Melbourne High School recently hosted Peter Lippincott, a potter, during the week of March 6th-10th, 2016. Mr. Lippincott is well-known for his pottery techniques and skills, so his visit to the school has always been very informative and beneficial for the students in Mrs. Connie Roberts’ art classroom. Students in grades 9th through 12th learned the art of pottery throwing and gained a better understanding of the functional, historical, and cultural uses of pottery in daily life. As the students gained confidence in throwing on the pottery wheel, they began to realize that being a potter is a realistic and creative career choice. Priscilla Dufresne, an eleventh grader, was especially glad to hear that. “I am interested in art as a career, so this may help me in the future.”
Both Art I and Art II students created a bowl and a mug on the pottery wheel; the Art II group also engaged in an additional project, the throwing of a two-part pitcher with a handle. Tenth grader Levi Wall commented, “I liked it. I’ve always wanted to make pottery on the wheel.” Shayna Vallery, an eleventh grader, chimed in. “I learned a new art process, and it really taught me patience!”
Mr. Lippincott initially studied pottery techniques at the St. Louis Community College District for 5 years. Since then, he has studied with pottery masters in England and Canada and at various sites throughout the United States. In 2010 he was named “Living Treasure” by the Arkansas Arts Council. He sells his work throughout the United States at craft fairs, museums, shops, and gift galleries. He was commissioned to make architectural tiles to restore the façade of a theater built in 1907 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Mr. Lippincott established his own business, MudPuppy Pottery, in Fort Smith in 1992, and since that time he has taught hundreds of students both in his studio and at schools, nursing homes, and churches throughout the state.
There will be an art exhibit on May 10, 2016 where all participating art students will display their hand-thrown pottery along with other artwork they have created throughout the school year. Students, parents, teachers, alumni, and others in the community are invited to attend this event, which will be held at Melbourne High School in the gym lobby. This pottery workshop was made possible with a matching grant through the Arkansas Arts Council; these grants are available to interested schools and civic organizations. Numerous artists, working in a variety of media, are on the Artists’ in Education roster.