Q&A: Senior’s sculpture places second in Cal State Fair 3D Art competition

(Photo used by permission of Shi)
Senior Emory Shi’s sculpture was displayed at the California State Fair in the student art exhibition.

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.

Jack Christian