Hons. Hand To Table

Photos from VMFA visit for research

Hands to Table was one of the most unique courses I had the opportunity to take at Longwood.  Hands to Table was a ceramics course that tied in community in such a unique way.  In this class, I learned how to make different wares, use a pottery wheel, and glaze.  My professor challenged us to think about our pieces as we were making them.  He wanted us to reflect on: Who am I making this for?  How can I make it special from them?  How is a hand made piece a more special gift then something that is bought?  During the second half of the semester, we got to be a part of a great service project.  As a class, we made pottery that would be included as a gift for different families in the area.  A local group was organizing a food drive to help prepare food for lower income families during the holiday of Easter and Ramadan. 

For my enhancement project, I was able to do an independent research project on the evolution of pottery in the Middle East from 10,000 BCE to 1258 AD.  Learning about the different pieces, one learns that so much of what was made in the earlier eras was functional, and its purpose served as a tool for survival.  However, there becomes a shift were wares were made for decoration and could often help distinguish between class.  Whether through design or form, people were using wares as status symbols.  In addition, the flourishment of economics was also seen through wares being traded with other countries and how designs began to evolve.