The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

PHS Ceramics Class Closes with Building

One substantial change since the closing of the Library-Science Building has been the end of the Ceramics class. The new art room lacks running water, a necessity when working with ceramics and several other pieces of equipment were lost with the building closure.  

Art teacher Joseph Loring who taught ceramics classes last year says his classes and what he teaches is different this year.

“I taught five full sections of Ceramics. I had running water and pottery wheels, I had kilns, a pug mill, which recycles clay, slab rollers, extruders, all sorts of glaze. Pretty much everything, every person that had worked here before me for the last 60 years had been storing things in the building,” Loring said. 

Loring says he was disappointed when he learned that the ceramics program would not be able to run during the 2023-2024 year. The class was popular with students and offered a unique experience.

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“Kids like taking Ceramics; you are going to make something. It could potentially look nice, you take it home and give it to your mom or dad, or you keep it forever. It’s a permanent memory. I think that there is value to that because everything is so disposable these days,” Loring said.  

Additionally, the change in buildings has meant that art classroom sizes have noticeably shrunk. 

“I work in a significantly smaller classroom with three less kids per class. [Class sizes] used to be in the 40s and now it is 36,” Loring said. “We no longer have spots for kilns; they were going to plug them in somewhere and I told them not to worry about it because I don’t have a classroom with running water. I can’t teach a program that doesn’t have the correct space to teach it.” 

While the loss of Ceramics has been difficult, Loring says he continues to find ways to keep students engaged with art, including a new class that is being added to the art program: Sculpture. 

“After I got over being angry and sad, I accepted my fate.  I started to become more excited about what I was going to do. I was projecting to the future and how I was going to serve kids and try to figure out a curriculum that was engaging and worthy,” Loring said, 

Loring says he hopes the community of Puyallup will understand what the Library-Science Building closure means for the school. 

“I wonder if our community knows that we no longer have a real library. I wonder if our community understands that we no longer have enough chemistry labs for all of the kids that have a lab once a week,” Loring said. “It’s not like it just went bad one day. It’s been a problem for a really, really long time. I hope that we, as a community, can start supporting education.” 

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Margo Hermann
Margo Hermann, Digital Media Editor
Margo Hermann is a junior at Puyallup High School. She joined VSM to learn more about media and connecting with people. She is passionate about telling stories through social media and writing.
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