Kristine Marie Cummins

Working with clay


Professor Santos of City College San Francisco and I and the ceramics T.A. at the Asian Art Museum (class field trip).

Professor Santos of City College San Francisco and I, and the Teacher’s Assistant (and her daughter) at the Asian Art Museum (class field trip May 2014).

The last time I worked with clay was over 20 years ago. So, at the beginning of the semester, I was not feeling as confident as I do about my other artistic pursuits. But I dove in despite how I felt and found a new artsy interest. Professor Santos puts up with incessant question-asking among 25 other needy students. He says my payment (in jest), is looking at cute photos of his new puppy on his cell phone. Not a bad bargain I’d say. Jolly is Professor Santos, however, he is quite strict with the handling of his classroom environment and students. Showing up late to his class would be noticed and poor cleanup means the next class ends early for double the amount of cleanup time. I’m sure that many students would think it would be an easy ride to chock up some units, but not. He has us on a new project almost every week and our projects have to be created within certain guidelines within deadline. For some perfectionistic students like me, it means visiting ceramics outside of class time… not a problem! I never would have thought a ceramics class would be so intense, but I appreciate it. I have to say, Santos is a serious Professor of Pottery!

Porcelain vase with Mishima decorative Technique

This piece was not a part of the curriculum; this was an extra project of mine.

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Pinch Pot with Mishima decorative technique

Like the project above, this was an extra project of mine.

Face mugs

Assignment was to create an asymmetrical, coil mug or jug with attachments such as a nose or handle. We could use slip, glaze or engobe.

Fire Deity Mug

Sushi plates

Assignment was to create 2-3 sushi plates with feet with varied slip decorating techniques. I created four sushi plates with trailing, Mishima, stenciling and sgraffito and marbling slip decorating techniques.

Pinch Pots

Assignment was to create four pinch pots with varied glaze application techniques. One pinch pot was required to have texture. The glaze techniques were pouring, dipping, painting (low fire glaze), and combo glaze and stain on fourth pot.

Potters Wheel

I cursed a lot while making these. Potter’s wheel is so challenging; I have a long way to go to get a hang of it.

My first semi-successful thrown pot

My first semi-successful thrown pot. I covered up the un-uniform shape with sgraffito swirls. I filled the carvings with black low-fire glaze and covered the entire pot in low-fire gloss glaze.

Slab construction piece

The assignment was to construct something such as an old ruin with slabs and a curved slab piece. Prior to construction, I created a feathered design with slip on my slabs. Then, I constructed the piece when the clay was leather-hard.

Slab Construction piece

Slab Construction piece

Assignments • Four pinch pots with feet with varied glaze application techniques • Two sushi plates with feet with varied slip decorating techniques • Slab construction piece on clay slab plate with feet and rounded slab attachment (to be posted soon) • Coil mug or jug with asymmetrical design and attachments along with engobe slip/glaze • Two thrown pots and/or one cylindrical vase

Fee free to comment!

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