We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Tait McGlinn, a junior at Malvern, and proud ceramicist. He told us about his start in the arts and his plans for the future.
How long have you been going to Malvern?
I’m a lifer here I’ve been here since 6th grade. I went to grade school at St. Katherine’s.
How are you involved in the arts program here, and why do you do what you do?
I started ceramics when I was in fourth grade. I did a workshop at the Wayne Arts Center in the Summer, and I really enjoyed it but I didn’t really get into it that much until Freshman year here. When I saw what my brother did with empty bowls and all that, I started Ceramics I in the second semester, and I’ve loved it ever since. I come [to the ceramics room] during most of my study halls just because I love to do what I do. Also, I started doing the play this year with Grease. From what I heard, last year, West Side Story was a fun play. A lot of my friends do it and it’s been a great experience so far.
What do you think one of your greatest achievements have been here?
Probably Empty Bowls in January. We had to put in a lot of work since the beginning of the year making bowls, publicizing the event, and making sure that everyone knows what we’re about and how much work we put into it.
How do you plan to use your talents in the future?
Looking forward to next year’s empty bowls, hopefully I’ll be a chair in the event, and I’ll definitely be in next year’s musical.
Can you describe a favorite piece you have made, and why?
One of my favorite pieces that I have made is a large bowl 10 inches tall that’s painted green and has a little scoop out of it. It has red paint dripping down kinda like it has a bite taken out of it and it’s bleeding. It’s my favorite because it is one of the first bowls that I had successfully thrown large, which was hard to do at first. But halfway through when it was drying, there was a crack in the rim, so if I wanted to keep it I would need to make the crack part of the bowl and make it visually pleasing. So something I love about art is that you can never plan for everything that goes wrong. There’s never going to be be a perfect bowl that comes out the way you want it too every single time. So my favorite part about this piece is the way I fixed that crack and made it into even a functional slot for a spoon that looks great with the piece.
Tell us about puzzle jugs
Puzzle Jugs are a very interesting pieces to make. I made my first one kinda accidentally. You make one by splitting the rim at the top so it separates into two different parts then you fold it back together to make a hollow area. And then from that you connect a hollow handle that acts as a straw through the rim. I like them because they are more challenging than your everyday bowl or your everyday cup, and you can do so much with them to personalize them the way you want it to be.
Do you have any advice for students just starting out in the arts?
Some advice that I would give starting out in ceramics, or any topic in art, would be to stick with it. I started off earlier. I had been introduced to ceramics even before I came to Malvern so I got a head start. But there is a point in the learning process where it really just clicks and you can produce things things the way you want them to come out in your minds. And once that happens, it’s going to be be way more enjoyable to do what you wanna do because you’re going to be be satisfied with your work.