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Biannual pottery sale connects Hancock artists with public

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Fans of jewelry, ceramics and metalwork will have a lot to choose from Friday and Saturday, as Hancock College’s Student Center will be filled with pieces of art available for purchase during the biannual pottery sale.

The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, will feature ceramic work from Hancock College students and faculty, and showcase pieces from the school’s jewelry and welding courses. The sale is located at the Student Center on the college’s Santa Maria Campus.

Ceramics instructor Amiko Matsuo, who joined Hancock’s art department earlier this year, expressed excitement about spearheading the biannual event and said she looks forward to continue learning from all the vendors and attendees.

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A decorative pottery keyboard made by Linda Rickett will be among the items sold at Hancock College’s annual student and faculty pottery sale.

“This semester is about learning,” Matsuo said Thursday afternoon, adding that she hopes to expand and further develop some of the ideas introduced by the pottery sale.

“Noticing the interest in the pottery sale, we're hoping to develop a class in creative entrepreneurship next semester,” she said.

Linda Rickett, a longtime student and president of the college’s ceramics society, said she first got involved in the pottery sale as a way to support her future artistic endeavors. 

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Linda Rickett pulls a plate she made out of the kiln. It will be sold with other works at Hancock College’s annual student and faculty pottery sale.

"I started several years ago," she said. "I thought, 'If I could sell enough, I can buy more clay,' and that was basically why I started selling things. It gave me the opportunity to buy more clay and make more art."

A majority of the proceeds from the sale go directly to the student artists, Rickett explained, while a portion will go to Hancock's ceramics society as a way to provide materials and tools for the ceramics program. 

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"A lot of the volunteers are just folks who come in to utilize the equipment and share their knowledge," said Donna Olivera, a student in Matsuo's Ceramics III class and first-time vendor in the two-day sale. "It's very collaborative and I think that's one of the ways they contribute back to using the equipment here."

Megan Barker, another Ceramics III student and first-time vendor, credits Matsuo's class with providing guidance and support in the lead-in to the sale. According to Barker, Matsuo encouraged her to tie in "found materials" in her glazes and compositions.

"I've incorporated found materials from my grandfather's vineyard and found out how those behave in the kiln," she said. "I've really taken the opportunity to explore the chemistry side of ceramics and tie it to the history of the place."

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Ann Erb prepares clay for a new work, next to her plates that will be sold at Hancock College’s annual student and faculty pottery sale.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga

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Education Reporter

Santa Maria Times reporter Mathew Burciaga covers education for Lee Central Coast Newspapers.