AP ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ELLE ETCHEVERRY
I walked into the ceramics studio for the first time as a freshman, having only worked with clay once in my life at summer camp. I quickly grew to love the art form. I spent my freshman year learning the basics of ceramics: different construction methods, how to manage drying, and how to glaze. Most importantly, I learned that when it comes to working with clay, perfection takes time and requires many failures.
After my freshman year, I discovered that I wanted to spend time in ceramics exploring the relationship between form and function, creating pieces that were usable but also pleasing to the eye. I began to create sculptural forms that doubled as usable items such as flower vases or guacamole bowls. I learned how to critique my work and how to ask for advice. I also learned that working with clay is a mystery. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the unavoidable cracks simply appear, and instead of worrying about them, I learned to use them to my advantage.
During my junior year, I was given an assignment to create a table display. At first, I was struck with a lack of inspiration, until I remembered a trip I had taken in 2019 to New Orleans, Louisiana to watch the Texas Longhorns take on the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl. I remembered the pure joy I felt as I walked through the town, inspecting the diversity of people, places, and food. This inspired my table display, “NOLA.”
I am currently working on my AP 3D Design portfolio. Through a sustained investigation, I am using a slump-molding technique to explore the sculptural vessel form. This technique allows me to create free form shapes without relying on existing forms to act as a mold. I am using this technique to further my exploration of form and function: how they can work together and how they can work individually.
I am so grateful for my four years in ceramics, it has gifted me a creative outlet through the madness of ESD academics, and I know that without it, I would not be the person I am today.
Elle values the sense of touch and accidental discoveries in her image making. Influenced by a trip to New Orleans, Elle’s pieces speak eloquently of subtle nuances of form and energy. From light and delicate to bold and gutsy, her colorful NOLA installation captures one’s imagination. - Barbara Brault, AP Ceramics Teacher