Lyon College recently started a pottery studio in historic downtown Batesville on 309 E. Main St. Formerly Main Street Pottery, the new Lyon College Kilted Kiln will now offer pottery classes for class credit and workshops for the local community. Main Street Pottery owners Karen and Jeff Bailey have agreed to lease the studio and its equipment to the college for two years.
Associate Professor of Art Dustyn Bork worked with the Baileys to lease the studio and said he is excited about what the studio can offer Lyon students.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students to learn traditional skills in hand-building and thrown pottery,” said Bork. “It is also a unique opportunity in that it gets students off campus and puts us in a thriving downtown… I am thrilled by the close proximity it puts our students to the historic Batesville downtown with its many great restaurants, shops, and galleries.”
Beginning and advanced courses will be offered each semester to students. This semester, Chad Graves will teach a studio ceramics class.
Graves, who has a bachelor’s in fine arts focused in ceramics, said he plans to teach the students several aspects of pottery, besides teaching students “how to throw.”
“We will also explore hand building, sculpture, tiles, glazing, and kiln firing,” said Graves. “I plan to take some students out to a local place and prospect clay from the ground. This will help them see the whole process from the ground to the fine art finish.”
Students are also excited about the new opportunities they will have with the studio. Senior art student Victoria Hutcheson will serve as an assistant in the ceramics class this semester. She recently completed an independent study in ceramics with Karen Bailey and now gets to continue her study as the assistant.
“This studio will give students the opportunity to expand into a medium that is generally not as well-known coming from a high school education,” said Hutcheson. “It also gives students who are not declared art majors the chance to expand their interests and potentially grow an interest in an art major or minor.”
Hutcheson said she wants to become an art therapist after she graduates, and having a background in ceramics will help prepare her for this goal.
“On most of my graduate schools [applications], ceramics was listed as a specific requirement along with several other mediums that I needed to have experience with,” said Hutcheson. “This allowed me to be more well-rounded and experienced when applying to graduate schools and hopefully be a more competitive candidate.”
The pottery studio will also partner with the Batesville Area Arts Council to offer community workshops. For more information, click here.
Lyon student Gracen Ratliff participates in Lyon’s first ceramics course at the Lyon College Kilted Kiln / Image submitted
Article by Madeline Pyle