Senior Mikayla Koerner participates in art classes for over three years, finds activity difficult but enjoyable


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Senior Mikayla Koerner sits at her wheel to make a plate.

Senior Mikayla Koerner has been taking Wheel Thrown Ceramics for three years in high school, starting her sophomore year, and has made many items such as bowls, plates and even a teapot.

Koerner uses a wheel to create her pieces and evenly disperse the clay to make different items.

“We use the wheel to throw different pieces,” Koerner said. “I personally make bowls, mugs and plates. I’ve made a teapot before and I recently made a pitcher. I mostly like making bowls because you have gravity working with you instead of against you. Starting off is very difficult and frustrating because you have pieces that flop, which is pretty much when they get totally messed up and you can’t save it.”

Koerner had previously tried drawing but hadn’t felt as actively involved in her art like she is during ceramics.

“Ceramics is physically demanding, and you have to know yourself and how much pressure to apply,” Koerner said. “You have to be in tune with the clay. I would say it’s highly difficult, you can’t really compare it to drawing or painting because, in their own ways, they are difficult.”

One of Koerner’s favorite pieces is her teapot because it was a big accomplishment to make the four individual pieces, the lid, body, spout and handle. She then connected the body, spout and handle by blending them, making sure there were no air bubbles.

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One of Koerner’s favorite projects, a teapot made of four parts.

“If you get air bubbles your piece will explode in the kiln,” Koerner said. “I make sure to wedge my clay very well, it’s when you get all the air pockets out of the clay.”

While Koerner hasn’t had any piece blow up, she has had several flops and had to restart several times.

“There are just so many aspects where you can mess up,” Koerner said. “Like you don’t wedge it properly or when you’re pulling, which is when you make the piece taller, and you push too hard or if you don’t push hard enough.  It’s all about finding a balance with yourself and knowing what your preference is when throwing because there are different ways to center the clay and there are different ways to pull. It depends on the person. You just have to keep on trying and learning. All it is practice, I think anyone can learn it if they practice enough.”

Koerner also finds the work meditative for her. And uses it as a stress reliever and an escape to relax at the end of the day.

“I think it’s a very good experience,” Koerner said. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy class, you are physically involved. You don’t get bored in the class, it’s like impossible to get bored because you’re always doing something in there. It’s very hands on. We’re lucky because a lot of schools don’t have this class or the resources for it. So, I think it’s awesome that we do.”