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When Nick Hancock decided to get a graphic design degree from Arkansas Tech University, he didn’t know this experience would prime him to become the studio director at A Conversation Piece in downtown Russellville.
Hancock said that the design process he learned in school was key to helping him break into the art world.
“If I went back to college and was going to do it all over again, I would still get the graphic design degree even though I am not necessarily working in graphics, just because of the process study,” Hancock said. “Being able to say I know what it’s going to look like, [and] how can I get there?”
As studio director, Hancock is responsible for overseeing the studio, teaching ceramic arts to classes and groups, firings (heating the pieces to completion) and developing his own work.
“It’s fun to introduce people to [ceramic arts,]” he said. “A lot of people see it and think ‘Oh I could never do that,’ and that’s one thing I want to get rid of. I don’t want people to be too scared to try it. I want it to be a fun environment.”
Hancock teaches one-on-one and group classes. He even recently taught a team building class for employees of a local company.
The equipment required to do ceramic projects can be very expensive and quite technical. These classes offer a more affordable way to learn about ceramic art without all the excess costs.
“When we do a workshop, I want to talk people through everything,” Hancock said. “It’s so hands on and tactile, a lot of it is based on touch, and so it can take a little bit to develop that.”
Hancock is teaching a horsehair workshop in October (date TBA.) For this type of project, participants heat a piece of clay after it’s been made into a pot. While it’s still hot, horse hair is dropped onto it, creating an interesting and unique look.
“Right now this is a part-time job,” he said. “I am not motivated by money. I sincerely just enjoy it. Other things pay the bills, but at the end of the day, this is what I want to be doing. I am working towards making this a full-time job. My goal is to be a production artist. Getting started with ceramics is a good opportunity to stay in the art world.”
Student memberships are offered, which include access to the studio, priority on the pottery wheel when classes aren’t going on, discount prices on workshops and more.
For more information on one-on-one classes, workshops, seminars or any other questions, Hancock can be reached at (479) 970- 9396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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