Sculpture Class Students Creating “Bust” Selves


The bust of Rafael Arango in sculpture class.

Alejandro McEwen, Chief Copy Editor

Clay busts are being formed by 9th, 11th and 12th grade High School students in Sofi Arcila’s sculpture class to test the students skill and boost their self-confidence.

The techniques they are using are the basic pottery skill like pinch pot, coiling, and carving. They have been practicing this skill for the whole bimester with different projects using clay.

“They just take the clay,  plain grey clay, needle it to take the oxygen out, then mold it and carve details,” Arcila said.

They use basic pottery tools like the potter’s needles and fettling knives. The potter’s needle is what they use for pitching pot or taking the oxygen out of the clay and the fettling knife is used for carving the product’s details.

“We only use pottery tools, they are metal and wood pieces I really don’t know how to describe them,” Arcila said

These skills are applicable when carving wood or other materials. This helps gives student important life skills. For example, they are able to produce and repair home furniture.

“When it came to carving I really like doing projects at home when it came to wood stuff like building a desk or any stuff like that,  so in carving, for example, we learn to soften corners and edges so the skill is applicable,” Rafael Arango, 12-grade Sculpture Student, said.

The project requires some hard work. Shaping the clay to resemble a face and then carving eyes, a nose, and a mouth with a fettling knife onto clay can be an endeavor.

“On a scale of one to five I would say it is about a two or three in difficulty,” Arango said.

The busts are self-portraits that try to build student’s confidence. Although students didn’t seem to get the intention of this thematic choice.

“Self-portrait, all this bust are normally like big heroes and patriotic figures,” Arcila said

The class has grand aspirations for future projects. They plan to use the skills they learned to switch materials and work on even tougher projects like making animals, and superheroes.

“We start only with clay we already made some pots some tiles, then we’ll use cold porcelain to make some fantastic animal, and then plasticine to make superheroes,” Arcila said.