Rise in student interest in ceramics elective : peaceful pottery


Kevin Zhu

The spinning wheels that allow students a truly hands on experience to create art.

Kevin Zhu, AVT News Editor

Ceramics has taken off with great success as many Amador students sign up for the class, reaching greater popularity than ever before. 

“I took the class because it’s fun. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the [pottery] wheel. I’ve heard cool things about the class, so I was interested,” said Soren Pagtakhan(‘23).

Rise in Popularity

Part of the class’s sudden rise in popularity to the point of being a hotly contested course is the demand for VAPA requirements. VAPA stands for Visual and Performing Arts, and one year of it is required in order to graduate in Amador. 

“Ceramics is actually full right now. There’s even a short waitlist for it, but hopefully, we can get all the kids who want to sign up for it into the class,” said Kim Tran, scheduling counselor.

Ceramics is designed as an introductory course, fit for any student. Most are seniors looking to fulfill their graduation requirements with a class that isn’t overwhelming.

“Most kids wait 12 years and don’t take an arts class which they need to graduate… Seniors dominate the population of my class. They get preference[when signing up],” said Neil Bello.

Masters of Themselves

The objective of the class is not to have people master the art of ceramics, but to have students understand the beauty and the calm creation of something with one’s own hands.

“[I want them to become] masters of themselves,” said Bello

His inspiration and love for teaching stem from a passion. Mr. Bello’s approach towards teaching is a journey of sorts, to have students experience a love for learning and knowledge.

“It’s always different. It’s always evolving…Something that I love doing. Love doing something, teach it, you learn more about it. Share it with people, grows constantly. Pass on knowledge. It’s nice,” said Bello.

Peaceful Pottery

Students taking the elective enjoy the relaxing, calming environment that the room at M-7 provides. Consequentially, the general attitude on campus towards the class is a positive one and increasing its popularity.

“Anything on campus is a word of mouth. If it’s a good location, you don’t have to advertise. Kids will advertise. If it’s a good place, and they had a good experience, they’ll tell other kids they had a good experience,” said Bello.

A rare break from the intense AP courses and high academic standards of Amador, ceramics is certainly a class that will contribute positively to the mental health of students.

“Ceramics is a great way for me to release and unwind at the end of the day…  at the end of a day of [school] work, I just want an opportunity to take a breath and relax,” said Pagtakhan(‘23).