This semester, I’m taking the beginning photography course for my art major. Our most recent assignment was to take pictures about the experience of life. I found myself in the art building the night before the assignment was due, wondering what to take pictures of, when it hit me. Where do I spend most of my time? The basement of the building I was in. So I turned on my camera and walked down the stairs to the ceramics studio.

That night, the beginning pottery class was having a work session, so I wandered around and snapped a few photos. First I set my sights on my own shelf of work. The wavy lines of a few mugs that I left out to dry made for a picture that guides the eye nicely down the row of pots.



Turning around, the potter’s wheel and seat caught my attention. One of the students had left their tools on the seat so I framed the photo to focus on the wooden knife, sponge, and wire tool. The straight wooden knife contrasted well with the curves of the wire and sponge. Beyond the tools, a streak of clay was left on the black stool after a student had wiped it off. The curve of the streak leads the eye to the potter’s wheel. I framed the scene and took the shot.

Pottery wheel


The first two photos were taken in the secondary studio where I usually work. After capturing those scenes, I wandered to the main studio. Merrill Krabill, the ceramics professor was trimming a pot that he had previously thrown during a demonstration for the class. I crouched low and took the shot through the doorway that leads into the main studio. The trash can on the left and the bucketful of clay framed Krabill well and his auburn shirt helped him stand out against the tan studio backdrop.

Merill Kraybill working on pottery wheel