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Professor shares passion for ceramic art

According to www.ceramics.org, certain ceramic components are found in computers, cell phones and hip replacements. The art of ceramics has existed as early as 24,000 B.C.  JAY VALLE | Scroll Illustration
According to www.ceramics.org, certain ceramic components are found in computers, cell phones and hip replacements. The art of ceramics has existed as early as 24,000 B.C. JAY VALLE | Scroll Illustration

Rich Briggs, a BYU-Idaho art professor, has been creating ceramics and other forms of art for more than 35 years.

“My first class on ceramics was when I went away to college to Ricks, and that was in 1975, so I’ve been doing it for a long time now,” Briggs said.

Briggs said he has grown to love art ever since he took his first art class.

“I didn’t really know that I had a talent,” he said.

Briggs said he has been teaching at BYU-Idaho since 1997 and that he applies the philosophy of self-discovery as a teaching method.

“I try to keep things as open as possible because people discover things that they might not know [are] there,” Briggs said.

Briggs had many pieces that were displayed in the exhibit including “Fear of the Dark” and “Learning a New Language.”

“The pieces that I create are kind of like … kids — they are all different. You almost hate to say favorites,” he said.

Briggs said that many of his pieces in the exhibit were made in a wood kiln, which he said is an older method of creating ceramic art pieces.

“I enjoy the look and process of the wood-fired pieces,” Briggs said. “Many of the pieces that are fired in a wood kiln, they don’t have an applied glaze, you don’t decorate them, [and] the ash deposits and melts, and so you don’t really have total control of the outcome.”

Briggs said he tries to make his pieces different, so the viewer can better understand the art and relate to what is going on in the contrasting piece.

“As artists, we use positive and negative, but that’s something that happens just in daily life,” Briggs said.

Briggs said he has felt inspiration from a quotation by a friend.

“‘There is no art without craft,’” he said, “To me, I look at this quote and think that craft is what your hands know how to do and art is something that your heart wants to express.”

Briggs said many artists believe in the concept of a “happy accident.”

“That’s a bad thing for a lot of people, but for us, we learn to accept that. It’s just something you’re not going to predict,” he said.

Briggs’ artwork was featured in the Four Way Street art exhibit in the Jacob Spori Art Gallery.

Taylor Brownhttp://www.facebook.com/taylor.n.brown.16
Sophomore at BYU-Idaho, majoring in Communications. Writer for Art and Entertainment section for The Scroll.
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