Slaydan (Aidan) Dewey the Spectacular Ceramicist

Senior Aidan Dewey was accidentally placed in Ceramics 1 his freshman year of high school— a class he didn’t sign up for. Four years later as he sits in AP ceramics, he’s so grateful for that mistake. 

Dewey has always been artistically inclined; he enjoys sketching and drawing in his free time. However, he never really considered himself an artist until he got into ceramics.

“I’ve always had the need for a creative outlet,” Dewey comments, “ever since I was little I’ve doodled or drawn during class to clear my mind.”

Dewey was recently voted by his peers to win the senior superlative “Next Picasso” for his dedication to art.

The ceramics classroom has become something of a safe space for Dewey, who says his favorite part of ceramics is being able to escape the pressures of high school. 

“When I walk into the ceramics room, I feel like I can finally just chill and take a breath,” says Dewey.

High school, especially senior year, is stressful. Dewey has found a way to get his mind off of college decisions, AP Stat work, sports, and everything else on his plate. During ceramics class, he’s able to just focus on creating art.

     Dewey’s clay skull piece

Dewey has created a number of interesting pieces throughout his time in ceramics, but his favorite has been a clay skull with a flower in the eye.

Dewey used a double pinch-pot method to make the skull, making two pots and combining them to create a sphere shape. Then he cut out the eyes, mouth, and nose, and added details.

“This was probably just one of my better pieces technique-wise,” Dewey remarked “Yeah, I just really like it.”

For his AP 3D art and design class (AKA AP ceramics), Dewey has to submit a photo profile of 10 creations all within one common theme, as well as 15 selected works of his choosing. He has decided his theme will be “Man vs. Nature”, a commentary on the contrast between man-made and natural elements. 

Dewey chose this theme because he has always been drawn to the natural elements of nature. He also knew he wanted to highlight his abilities in making both geometric and organic forms. 

“I wanted a theme that could [combine] something meaningful and important [to me] with the things I’m good at making,” Dewey says. 

Dewey used a double pinch-pot method to make the skull, making two pots and combining them to create a sphere shape. Then he cut out the eyes, mouth, and nose, and added details.

“This was probably just one of my better pieces technique-wise,” Dewey remarked “Yeah, I just really like it.”

For his AP 3D art and design class (AKA AP ceramics), Dewey has to submit a photo profile of 10 creations all within one common theme, as well as 15 selected works of his choosing. He has decided his theme will be “Man vs. Nature”, a commentary on the contrast between man-made and natural elements. 

Dewey chose this theme because he has always been drawn to the natural elements of nature. He also knew he wanted to highlight his abilities in making both geometric and organic forms. 

“I wanted a theme that could [combine] something meaningful and important [to me] with the things I’m good at making,” Dewey says. 

   Dewey’s Blue Warbler Piece

For a project his sophomore year, Dewey sculpted a semi-flat ceramic blue warbler bird. The goal of the project was to utilize art styles that were popularized around the turn of the 20th century. Dewey used raised and reduced surfaces to create texture in his piece. Sadly, the piece was thrown out after school shut down that year due to Covid. Rest in peace, blue warbler sculpture. 

Over Covid, Dewey considered buying his own clay and making an at-home studio in his shed. However, he chose not to because clay can get pretty expensive. 

“I definitely want to continue to pursue ceramics,” Dewey says, “I [would want to] take a ceramics class in college so I can keep doing it without having to pay for the materials myself.”

Dewey says that he recommends ceramics to anyone looking for an extra elective to take next year. “The teaching staff is amazing and it’s a great way to get your art credit while making things that you will keep for a long time.” Dewey remarks.

Check out some more of Dewey’s lovely creations below!

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