Indiana State University Newsroom

Metal sculpture, ceramics classes transform ideas into art

September 3, 2015

Indiana State University's Community School of the Arts is providing the opportunity to translate your ideas into art with metal sculpture and ceramics classes this fall.

Intended for ages 16 and up, these visual arts classes are for those with little to no prior experience who want to learn the fundamentals of working with either metal or clay as an artistic medium.

Metal sculpture instructor Mike Egy, a 1981 graduate of Indiana State, said students will learn the techniques to fabricate steel into something else.

"Students will have the satisfaction of taking their ideas and translating them into something that is extremely permanent," Egy said.

Egy, who has taught this class for three years in a row, said the premise of this class is understanding scale as it relates to the human body.

John Macdonald and his wife, Shelley, were novices when they began taking Egy's class. By the end of their third class, they had created a life-size metal deer sculpture that stands 58 inches tall and includes real deer antlers.

"My wife and I are both professionals, and we have always enjoyed art sculptures," Macdonald said, "but we never made sculpture."

That is until he came across an advertisement for Egy's metal sculpture class. Macdonald said Egy pushed them to explore different techniques and guided them through the process of creating each of their pieces.

"The best part of this class is learning about the material and about the process it takes to create something out of steel," Macdonald said. "Many people are intimidated by the tools, but Mike does an amazing job at familiarizing his students with the equipment and the different techniques."

Egy said he believes no one should be afraid of steel, as it is an easy material to transform. While safety is always the primary concern, he teaches students how to use each tool properly and leads them through various techniques in order to be able to manipulate the metal into their own ideas.

Egy's ultimate goal for his students who take his class is developing the ability of "bringing big ideas indoors."

Ceramics instructor Larry Jones has similar aims for his students, as he said anything that can be imagined "can be realized in clay."

Jones, who is in his second year of graduate school in ceramics at Indiana State, will be teaching this class for the first time.

"The hardest part of the class for beginners will be mastering throwing clay on the wheel," Jones said. "They will receive individual instruction to gain this skill. Clay is a fantastic medium, and anyone can end the class with some finished art."

Students will use the various methods of handling clay to shape their ideas and express their individuality."The best part of the class will be meeting new students and watching their creativity grow as the class progresses," Jones said. "I hope the students realize the joy of creating with clay."

The eight-week metal sculpture class begins on Sept. 19, with each session meeting noon-3 p.m. Saturdays in the Art Annex. Students are required to bring safety goggles and protective gloves on the first day of class.

The 12-week ceramics class begins on Sept. 15, with each session meeting 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the Art Annex. Students are required to purchase a basic ceramics tool set, which is available at clay supply stores or online.

Fall registration is now open for these classes. For more information or a full list of the Community School of the Arts' fall programming, go to or call 812-237-2528.


Photo: -- John Macdonald and his wife, Shelley, created a life-size metal deer sculpture that stands 58 inches tall and includes real deer antlers in the Community School of the Arts' metal sculpture class.

Contact: Contact: Petra Nyendick, director of the Community School of the Arts, Indiana State University, 812-841-2884 or

Writer: Jamina Tribbett, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or