest a class to be featured, you can message me on my Instagram “the_raj_man”. But with that, thank you for reading, and this is the Raj signing off.




7 comments

7 Comments


Ceramics as a form of art has always intimidated me mostly because I don't think I'm an artistic person, but I have always been curious to give a try. Great article Raj!!!

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Veronica Sedano
Veronica Sedano
Nov 09, 2023

I love how you kept reassuring that Ms. Diaz understands how some students haven't handled clay and it's okay if you mess something up. She makes it seem like a fun class and the tips you put out seem really helpful for beginners!

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Amazing article!! Ceramics is my favorite class. The piece you showed by Elena was really cute, I like the details she added. I agree that it is important not to get discouraged, especially if others seem to be doing better. If you keep at it you'll see progress. It's been proven so many times that practice makes perfect.

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Maria Renee Santos
Maria Renee Santos
Nov 08, 2023

Ms. Diaz sounds like such a chill teacher. The class seems so positive and super engaging. It makes me wish I took ceramics.

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This article is amazing because it hits all the key points on how we should take ceramics. We should not criticize our work harshly because as long as we try that is what counts which is very helpful advice.

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