Meet the artist: the hands behind the mugs

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Annabelle Nicholas, a junior ceramics major, is just one of the artists selling her work this semester at the Dead Day art sale.

Ceramics is a highly coveted class at UD and usually has a waitlist, but students often underestimate how much time and skill goes into each final project, as well as how many things can go wrong during the process.

First, Nicholas must shape her piece on the wheel before cleaning it up and attaching any necessary handles. She likes having detailed work, so she spends 2-3 hours painting each piece before it goes into the kiln. Throughout all of this, she has to be careful in shaping her work in order to avoid problems, including clay exploding in the kiln due to trapped air or glaze sticking to the shelf of the kiln. Ceramics change so much throughout their process — such as the color of glaze or the amount the clay shrinks in the kiln — that you never quite know what a piece is going to look like until you’ve reached the very last step.

While she’s working, Nicholas likes to watch movies or listen to music, especially Gregory Alan Isakov and Lord Huron. Altogether, Nicholas spends 5-6 hours on a single ceramic piece before it’s ready to be used or sold — these pieces are not to be missed!

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