'I Understand Clay Now'

Jul 12, 2013

Before her junior Field Work Term Mariam Shah ‘14 mostly concentrated her work in painting and drawing. For this visual arts student, "approaching the 3D format in ceramics and sculpture was daunting." She explains, "Last term I found myself disappointed in how little I felt I had achieved as someone working with clay for two years. I had good ideas but poor execution. I was still unfamiliar with the medium. But Field Work Term changed everything. At The Potter’s Shop & School in Needham, MA, I was fortunate enough to be given access to clay and time to make as much work as I wanted."


It was in that time and space that she sculpted Richard the Octopus— fine tuning details with dental tools, hand placing each element, and ultimately finding a way to work with clay that rendered exactly what she was after from the start, like drawing. "I understand clay now," she says. 


Field Work Term can be as much about making work as it is about getting work. For many students, especially those studying in the sciences, visual arts, and social sciences, their Junior Field Work Term is about taking advantage of the time and space Field Work Term affords to create their own work or conduct their own studies or pursue original research. For more Field Work Term stories, click here.