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Communications and Marketing office student writer Aliana Potter ’24 introduces us to the popular Pottery Club, one of the largest clubs on campus.

Since relaunching in 2021, the Pottery Club has become one of the largest clubs at Hamilton with more than 200 members. Each week the five club leaders, Sophie Crehan ’24, Alya MacDonald ’25, Izabo Ramos ’25, Eva Pearlman ’25, and Julian Jacobs ’24, accompany nine fellow members to the Kirkland Art Center (KAC) in Clinton, where they take part in ceramic wheel throwing.

After hearing so much about the club, I decided to chat with several pottery enthusiasts on campus to learn more about why the club has gained such a following.

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A bowl takes shape. Photo: Alya MacDonald '25

“Pottery has a really wide appeal,” Crehan said. “It’s fun, you can make something decorative or useful, and having pottery funded through [Hamilton] makes it accessible to everyone. We’re offering people an experience they probably wouldn’t get somewhere else.”

MacDonald added that Pottery Club requires a minimal time commitment and attracts a diverse group of students. “It’s beginner-friendly, and the club leaders are very helpful so you can begin making things right away” she said.

 

After such glowing reports from the leaders, I decided to try out Pottery Club for myself. The registration email was sent out at 4:10 on Tuesday afternoon, and by 4:13 all the spots had been filled. The waitlist was almost 10 people long, indicating the overwhelming interest in the club. After confirming my spot for Thursday night, I loaded up my car with six fellow potters and drove to the studio in Clinton. We were greeted by the KAC artists upstairs and then made our way down to the wheels in the basement.

 

 Intricately glazed pots lined the walls as Crehan sat us down to go over the basics of wheel-throwing. After her lesson, we set to work. We were given a generous chunk of clay, some tools, and a sponge. With Crehan’s assistance, we began to center our pieces on the wheel and start pulling together the sides of our bowls, mugs, and plates.

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Students begin work on a piece of pottery. Photo: Alya MacDonald '25

Aparna Patnaik ’23 and Beatrice LeFranc ’25 both attended a club meeting for the first time last week. LeFranc signed up because she feels that “making something with your hands forces you to focus and takes your mind off of school.” Patnaik tried the club because “it was a creative and fun thing to do” and she rarely gets to engage in ceramics outside of this space.

Logan Tonra ’24 said he particularly enjoys Pottery Club because it gives him the chance to build on a skill he learned in high school. Tonra and Becca Perry ’25, both noted that they were motivated to join the club due to the lack of access to pottery wheels on campus. During the most recent club meeting, Perry made a shallow jewelry dish, while Tonra crafted a gourd vase that he intends to gift to his grandmother.

I chose to make a jewelry dish and a coffee mug and found the process to be incredibly satisfying as it allowed me to express some creativity and make something that I can take home with me. Pottery Club offers something that no art class or other club offers, and awards members the joy in creating something out of the ordinary while learning a newfound skill.

Life at Hamilton

We are a community of doers where students try new hobbies, take on leadership roles in our student-run clubs and organizations, and choose from more than 1,500 events that take place on campus each year.

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