Ceramics and Jewelry: A look into Ben Davis’ more eccentric art classes


Madchen Fox, staff writer

Students at Ben Davis are extremely fortunate due to our large variety of classes. Ranging from the arts to all different types of sciences, we have course offerings that help students get their necessary credits in ways that keep them entertained and fulfilled. Specifically, Ben Davis’ art department has a very large offering range, allowing for many different types of creative outlets in an academic-filled day. However, some students may be nervous to join the art department. 

Many hear the word art and immediately assume that it is a drawing-based class. Luckily, this is not the case for Ben Davis. While we do have drawing-based classes offered, we also offer classes like ceramics and jewelry. These aren’t the most typical art classes, but they have a charm that other art classes may not have.

In both ceramics and jewelry, students get to physically mold and shape pieces to create their art. While artistic ability can be helpful when it comes to sketches and planning, that skill isn’t extremely necessary in order to flourish in these courses.

It’s really interesting. It’s probably my favorite class just because we’ve already made a project and are already working on a new one. ”

— - senior Ruby Galvan

In ceramics, you learn the ins and outs of clay, including making, sculpting, glazing, and throwing clay. The work in this class is project-based, but the rules around each project are pretty loose. As long as you can show creativity and proficiency in creating the type of project (like pinch pots or coil pots), you can make whatever you’d like. After creating your product, you’re able to paint it or glaze it however you please. 

If the class alone doesn’t entice you, the teacher most definitely will. Cara Owens is extremely kind and helpful to her students, and also gives students enough independence to learn and thrive in her classroom. She is both witty and funny, and is always able to help ease any possible frustrations with a quick joke. 

Even students who have only been in ceramics for a short while can attest to how much they have learned about clay and how much they like the class. 

“It’s really interesting,” first-year ceramics student Ruby Galvan said, “it’s probably my favorite class just because we’ve already made a project and are already working on a new one.” 

If sculptures aren’t really your thing, Jewelry can be a just as interesting alternative. Similarly to ceramics, this class allows for a lot of creative freedom. You work with many different materials, like metal wire and plastic beads, all in order to create jewelry. There are not many boundaries with what you decide to make, but like ceramics, students are given a project to work on. While the project has some rules, students still have the liberty to make their own unique creations. You can make all types of jewelry ranging from bracelets, necklace pendants, charms, earrings, and/or pins. 

Senior Kimberlin Morales, a first-year jewelry student, likes working with teacher Rebecca Hundley.

“She’s very nice and thorough with her instructions,” Morales said.

Hundley provides her students with enough encouragement and guidance, allowing them to feel secure in their creations while also stimulating creativity. 

A positive that both these classes share is the ability to foster friendships and provide peer support and encouragement. Many students in these classes look to their peers for advice, which allows them to build relationships with each other. If you are curious about either of these classes, talk to your counselor about signing up!  These work-with-your-hands types of classes are helpful for students to have a creative outlet, make unique projects, and form relationships and bonds with both their peers and teachers.