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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Annual ceramics sale fires up students

Fiery arts instructor Eli Hansen shapes a molten piece of glass along a worktable. The annual Fiery Arts Winter Glass Sale will take place Friday in the Centennial Plaza at Palo Alto High School. According to Senior Sox-Harris, a contributor to the event part of the AP Studio Art 3D class, the sale is also a great opportunity for students to showcase their work to one another and the community. “It’s just really fun to see what people like and end up buying,” Sox-Harris said. “I’ve been enjoying seeing my friends’ work. It’s also just fun to see people finding my friends’ works and bringing it into their home.”(Photo: Anna Feng)

Students will showcase their glass and ceramic pieces, ranging from holiday-themed trinkets to traditional clay bowls, at the annual Winter Fiery Arts Sale at 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Centennial Plaza at Palo Alto High School. 

The sale features creations from students enrolled in Ceramics 1, Advanced Sculpture and some AP Studio Art 3D designs. According to senior Jacqueline Li, students from Ceramics 1 and Advanced Sculpture class were required to create 10 pieces for the sale this year and can earn 50% of the profit from their sold artwork. 

“People have been working on their pieces for the entire last month and are just now finishing up glazing,” Li said. “Last class, we had a bunch of people looking through the boxes of items and putting tags on them for the sale.” 

Li, who is enrolled in AP Studio Art 3D, said students had flexibility in choosing what pieces they wanted to create and showcase at the sale.

“I made two bowls recently that were inspired by the traditional ramen bowl shapes — a half circle and a deeper bowl,” Li said. 

Another student enrolled in AP Studio Art 3D, senior Rae Sox-Harris, said the pieces are usually time- and labor-intensive as a result of the delicate nature of glasswork.

“I do a lot of nature-based pieces,” Sox-Harris said. “My pieces can take months just because there’s so much fine-detail work. You have to redo all your work when stuff breaks.”

According to art teacher Tree Muñoz, the proceeds from the sales go towards funding the materials and other costs associated with running the program.

“We pay for the glass, which we buy from glass companies in big 50-pound bags, costing us about $3,500 for a pallet that lasts us a couple of months,” Muñoz said.  “Then we have machines, including the main furnace outside, and the propane and oxygen torches that people can do smaller flameworking.” 

Sox-Harris said focusing on flamework has allowed them to contribute towards helping to perfect the more minute details of other’s pieces. 

“I have done glassblowing historically, but this year I’ve been focusing on flameworking, which is using a smaller flame,” Sox-Harris said. “I’ve been helping with the glass candy canes, which you have to make in the shop and then refine them on the flame.”

A new project being featured this year is glass slumping, a process involving melting pieces of glass onto a glass plate into a bowl-shaped mold, which Muñoz said will allow more students to work with glass.

“Not everybody feels comfortable working with a very hot furnace and torches but now everybody gets to enjoy the textures and the colors of the glass,” Muñoz said. “These [glass plates] have been fused and then they’ll turn into bowls. I’m not sure there are too many that will be ready for the sale, but this is a new venture in progress.”

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About the Contributors
Sophia Yang
Sophia Yang, Senior Staff Writer
Sophia Yang (Class of 2024) joined The Voice her sophomore year and enjoys running, hiking, and spending long afternoons reading.
Anna Feng
Anna Feng, Senior Staff Writer
Anna Feng (Class of 2024) joined The Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys volunteering, listening to podcasts and spending time outdoors.

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