Ceramics News

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Trevor Mantkus in his studio

Of all the career paths leading to Detroit's auto industry, you might think majoring in ceramics would be an unlikely route. But Trevor Mantkus (Ceramics 2008) is not your average ceramicist.

When he's not at work at General Motors as an automotive sculptor, he spends his spare time drawing, making paintings on commission, designing tattoos, and customizing a 1978 Corvette Stingray. He also customizes superfast motorbikes -- a YouTube video shows him pulling a (don't try this at home) freeway wheelie on a retooled Suzuki streetfighter with an estimated top speed north of 180 mph. His motorcycle designs have been featured in Hot Bike and Sport Bike magazines.

Shortly after being hired at GM he rushed to sign up for classes in digital modeling. "I wanted to be a candidate to do whatever the company needed. Now I move back and forth between digital and clay. There's benefits to both media. Although, obviously, I was a ceramics major, so I like working with my hands, getting dirty, and seeing something come to life in three dimensions."

The seeds of Mantkus's success were sown at CCA. "I've always been into cars, and in the Ceramics Program, I made a motorcycle. In 2007 my professors Nathan Lynch and Arthur Gonzalez came to me with the application for a summer internship at General Motors. They saw this as a good path for me even before I realized it. I knew cars were sculpted out of clay, but I had no idea what was really involved. Thousands of art students from across the country, mostly industrial and automotive design students, applied for 18 internships, and I got in. It was an amazing opportunity to work, to learn, and also to make contacts. One of the guys I met there had an automotive design degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, another was a digital designer from Howard University. It was one of these contacts I made back in 2007 who tipped me off about GM hiring in 2010. I got this job because of that internship."

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Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 by Samantha Braman

(This is the first of four installments describing highlights of the spring 2010 ENGAGE at CCA courses. You can also download the whole story as it appeared in Glance, CCA's college magazine.)

"Art school can definitely put you in a kind of bubble. But it can also help you break out of the bubble."

So said one of the 140 students (although more of them were thinking it!) coming up for air after one of the most intense and immersive experiences of their college careers thus far: ENGAGE at CCA.

This new group of project-based courses is an outgrowth of several decades of community-centered work by CCA students and faculty. This past spring more than 140 students, enrolled in 10 different courses, did everything from creating ceramic nesting modules for threatened bird species at Ano Nuevo Island to designing new systems for elders at Bethany Center Senior Housing. More than a dozen new courses are happening this academic year, including a Writing course with San Quentin State Prison, a Textiles course with Zen Hospice Project, and a Community Arts course with La Cocina (the San Francisco "incubator kitchen" for women).

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Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Marion Anthonisen

Hey all! It’s finals week here at CCA and lots of great projects have been rapidly multiplying in our campus studios. Students in Intro to Ceramics (taught by ceramicist and CCA professor Nancy Selvin) just finished fine-tuning a still life series, and I thought I'd share a slice of this with you before we leave for the holidays.

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Posted on Friday, November 5, 2010 by Sarah Owens

Several members from CCA’s community are engaging themselves in OPENwater, a two-day event scheduled for November 13–14 that celebrates the collaboration between SFMOMA and the artists, chefs, and educators who comprise OPENrestaurant—a self-described “collective of restaurant professionals who sought to move their environment to an art space as a way to experiment with the language of their daily activities.”

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Posted on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 by Clay Walsh

About the R.A.W. Photo Contest Winners

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Posted on Thursday, September 9, 2010 by Jason Engelund

This past semester participants in the ENGAGE at CCA course "Designing Ecology with Año Neuvo Island" designed, built, and deployed nesting modules for rhinoceros aucklets, an endangered sea bird. CCA Ceramics chair Nathan Lynch and his students collaborated with Oikonos eco-science nonprofit and REBAR art, design, and social activism group to design the nesting modules now in place on the island. Last report from the team was the birds are doing well in their new homes!

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Posted on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 by Clay Walsh

Untitled, mid-1960's: "I think mystery is more interesting than explanation, so let's leave this as a mystery." Louise Bourgeois

French-born American artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) passed away Monday at age 98. The artist first studied painting at École du Louvre, then at École des Beaux-Arts. She was an assistant to Fernand Léger, a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker, before moving to New York in 1938, where she continued displaying her work until the end of her life.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 by Chris Bliss

Alumna Ann Weber (MFA Ceramics 1987) finds inspiration in all kinds of places and things: geometric shapes such as the cone, sphere, and cylinder; the work of architect Frank Gehry; and the botanical world of pods, seeds, and gourds.

Yet one place you might be surprised to find her looking for inspiration is at the local dumpster.

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Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2010 by Sarah Owens

Diana in her studioView slideshow 

CCA alumna and ceramicist Diana Fayt (Ceramics 1992) works out of a sunny studio in San Francisco's Bayview / Hunters Point district. Born in Sunnyvale, California, to a Hungarian family of craftspeople and circus performers, Diana is the first person in her family to attend college.

Always open to new opportunities, her path to success has been winding and filled with good friends and fortune.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 by Brenda Tucker

Sanjit Sethi will head ENGAGE at CCAView slideshow 

In 2010, students at California College of the Arts (CCA) will design furniture for Lighthouse Community Charter School, Oakland; help improve communications and systems for seniors at Bethany Center, San Francisco; create protective nesting modules for seabirds on Año Nuevo Island, off the Northern California coast; and work with high school students to publish an anthology of personal essays at 826 Valencia Book Project, San Francisco. These and several other projects are part of ENGAGE at CCA, an innovative initiative that will launch January 11, 2010.

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