Special Exhibitions

Denise Newman and Kari Marboe

Kari Marboe (Ceramics Program) designed the idea of the Slab Map for a visiting artist session with Denise Newman’s class Poems Off the Page (Writing & Literature Program). The project started by sitting on the sidewalk and thinking about the function of maps, the materials they are made out of, their audiences, and lifespans. Each student was given circular slabs of clay, and the class set out to map the four streets surrounding CCA’s San Francisco campus. Fifty-four slabs were pressed into sidewalk surfaces, picking up words, car window glass, nails, leaves, and other, mostly unidentifiable objects. The location of each pressing was recorded on a printed map of the area, and a corresponding number was carved into the back. When the group arrived where they had started, they placed the slabs in the map configuration on the ground and sat around it, spending the remainder of the class writing down impressions, descriptions, interpretations, and accompanying keys. The end result was a collective ceramic and text map of Thursday, February 19, 2015, 12-3 pm, exhibited in the SF campus library along with books selected by Lauren MacDonald that corresponded with the project’s themes.

Sara Ahli, Piril Akay, James Cheng, Tay Gersbach, Eli Gutzler, Jiayue He, Liz Hernandez, Kara Kansaku, George Lee, Cynthia Mao, Hoang Nguyen, Sarah Nowicki, Jaza Samuel, Jessica Tou, Jose Vaca, Michelle On Yu Wu, Tingsha Zhou

Nathan Lynch - Ceramics Chair
Faith Adiele - Writing & Literature Chair
Annemarie Haar, Teri Dowling, Lauren MacDonald, Donald Smith - Library Staff
Amelia Brod - Curatorial Practice Graduate Student
Craig Petey - Ceramics Studio Manager
Seth Augustine - First Year Studio Manager
Yookyung Bang - Humanities and Sciences Program Manager


Erik Scollon and Kari Marboe
Push/Pull Students: Mercia J. Atkins, Tim Barry, Alyza-Jean R. Condol, Yiling Ding, Eva M. Gibeau, Vivian S. Harp, Gladys L. Marcano, Em Meine, Sendy J. Santamaria, Tessa E. Shimizu, Scott E. Whitney, Jessica M. Young

Make Words was based on an activity sheet Kari Marboe and Erik Scollon created for Christine Wong Yap’s project Make Things (Happen), shown at Interface Gallery, February 4th-March 2nd, 2015. Make Things (Happen)featured over forty artist-created activity sheets intended to guide participants in either making things or making things happen.

The activity sheet Make Words asks participants to choose a three letter word from a list made by Marboe and Scollon, pick a material such as yarn, clay or soap, create the word out of those materials and post to social media to share.

Students from both Marboe’s Push/Pull class at CCA and Scollon’s Art 14: Ceramics class at UC Berkeley participated in the project this semester. Each student was asked to pick a word, use the material of clay, and form the words using construction techniques such as coiling, pinching and slab building, as well as finish them with underglaze and/or glaze. CCA works were exhibited on the Oakland campus, UC Berkeley works could be seen in Worth Ryder Gallery, and both can currently be viewed on social media.

You are invited to participate in Make Words by following the activity sheet link below and sharing your results using #mkthngshppn and #ccaceramicsmagic on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

ACTIVITY SHEET: http://christinewongyap.com/work/2014/makethings-happen/activities.html#marboescollon



A collaboration between Push/Pull and Anything is Possible: Clay & Context
Kari Marboe and Nancy Selvin

In the early 1900s, the Surrealists developed a chance-based drawing game they called Exquisite Corpse, where each artist adds to a collaborative effort in sequence without knowing what had been created on the paper, or other material, beforehand. This process explores the notion that randomness can play a role in conjuring meaningful art, and results in an unconscious drawing assembled by two or more artists.

Inspired by the Surrealists, EXQUISITE CORPSE combined the efforts of two students from each Ceramics Program class who, without knowing the other’s designs or intentions, collaborated on an overall pattern to complete one ceramic, clear glazed plate.

To create the plate series, students from Push/Pull and Anything is Possible: Clay & Context, worked individually from a collection of random commercial ceramic decals, cutting and layering images onto half of a porcelain plate. Students created new meanings, combinations and contexts for the decals based on personal and ideas, or inspiration found in outside sources such as the playful style of Takashi Murakami, the act of selecting color or text over imagery found in the decals, or sculptures viewed at the Asian Art Museum. The plates were fired and the completed images hidden from view with paper. The plates were then passed to the next student who filled the empty half. The plates were fired again, becoming a finished and permanent record of an unconscious collaboration between students from both classes.


Intro to Ceramics: Journey to the Center of the Earth
Michael Swaine

WANTED: UGLIEST CUPS IN AMERICA was a national search performed by Michael Swaine’s Intro to Ceramics course to find the ugliest cup ever made.

Students first collected three cups from thrift stores, grandmother’s cupboards, student projects, and former professor’s kitchens. Next, the class had to identify different variations of what constitutes ugly (i.e., cute ugly, disturbing ugly, kitsch ugly, outdated ugly, nonfunctional ugly) and remake two of their favorite ugly cups. Finally, all students made three additional cups, merging the ugliness of their favorite vessels to develop an ugly “gray scale” or ugly scale. What resulted was a realization that between two types of ugliness beauty can be found.

A college-wide vote determined the ultimate winner. However, because prizes were awarded, tempers flared when it was revealed that some entries had been modified to enhance their ugliness -- truly, nothing is more ugly than the lengths some people will go to win.


Erik Scollon

BRINGING SEXY BACK was a collaborative, three week project in the ICEBOX Gallery organized by Erik Scollon. Ceramics Program majors, staff, faculty, and outside artists were invited to create functional vessels in the gallery, which turned into a studio for the duration of the project. All participants were asked to dress in some form of “sexy,” and were accompanied by a soundtrack, lighting, and disco ball during their time in glass-walled space. After the work was bisqued and glazed, it was sold at TRAX Gallery as a fundraiser for the CCA Ceramic Guild.

Special thanks to Sandy Simon and TRAX Gallery for their support.