Take a Peek at 100 Asian Tikappu!

Fri Nov 18, 2016 at 07:14 PM

Margaret Dunston's solo show in the Kinetic GalleryMargaret Dunston is the first BRCC student to have a solo show in the Kinetic Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Her supervised study ceramics project of 100 Asian-inspired teacups will be on display through January 20, 2017. Not bad, considering she’s not majoring in art.

Under the supervision of Jessica Martinkosky, associate professor of art, Margaret estimates she spent well over 100 hours in the ceramics studio “throwing on the wheel” to complete the ten sets of ten teacups using ten different glazes. She set up a precise system to budget her time and resources, and to log every detail in a notebook, knowing the project would take many hours and much energy. She made more than 100 cups because not all attempts were successful.

“I decided to do every color combination of glaze, and glazing can be unpredictable,” she says. “I love the challenge of creativity. If you want to excel at art, you have to put in the hours.”

With plans to attend JMU in the spring, the 23-year-old has decided to major in hospitality management with a business minor. She originally came to Blue Ridge to study veterinary technology and earned a Veterinary Assisting certificate, but when she was not accepted into the Vet Tech program, she re-focused her educational goals to the transfer route.

Margaret grew up in a military family. When she moved to Keezletown about two and a half years ago, it was her ninth move. While her family was stationed at Okinawa, Japan, her love of Asian culture was born.

“I’m really inspired by Asian culture,” she says. “When we lived in Japan, we traveled all over and saw things that most tourists don’t see. I feel privileged to be an American and in a military family.”

Her mother is a professional watercolorist, so art has always been part of Margaret’s life. She enjoys functional ceramics most, although dabbling in sculptural ceramics presents its own challenges and learning experiences. Each set of Asian teacups is a different size or shape, each one handmade and unique. But since they are Asian-inspired, they’re all missing one thing: handles.

“I hate making handles!” says Margaret, with a laugh. “I knew if I went with Japanese teacups, I could get away with no handles.”