Meet the Mudslingers: "Come play with clay"
By Lauren Highfill
(Above) The ceramics studio is home to the Mudslingers.
Photo by Sarah Kellner
(Below) Ceramics is about more than just pots:
works by Derrick Lauglaug (left) and Ervin Ross (right)
that were selected for the 2007 "Best Of" Student Show.
Photos by Emily Lester
To make learning more fun, add mud. Mudslingers, Kennesaw State University’s ceramics club, does just that. Ceramics major and president of Mudslingers Derrick Lauglaug says, “This group gave me more passion and focus. I was able to learn and pour more time and effort into ceramics.”
Although it’s a ceramics club, Mudslingers isn’t solely for arts majors or advanced students. “We’ve had members who are biology and chemistry majors and just want to have a chance to work in art or in ceramics without taking a class for academic credit,” said Assistant Professor of Art Keith Smith, advisor of the group. “This group serves students campuswide by allowing any student to experience art—to come play with clay.”
“I like that non-art majors are encouraged to participate,” said senior ceramics major Ervin Ross. “I have the chance to stretch my legs as an advanced student and help others.” Ross joined the group a few years ago and says, “I’ve seen people become more excited about giving ceramics a try. There’s really been a growing interest.”
With all the activities the Mudslingers do, it’s not hard to see why. Several times a year the group has “make-a-thons” and “glaze-a-thons”—many involving pizza and Saturday lock-ins in the studio—to prepare for their on-campus sales. “We always have a big sale in the Carmichael Student Center in the fall where members, other ceramic students and alumni can sell their pieces,” said Smith. “We’ve had live demonstrations going on there, too.”
The proceeds from these sales help fund the group’s trip to the annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, which is held in a different major city every year. “Thousands of people from all over the world attend this conference,” said Smith. “There are artist demonstrations, workshops, discussion groups, shows, exhibitions; something’s constantly going on.” Smith says they always try to get out and enjoy the conference city’s sights as well.
Joining Mudslingers is “an opportunity to reinvent and continue building on your own work while you learn alongside ceramics veterans,” said Lauglaug. This opportunity is open to any KSU student and interest meetings are held each semester.
For more information about the KSU Mudslingers, contact Keith Smith at 678-797-2041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.