Roderick A. McKenzie III (Andy) has over 20 years working in clay. He has dedicated his life and his work to creating and educating others in all aspects of the ceramics arts.
From the Artist
People have felt the need to document their existence and pass along information in the visual arena since the first humans walked the earth. Making this connection to people and time is something that happens every time a student of the arts places his hands on clay, makes a mark on canvas or pushes the shutter release on a camera.
I strive to make connections for all of my students to the world that surrounds them. If you look closely at a leaf growing out of branch you will find that it is the exact same angle that allows a mug handle to comfortably sit in the hand, it is also the beginning of the curve of a catenary arch, the curve responsible for roman aqueducts that still stand today. Pissarro was just one of many artists to make a mathematical study of color, and his theories are a primary guide to how our monitor and phone screens work. It is always a joy when you watch a student realize that there is a connection between what is happening in his science and math classes that can be applied to a real-world situation in the arts.
I work tirelessly to allow my students to feel that the work that they are making is important. Students in art class normally feel more pressure because all their efforts and results are on continual display to their peers. The art studio needs to be a place where students are encouraged to play, fail, experiment and grow. The famous American potter, Paul Soldner, made the profound statement that, “it’s only an accident once”. One failing technique might end up being the perfect process for a later work.
Roderick A. McKenzie III, M.F.A.