STEM becomes STEAM

 Scott Campbell, physics, mathematics & computer science major, throwing pottery.

September 12, 2018

Photo credit: Libby Kamrowski

This Spring, Gonzaga students earned bragging rights as the first group of interns to take part in the Young-Fell Memorial Internship program, implemented to teach undergraduates from local colleges more about the business side of art.

Two of the three interns come from the College: Scott Campbell (’21; physics, mathematics & computer science major) and Celeste Hatfield (’19; mathematics major, art minor). How do these students, who some might not expect to gravitate to the arts, align their STEM-related academic interests with their passion for pottery?

“I apply physical and mathematical concepts primarily in the creation of my pieces in order to explore and explain natural concepts in a relatable and approachable form available to everyone,” says Campbell. “By involving an analytical approach to my process of creating different pieces, I feel I am able to incorporate a sense of intention and direct approach that is then balanced nicely by the variations and perceived randomness involved in the creation of my piece.”

Hatfield notes that she finds “a uniformity in making something on the wheel that you can find in mathematics as well. But while there is that ‘uniformity’ in ceramics, there is also an element of unpredictability I enjoy. A glaze might not turn out exactly the way you plan. A piece may break in any of the stages of building and firing it. There’s a lot of pieces that end up getting thrown out along the way, but that’s what makes the pieces that do turn out, that make it all the way through, so special.”

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