Advanced Ceramics Field Trip

Advanced ceramics students attended a field trip to the Torpedo Factory Art Center Nov. 6 in the hopes of finding inspiration for their own artwork.

Students from advanced ceramics and select students from ceramics 1A went to the Factory, which is a gallery of studios. Professional artists work in the studios and display their pieces. Students walked around the studios and found pieces that they were interested in and asked the professional artists questions.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center was once a real functioning torpedo factory. Construction began the day after on Armistice Day, when World War I ended. Today they even display a large torpedo that was created there. However, when production halted in 1945, the government changed the area into storage space and it remained that way until 1969. At that point, the City of Alexandria bought the space and transformed it into art studios and art display areas.

Junior Gabrielle Moran said, “I liked that there were all types of artists there so we could see a variety of artwork. It was cool to look around and see the work of professional artists.”

The idea came to ceramics teacher Ron Loyd when he wanted to go on a field trip for his class to find inspiration, and one day he went to pick up clay from the Factory. “I wanted my students to see what is being produced in the real world,” Loyd said.

The students looked at the artwork of the professionals for inspiration for a class work called the “Torpedo Project”. Students have to use the ideas they found from works at the Factory and model a creative work off of what they saw there.

Sophomore Erin Moriarty was also inspired by the trip. Moriarty said, “I liked that it gave me ideas on what to make and I got to see a lot of unique art that I have never seen before.”

The class starts their projects based on the works soon. To start the process of making their interpretation of what they saw at the factory, the students submitted sketches of what they want to make. For example, Moran saw a vase covered with designs of fish, so on her piece she decided to make a vase with flowers on it.