January 30, 2002: Snapshot

Shaping things to come

By Josephine Sittenfeld ’02

Late in the fall semester, Penelope Tang ’04 was working on a project for her Ceramics class, Visual Arts 211. A sophomore from New York City who plans to major in architecture, Tang has been doing ceramics for eight years, beginning in high school. “What I like about ceramics is the unpredictability of the process and the versatility of the medium,” she says. “Clay can be as thin as an eggshell or as sturdy as stone. It shrinks and cracks and every fingerprint is visible. Sometimes the most interesting pieces come from a series of guided accidents. In the end, what was malleable becomes solid for thousands of years, and if you’re good it’s beautiful, and if you’re lucky it’s useful.”

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