Functionless Structures

Faculty Sponsor

Sarah Jantzi


Arts and Sciences


Art (Ceramics)

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-29-2021


My project seeks to expand upon the forms common to clay vessels into new structures that tower their ancestors and reject functionalism. My medium was a buff three stoneware clay. I used traditional potters wheel techniques to create these hollow structures. To achieve the final height of my structures, I had to throw individual building blocks of its final form and then stack them on top of each other. My stacking process influenced the final forms I created and I had to consider the clay’s plasticity. This can happen because certain angles are unable to hold their shape when weight is applied on them. In addition, the size of the kiln required me to cut my final structures in half in order to fire them, and stack them again after the firing process. This allows my structures to look complete after the glazing process. As I continue to grow as a ceramicist, I ask myself how far can I push these forms given the clay’s limitations as well as what glazes compliment certain forms.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

My name is Nate and I'm from South Bend, Indiana. Ever since high school I've been fascinated with working with clay and pursued this medium many years at Valpo by taking ceramic classes and independent studies. Now I'm hoping to take this knowledge with me after I graduate and continue learning about this medium.

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