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September 11, 2015

So Many Opportunities to Explore: Q+A with Ceramics major Jay Paika Rawling

So Many Opportunities to Explore: Q+A with Ceramics major Jay Paika Rawling

1.) What's your earliest memory of making art?
During preschool coloring time, I remember turning over the picture I was supposed to color-in and instead I drew my own picture on the back. I don’t think they appreciated my creative solution to coloring. For as long as I can remember, I would doodle a lot as a child, and I continue to doodle today.

2.) Did you take a lot of art classes in high school?
I did take a lot of art classes in high school. In eighth grade I took the freshman entry level Studio in Art class which allowed me to take more classes in high school. Throughout high school, I filled up my schedule and took mostly drawing and painting classes. And in my senior year, I added graphic design, engineering/drafting, and a ceramics class. I graduated with a NYS Regents diploma with advanced designation with honors.

3.) Why did you choose to attend an art + design school?
I choose to go to art + design school because I knew I wanted to pursue art. I had thought about finding an art curriculum along with a more traditional degree, but the more I looked into it, I knew I wanted to focus on art, and specifically in an art + design school.

4.) What made you choose CIA?
I chose CIA because when I was applying for my portfolio submission, the CIA representative was very helpful whereas some of the other schools left me to figure it out on my own. When I visited CIA the first time, I really felt a sense of a community and collaboration, whereas the schools in other large cities (NYC), I felt like I would have to be more independent. Also, the small class sizes at CIA were very appealing to me. Finally, CIA provided me with generous scholarships.

5.) What made you choose your major?
My “gut” intuition is what determined which major to choose. Ceramics was not my first choice, but it is the right major for me. I came to CIA planning on majoring in Industrial Design, and also doing some ceramics on the side. During the spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to take the “Craft” elective instead of the “Design” elective because I wanted to try out glass blowing while continue working with ceramics. At the end of my freshman year, I applied and was accepted into the Industrial Design, Sculpture, and Ceramics majors. It was a very tough decision to decide which major to choose. I decided on ceramics because I like working in that medium because of the versatility to work both functional and sculptural. The ceramics and glass professors' work blew my mind… especially Bill Brouillard, Brent Young, and Marc Petrovic.

6.) Is having your own studio important to your education?
Having my own studio allows me to work on my projects at my own pace and it allows me to budget my time, keep the studio workspace organized, and have independence. We share different perspectives and that’s how we develop our work.

7.) How are your relationships with CIA faculty different than your relationships with your high school teachers?
My high school teachers supported my “artwork” but the CIA faculty take it to a different level because they are working professionals.

8.) Tell us about your internship.
My internship was with Daniel Pruitt at the Lakewood Screw Factory, Lakeland, Ohio. I cut, assembled and loaded glass into kilns for firing to support the production and sale of Daniel Pruitt's artwork. I prepared art shows by packing, loading, displaying products, and interacting with customers.

CIA prepared me to find opportunities and to build a resume to support the direction I wanted to explore. Once I knew I wanted to work with ceramics and glass, I concentrated on those courses at CIA. Our professors encourage us to explore courses outside of CIA during summer break. I applied for and was accepted into a few classes at The Studio at Corning Glass. The techniques I learned at Corning enabled me to incorporate new techniques into my classes at CIA. The additional scholarship also helped me offset costs.

Working with Dan Pruitt was an extremely valuable experience. I learned so much from studio practices to business practices. Helping out at art shows helped me see what it takes to sell art and gave me the opportunity to meet other local artists in the community.

9.) What one thing about the CIA experience surprised you the most?
I was surprised by the proximity of so many opportunities to explore more than one medium (Dan Pruitt for glass, think[box], sculpture) and the ability to show and sell my work in the Reinberger Gallery.

10.) How do you like Cleveland?
Cleveland is great as it has a lot to offer and supports the artistic community. Everything is accessible to you using the public transit system. It is easy to figure out.

11.) What would you say to a high school student considering attending CIA?
I would tell them to consider what kind of art school they are looking to attend. It has small classes, there are great resources and great opportunities in the community.

Above: Ceramics major Jay Paika Rawling at his internship in a professional art studio.

A premier college of art and design.
11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44106 USA
800.223.4700

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