By Mohamed Sahraoui
It is one of Central New York’s premier ceramics competition for high schoolers, and this year, 23 area high schools went head to head in an attempt to win the 2014 Feats of Clay Trophy.
The CNY Feats of Clay competition is a chance for local high school ceramics students to showcase their talents in odd, yet challenging events, such as the pot put, where students attempt to throw a piece of clay into a pot that is a set distance away.
Over 450 students from 23 area schools competed in the 26th annual event.This annual event is held the first Friday of May at Onondaga Community College.. There are a total of six outdoor events held at the CNY Feats of Clay Competition: cylinder stack, mug production, no hands throw, coil building, pot put, and blindfold throw. All of the events are team based, with the exception of the blindfold throw.
This competition is points based, with first place earning five points, second place earning three points, and third place earning one point. The teams with the most amount of points at the end of the day wins the competition. The first and only time Jamesville-DeWitt High School has won the Feats of Clay trophy was in 1998. In 2013, they came in a close second place, while this year they were tied for fourth place.
J-DHS ceramics teacher and team coach Steve Pilcher claims that the competition gets stronger as the years progress. Pilcher explained how each year has a different set of challenges that many people are not accustomed to. This year, it was raining, which was very challenging for the coil building competition. “We usually roll the coils on the sidewalk,” said Mr. Pilcher. “Since it was raining this year, we had to roll the coils on each others backs,” he chuckled. Senior Josh DeHoog, who recently won first place for a Raku project, thoroughly enjoyed this year’s competition. “Weather played a big factor in the competition this year, and thats what made it more exciting,” reflected DeHoog. In the end, “its about having fun, but taking the competition seriously,” added Pilcher.
“It’s just a fun experience in general,” said senior Hamza Khatib, who participated in the event for his second year. Khatib agreed with Pilcher in that although it is mostly about having fun, there is still a level of competitiveness that is maintained in the competition. Sophomore Stephanie Naples attended Feats of Clay for the first time this year. “It was a different experience for me, but it was definitely a worthwhile experience,” added Naples.