One very long room with several smaller ones along the edges, collectively forms the lab/studio for Vandy students taking one of Susan Demay’s ceramic classes. Housed in the new (2005) Ingram Arts Center, the studio was designed - with significant input from Susan - for maximum flow, each station strategically placed to move the student through the process of creating art from clay. Spots for wedging, throwing, turning, forming, waxing, firing, glazing, drying, and storage. Susan loves the space, and says she missed only a couple of conveniences in the design, the most significant being having two faucets per sink instead of one. She was so excited at the time to be getting 3 sinks, instead of the one she had at the previous school lab, that it didn’t occur to her. Susan has been teaching at Vanderbilt for 30 years, and still gets a thrill from watching students grow in their skills and gain confidence as they progress. Occasionally, an alum will pop in and share how Susan shaped what he or she has done since graduation. Susan works on her own pieces primarily at her home studio in Smithville, but she likes to play and experiment with different ideas at the school, then take the new tricks home with her.
From the artist: “Clay is very diverse. There’s a lot you can do with it. I want my space to accommodate as many of those techniques as possible, so that my students can be exposed to it all.”