Bigger, Thinner, Rounder, Smoother

Senior Nathaniel Senteney always pushes to improve his pottery abilities


Senior Nathaniel Senteney forms a pot May 3 in room A. One way to form pots is called wheel throwing. “It’s a process of a ball of clay being spun and pressure being applied [to the clay],” Senteney said. “That changes the shape of the clay all the way around.

Sophie Delaney

Clay meets the wheel with a slam. Senior Nathaniel Senteney is ready to start another pottery session.

“ROCKY” by Bari plays in the background. All his materials lay out in front of him.

His mind is calm.

Senteney has been working with clay since his freshman year. His mother insisted that he try ceramics. Ever since then, his abilities have been progressing exponentially.

“(My mom) bought a wheel at home that (we both) use,” Senteney said. “She funded a bunch of stuff so we could both do ceramics.”

Always wanting to push himself, Senteney makes pottery bigger than the instructions require. He isn’t focused on staying stagnant and trying to perfect one thing, but rather trying to make every piece bigger than the previous.

“It’s easier to make a nice looking smaller piece than it is to make a bigger piece,” Senteney said. “That’s why I like to push myself to do bigger pieces. It’s more about seeing what I’m able to accomplish rather than perfecting my skill.”

Half of the pieces he makes, Senteney considers failures. Whether it’s because it doesn’t meet the standards his previous pieces set, or there’s instability in the form that can lead to more issues down the road. There’s always improvements that can be made. There’s always something keeping his pottery from being perfect.

It can be bigger,




“I always want to be better than I am,” Senteney said. “Any piece I have, there’s always something I could’ve been working on, and it’s always going to be like that.”

No matter how rough the pottery session, Senteney always comes back. 

“It’s such a hard process, you can spend your whole life (doing pottery) and never actually master it.”