• Laurel Contributor

Seize the Clay

by Donna Rhodes

If you haven’t met Emily Wernig, you’ve only a few days (now until Thanksgiving) to visit this talented artist and athlete.

She’s The Bascom’s 2019 Artist-in-Residence, a summa cum laude graduate from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics and Drawing. And she’s an incredible track and field competitor (discus and hammer).

Emily came to Highlands hoping to expand her glazing/firing expertise under the tutelage of Frank Vickery, director of The Bascom’s ceramics program. As she heads back to New Hampshire, she’s pleased that not only did she hone those skills, she was able to check off a number of other boxes on her Bucket List. And she tucked some teaching tricks under her belt along the way. Best of all, workshops taught by nationally-known potters were available to her, which broadened her scope and tweaked her technique.

While Emily studied ceramics in high school, she was also into drawing. Surfaces called to her. Whether on paper, canvas, or clay, she felt the need to leave her mark. She employed slashes, stampings, brushwork, gouges, impressions… whatever tools/techniques called to her.

Oddly enough, drawing sessions in college bored her. Sitting for three hours penciling detail didn’t have the tactile feel and challenge that 3-D work did.

Clay was much more compelling – throwing, kneading, shaping, embellishing, trimming, drying, glazing, scratching, loading and unloading kilns. Maybe 2-D lacked the physicality of the broad movements of track and field training. Whatever the reason, she coalesced her drawing and ceramic skills, often embedding complex designs in sleek forms.

Emily is frequently at the Drake Pottery Barn on The Bascom campus. See her work on Facebook and Instagram (emwernigceramics), or email her at emwernig@gmail.com. She does commission work based upon the style of pieces she posts online.

Catch her before New Hampshire reclaims its talented daughter.

The Laurel Magazine

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