Raku Sushi Pizza Night: Hanging Out with the Armstrong Ceramics Department


Photo credit: Elizabeth Rhaney

Photo credit: Elizabeth Rhaney
Photo credit: Elizabeth Rhaney

By Ayanna Thompson, Staff Writer

Recently, Armstrong held its 27th annual Raku Sushi Pizza night. The event is a laid back combination of learning paired with good food and people.

Students, professors and even members of the community met at the Armstrong ceramics studio to watch a variety of demonstrations and presentations.

Activities ranged from a raku kiln firing to student presentations of their work and socializing while eating.

The department actually houses three kilns in the studio: two large gas kilns and a smaller electric raku kiln. They are used for various types of clay firings.

Professor John Jensen teaches ceramics and he started the event after having it suggested to him by a student. The student thought that it would be an interesting way to showcase the department. Professor Jensen said that, “Students can expect to have a fun, educational experience, learning what the department has to offer, and also, enjoy lots of great food.”

His favorite part of the night is always the student presentations because we get to see the amazing work that the students have been creating.

“The event is always a lot of fun and it’s cool to watch how the kilns work,” Ashley Havy said. Havy is a senior who is working toward a bachelors of fine arts concentrating in photography, she expressed a desire to go again.

Students Toni Singleton, also a BFA major and Jonathan Hatala, a sophomore majoring in English, both agree that they would also like to return for the next one.  “My favorite part was the student presentations,” Singleton said. He enjoyed getting “to see how far [the students] had come with their work, and it’s a great learning experience.”

Hatala said that his favorite part of the night was watching the large wheel pieces that both Professor Jensen and Professor “Mac” McCusker, also a Professor of Ceramics, demonstrated. He describes the event as “a night of really good student work and an awesome social event as well.”

The Raku Sushi Pizza event is held about midway through each semester and is always open to everyone.  With such a positive turnout, it’s easy to see why the students look forward to coming back each time.