Emily Lawrence, Amos Adams, and Brian Chen: CC’s Top Potters

How long have you been throwing?

Amos Adams: Six years on and off.

Emily Lawrence: I have been throwing for three and a half.

Brian Chen: A year and a half.

How did you find this place?

AA: I was interested in ceramics because I did a lot of throwing in high school. When I came to Colorado College, I found the studio downstairs and I was lucky enough to get into open studio first semester.

EL: I wasn’t lucky enough to have a ceramics place in my high school. Instead, middle of freshman year at CC, I got very bored and I thought why not go investigate the arts and crafts studio which I had heard about? I somehow got a spot in pottery without having to wake up at 5:30 in the morning. And I took the class, loved it, was horrible at it, and then just practiced and got better.

BC: I had a ceramics studio in high school but I didn’t know about it. The concept of throwing never occurred to me until my friend dragged me to a hand-building class that I didn’t want to go to, and my other friend taught me how to throw there. I didn’t take a class, my friend just taught me.

Brian Chen, sophomore, hard at work on the wheel.
Brian Chen, sophomore, hard at work on the wheel.

Why do you want to spend so much time down here?

BC: Because art is pretty cool. I really don’t know. Being able to make forms out of nothing, and just producing stuff, is cool.

EL: Well, I am a little biased because I am paid to be down here. But I am also just down here because it is fun. Sometimes I just come down to do homework and hang out. Everyone is creative and nice to talk to.

If you were capable of throwing anything what would it be?

BC: A toilet.

EL: Mine was also bathroom-themed. I just want to throw an enormous, 19th-century bathtub. The really tall ones you can lay in, with the claws, and just lounge in. I would probably glaze it bright red or blue.

AA: A chandelier.

EL: He is really into light fixtures.

Amos Adams, senior, works on a pottery light fixture.
Amos Adams, senior, works on a pottery light fixture.

Amos, tell me about the sconces that you are working on.

AA: So the thing about it is that everyone down here has a monopoly on something. I have a monopoly on light fixtures. Emily has a monopoly on anything dragon-related. What you are trying to get at?

EL: Just an understanding of us.

AA: We like to fool around. We have spent many nights down here listening to Lord of the Rings as we throw because we have all seen it enough times that we can imagine it in our heads.

EL: We are just kindred spirits.

How would you say that you earn you way into becoming one of the pottery people?

AA: You just gotta be down here all the time. That’s really the only thing it takes. We would not be friends if it wasn’t for pottery. No offense. But, like, we’re down here together regularly. And when I am down here working I don’t talk to the people in the ceramics studio unless they are down here all the time. Which is not great, because sometimes someone will be here working and I just won’t talk to them.

EL: I think on top of what Amos is saying, you have to be down here a lot but you also have to be able to have fun and goof around with people.

AA: The fair is a big thing too. People who are down here for the fair… it’s actually way more stressful then people might realize.

For the seniors, are you going be trying to find a place to throw after school?

AA: Yeah, actually my mom is a potter as well and she is part of a co-op back in Massachusetts. We are going to do some collaborations.

EL: My parents said that my neighbor is really old and has a wheel and kiln and they are going to convince him to give it to me. But I don’t know if I really want to stay home after school for a year. So maybe I will try and move somewhere and find a studio, but those are usually pretty expensive.

AA: There really isn’t a better deal then what we have here.

Emily Lawrence, senior, works on one of her dragon-themed pottery pieces
Emily Lawrence, senior, works on one of her dragon-themed pottery pieces

Who is High Fire the squirrel?

EL: High Fire the squirrel is this little squirrel that hangs around. Greg likes to eat peanuts when he is loading and unloading the kiln and Amos and Greg got into a habit of feeding the squirrel peanuts when they were loading the kiln for fire. She will come and eat things from your hand.

If you were a famous potter and could mass produce one of your works, what would it be?

AA: Light fixtures.

BC: Toilets or teapots.

EL: Dragon ashtrays.

Is there any tension between you guys and the fiber students?

EL: Well, I don’t really say hi to them…

AA: Yeah, they are pretty tightly strung if you know what I mean. Greg hates finding bits of fiber in the studio. I mean, if you don’t want to know how to throw, then get out of here. But everyone is welcome to learn how to do pottery.

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