Getting your hands dirty with ceramics

a person molds a clay urn on a pottery wheel

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by Kumiko Juker of The Front

The best part of working with ceramics at Western Washington University, according to studio art majors and ceramics club members Gabe Rubanowitz and Kasey Maniulit, isn’t its expansive nature or even the act of creating. Rather, it’s getting to work with Ryan Kelly, the club’s academic advisor.

“He just has so much knowledge and experience and guidance,” Rubanowitz said.

Rubanowitz and Maniulit both got into ceramics in a similar way: starting with a high school class. Rubanowitz took it as a senior and found himself instantly gripped.

“I was like, ‘I need more of this,’” he said.

Maniulit took ceramics as a sophomore in high school and decided to keep going. He ended up a part of Western’s ceramics club almost by chance.

“I showed up on the first day of one of their orientation meetings just to see what the club is about and they just happened to have enough spots for Gabe and I to join,” he said.

Read the full story by Kumiko Juker on The Front

Above: Gabe Rubanowitz shapes a piece on the wheel.

Below: Finished pieces by Kasey Maniulit.


a ceramic olla in a copper oxide patina
a tall, tapering ceramic vase
a copper-oxide tinted ceramic urn
a ceramic urn that is fractured in a diagonal section then reattached to itself with small round supports

Authored on

May 22, 2023 3:03pm