Let’s Go Clubbin’: Clay club sculpts something to do

Looking for something to spice up your routine? News Editor Mitch Hopkins samples the offerings of the club scene around JC to help you decide what extracurriculars you should become involved in.


My mind envisioned a beautiful masterpiece that I could maybe put on the mantel. My hands had no such intentions.

When I first came in, fine arts teacher and head of clay club Michael Gaudreau was in the room. I explained that I wanted to make a mug, and he quickly got me started as other members trickled in.

I found out that clay club meets every Friday right after school in Gaudreau’s room and goes on until around five. At clay club, you can make whatever you want based on skill level.

In the past, I have messed around with clay and even made a nice cup despite losing two thirds of my clay to a pottery wheel. Unfortunately, in clay club my pottery luck ran out.

This was the attempt at my masterpiece. At clay club, your work probably won’t end up as the disaster that mine was. (Photo by Mitch Hopkins)

By the time I had smoothed my clay, gotten my tools, and chosen a roller which would be the design of my mug (which I figured couldn’t be that hard to make), the room had filled with others working on both clay and art pieces.

Aside from me, there were also a few others who had never attended clay club, and so Gaudreau walked us through it together. Regularly attending club members were eager to help out and get us on the right path when Gaudreau diverted to another project.

Music played throughout the room, and an hour slipped by before I had a chance to notice. Once I put the handle on (which turned out to be crooked) and smoothed out most of the innumerable imperfections, my project was more or less (which means less) ready to be fired in the kiln.

I had to wait until after Christmas to glaze my project because it had to be fired. Once we returned, my project had been fired, but to my dismay, the crooked handle was no longer attached to the rest of the mug. Gaudreau informed me that this would not be a huge problem. Well, until I dropped the handle and shattered it, quickly turning my mug into a vase.

Finally, I glazed the vase and decided that this would have to do because I had exhausted the artistic genes in my body. Even though my masterpiece turned out to be a borderline catastrophe, I had a lot of fun. Clay club is a great way to end a stressful Friday.

Even if you aren’t of the artistic type, clay club is a great way to make a gift or something for yourself. If you aren’t doing anything Fridays after school, you could always roll one and glaze.

Mitch Hopkins is a News Editor for the Patriot and jcpatriot.com.