cabrillo college ceramics
Amanda Prejger and Steve Ross create ceramic pieces in a ceramic class at Cabrillo College as they prepare for a Build and Throw-a-thon sale. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

Several dozen students in the ceramics program at Cabrillo College are busy at the Kathryn McBride Ceramics Studio at the Aptos campus making clay goods for their upcoming Build and Throw-a-thon sale.

Instructor Sylvia Rios said students have been in high gear creating a wide range of works, from plates, bowls, platters and mugs to large garden pots, pitchers and ornamental pieces for the sale that raises funds for the costs of materials at the popular studio.

Student Nikki Grennell worked on a small bowl on a throwing wheel.

“When you’re making something in ceramics, you’re also making history,” she said. “Pottery pieces can last 10 to 30,000 years; we’ve all seen them in museums. It’s a powerful medium; you can see and feel your progress with each piece you complete.” 

Steve Ross, another student, said he finished six large clay pots for the sale and was ready to fire them in the studio’s kiln. Then he said he’d apply glazes to create a colorful and lasting finish. 

Max Rain, who was on hand to help out, also teaches ceramics at Gavilan College in Gilroy. “We’re getting ready for our own Throw-a-Thon at Gavilan,” he said. “It happens November 18. The students have a lot of talent and they create a lot of beautiful works.”

The Cabrillo Build and Throw-a-Thon runs Nov. 9 from 11am-1pm in the lower Visual and Performing Arts center at Cabrillo’s Aptos Campus.

Rain said the Gavilan Throw-a-Thon runs Nov. 16 from 10am-6pm in front of the Arts 102 classroom across from the theater. 

cabrillo ceramics
These large garden pots were created by Steve Ross of Soquel. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian
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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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