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Friday, August 12, 2022

Not many people are lucky enough to get paid for doing what they love.

Andrew Martin is one of the few who is.

Martin, a master potter, demonstrated his mold and casting techniques for a group Thursday in an all-day workshop.

He is celebrated for his unusual casting techniques, which became the subject of his award-winning how-to book, "The Essential Guide to Mold Making & Slip Casting."

H.O.T. Clay, the ceramic art student club, raised money to fly Martin in from California by selling their ceramics, said club member Alyssa Welch.

Today, the master potter will share his work again from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by individual critique time with students.

The demonstration showcased Martin working on a teapot, saucer and cup.

His thick, masculine hands covered in white residue pressed the edges of the marbled clay teapot as he described the technique.

In a soothing voice, Martin described instructions as well as personal experiences to the group, mostly composed of graduate ceramic students.

Generally, ceramics are produced by using a pottery wheel, Martin said. However, he often uses plaster molds to form the shapes of his ceramic art because he thinks and sees in a variety of shapes.

Martin likes to hold workshops because he can interact with the aspiring artists, such as the ones who attended Thursday. Some stayed for the whole day's demonstration. At any one time, about 25 people observed him working.

His presence and instruction inspired many of the students and local artists present.

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Freshman Stephanie Mack, an art education major, stayed for three hours with her friend to watch him execute his techniques.

Even the more experienced ceramics students who attended the workshop were in awe of Martin's work and accomplishments.

"I think a lot of people think of ceramics as throwing pots on a wheel or sculpting figures," graduate student Welch said, "but there's a lot more ways of creating forms."

Martin said he first attempted the molding technique when he received an assignment in school to make a piece without a pottery wheel.

"People have to experiment to figure out what their passion's about," he said. "(Now) I'm probably more appreciative of being able to work as an artist."

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