Senior Emory Shi entered a sculpture made in the 2015-16 school year in the California State Fair 3D Art competition, July 8-24.
Q: When did you begin your piece?
A: At the beginning of the third trimester of (last) school year.
I made it during the ceramics elective, under the supervision of (ceramics teacher Julie) Didion.
Q: How long did the piece take you?
A: About a month and a week.
Q: What does your piece look like?
A: It is a huge Chinese gate with four red columns. The gate has purple roof tiles with a gold lining.
There is a huge swirly wave that goes through the gate. It reaches above and over the gate. It has shades of blue with a little bit of purple.
The piece also has a fish that is shaped into a “C.” It is upside down, with the head towards the bottom and the tail reaching above the gate.
I glazed it red with harvest gold.
Q: What materials did you use?
A: The piece is completely made of clay (and) glazed in different colors.
Q: What tools did you use?
A: Obviously my hands, in addition to a needle tool, fettling knife (for cutting clay), a fork and a popsicle stick.
Q: What was the first step?
A: The first thing I did was draw out the piece. I originally wanted to just do a fish and water, but the gate idea just suddenly came to me.
Once I finished the drawing, I began to sculpt it. Then I glazed and fired the piece.
Q: Did you have any help?
A: Ms. Didion helped me design, sculpt, glaze and fire the piece throughout the trimester.
(And she) suggested to me that I should enter the piece, so I did.
Q: When were the submissions due?
A: By May 15 at midnight, and the judging happened in June.
I finished the piece at 11:30 p.m, and rushed to take photos and send them in just before the deadline.
Q: Was your piece ever on display?
A: It was on display at Cal Expo throughout the whole State Fair.
A lot of my family came to see the piece, and I heard that a couple of Country Day students came as well.
Q: Did you win any prizes?
A: I won a second-place ribbon.
Q: How did it feel to win?
A: It was a cool experience to win second place because I wasn’t really expecting to win anything.