November 18, 2015 | By by Hailea Lamer, Courtesy of The Daily Mississippian
With the holidays approaching fast, nobody wants to be picking out gifts for family and friends at the last minute. Thanks to the Mud Daubers’ holiday pottery sale, getting ahead on holiday shopping is now much easier.
The Mud Daubers are advanced ceramics students led by Matt Long, associate professor of art. The club meets at least once a week to plan wood firings and upcoming events such as the holiday art sale and auction, the holiday pottery sale and Double Decker Arts Festival Weekend. The pieces the club produces are used for the sales they put on and for the community, as well as for donations to the Empty Bowls charity. The holiday pottery sale has been a staple for the club ever since they were founded in the early 80s.
Thirteen students have worked hard to create the few hundred pieces available for purchase. Shoppers can find a variety of handcrafted goods, from functional pieces like mugs, bowls and plates to more decorative sculptural work. However, mugs and bowls tend to be the most popular items.
“We usually sell a lot of mugs and bowls because people like to give them as gifts,” said senior ceramics major Taylor Mauer, who is also the secretary of the club.
A portion of the money from the sale goes to the artist, with the other portion benefiting the Department of Art and Art History ceramics program.
“The money that goes to the department helps broaden our education by getting visiting artists to come to the studio, and it helps us buy new equipment for the department,” said Mauer.
President Preston Tolbert, a MFA candidate in his second year of ceramics, is participating in the holiday sale for the second time. This year he has created 30 pots for sale, but he enjoys crafting cups and mugs the most.
“Cups and mugs are intimate objects,” said Tolbert. “How many artworks are held in the hand and used every day? There is a connection between the maker and the user that mass-produced ceramics cannot duplicate. My favorite object is the one that makes that connection.”
Not only do the artists enjoy creating their artwork – they also like interacting with customers who are seeing their work for the first time.
“I enjoy talking to the end users of my artwork. I really like seeing how people handle the pottery,” said Tolbert.
For some, this will be their first year participating in the sale. Emma Wilson, a fifth-year art major, joined the Mud Daubers last semester and is excited to have the opportunity for members of the community to see her artwork. She estimates that she’ll have 30 to 40 pieces for sale including teacups, bowls, cups and small jars.
“Anybody who has an interest in art or needs a gift, whether it’s for a friend or for themselves (should come),” said Wilson.
The sale begins on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and lasts through Thursday, Nov. 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Student Union. Those wishing to purchase pieces can pay by either cash or credit card. Pieces will be priced from $20 and up.