Limitless Possibilities: Ceramics @ Puget Sound Exhibit, August 15 – September 30, 2016. Organized by Ronda Peck

"Cat" - Hand built, Red Earthenware by Kendall Harman, ARTS 248

“Cat” – Hand built, Red Earthenware by Kendall Harman, ARTS 248


The students inspired me to organize a non-juried exhibit to display the many different types and styles of art work being created here at Puget Sound. I wanted to provide a place where “loggers” could showcase the results of our hard work from inside the ceramics building.

I was motivated by the artists featured in the Kittredge Gallery exhibits during the academic year. Going to hear the artists speak about their art and what motivated them, and what inspired them was a most genuine experience. The common denominator was obvious that each artist possess a true passion for what they are providing for everyone who sees it. During my first year at Puget Sound, I have seen so much talent emerge from the ceramic classes. When a piece is created from a person’s mind and then watch their hands attempt to design the piece from clay.

Phases of Dedication

There is so much hard work and dedication that occurs under one roof. Starting with gaining knowledge and experience with mixing a clay body from dry ingredients and water. Creating, reacting and forming the raw clay to better understand your own limits and possibilities as well as the clay. Learning and evolving as you keep moving forward towards your anticipated result. Surviving the heat working along the clay during the bisque fire. The next step is preparing your piece for glaze firing. This next step can be just as challenging as the building or construction process. Much like in the beginning, when we are mixing clay from dry ingredients, the glaze components are dry and in separate containers.   The science and chemistry involved at this phase is truly an entirely different world. Here is where you decide how colors will enhance the message you are conveying through your art. The final step is a very high heat exposure to the piece to ensure the chemicals in the glaze are going to perform as expected. The end result can be absolutely breathtaking and amazing.

My experience

I have been working with clay for approximately 4 years. I started out like most, I took a class in high school. Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas. My teacher was Ms. Jan VanMeter. She was amazing! I never realized how much I was able to retain until I came here to Puget Sound and was met with the diverse types of clay, firing methods, and glazes.

Clay is so versatile. The possibilities are virtually endless. You can focus on something that is 2D or 3D. There are so many decisions to be made when creating a form. As long as you have an understanding of how clay needs a balance of moisture at the right times of forming and creating there is an opportunity to create for hours on end. There are so many delicate steps to getting a final piece.

About me

I am originally from Tecumseh, Kansas. Wanting to see the world was my dream and joining the United States Air Force was the best way to travel. I have lived in Texas and Germany and now Washington. My job in the USAF was a medical technician. My rank when I retired was an E-7, Master Sergeant. I served proudly and faithfully for 21 years and 3 months. It was an amazing adventure and what I miss the most are the people I met along the way. I retired in 2014 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, with my family and friends in the audience and my young son standing by my side. I was ready to put my military career in my past and challenge myself with a new adventure. Being a part of the Puget Sound student community has honestly been a very remarkable and rewarding experience.

Ronda Peck, Puget Sound student

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