The new recycling system allows our faculty and students to reuse slurry, produced in abundance when thrown on the wheel. This new slurry system will enable our studio to recycle slip into reusable clay, as clay is one of the most easily recycled materials in the world. As long as clay has not been fired, it can be recycled. Many potters keep their throwing slurry, clay scraps from trimming, or broken greenware to recycle and reuse. This new system for reclaiming unused clay will allow The Crucible to further commit to reducing waste in the studios.
In addition to all of these updates, Rosa is expanding our glaze area to include dipping glazes, which will allow students to submerge their pieces into large-scale buckets of glaze. This process is much faster for glazing and is an upgrade from our current brush-only glaze system. Also on the list is a brand new ventilation hood, which will allow students to work with spray-on glazes.
This January, Wheel Throwing I and II classes will be open for registration, meaning potters of any level—from beginner to pro—can experience the therapeutic effects of working with clay and throwing on the wheel in our newly-expanded Ceramics Department.
Wheel Throwing I is a beginner-level class that will introduce you to a pottery wheel and get your hands dirty, while our instructor guides you through making your own unique pot. In Wheel Throwing II, students will continue to develop wheel throwing skills such as collaring, larger forms, and unique shapes. This continuing level class explores how to make different functional shapes and vessels, and then finish them for everyday use.
These new offerings will be an opportunity for our community to expand and grow long with the Ceramics Department. “I am excited to finally meet the needs and desires of what our students want,” Rosa told us. We cannot wait to welcome you into our brand new Ceramics Studio!
Rosa’s Journey to The Crucible
Rosa was born and raised in Oakland to her mother and father who immigrated from Nicaragua and Mexico respectively. Much of her work has reflected themes of womanhood, personal experience, and family. As the Ceramics Department Head, Rosa has made it her mission to create a safe and welcoming space for students, fostering a freedom to experiment and explore ideas.
Since her early college days in San Francisco, Rosa remembers learning about The Crucible. She had heard about the vast facility and the strong sense of community among both students and faculty members. She took note of the building through the window of her BART train into the city. She started to volunteer and eventually became the Ceramics Department Head. “The community instantly blew me away. Everyone is so enthusiastic about what they know, and excited to share that knowledge,” she shared. “For me, coming to The Crucible is my journey really coming full circle. Now, I get to share my passion for ceramics with others, while being immersed in the greater arts community.”
Through teaching ceramics at The Crucible, Rosa has grown as an artist. Getting to know her students helped her learn how to connect with her audience. Working quickly when giving demonstrations in classes has helped her release any fear or inhibitions when she is making a new piece. “I move with purpose and direction. I work faster,” she told us. “I go with my gut more easily than before I was teaching.” She leads with her instinct when she is working creatively, setting an example for her students to work from a place of uninhibited creative exploration.
“I was born in Oakland, and Oakland is where I first fell in love with ceramics when I was 14,” Rosa told us. Her free-spirited ceramics teacher created a nurturing environment for Rosa and her classmates to work, providing a sense of unrestrained creativity and inspiring female empowerment. Rosa found that clay granted her countless learning opportunities, from the impermanence of the process to experimentation to a sense of accomplishment in making something with her hands.