Emma Burdick, Senior
APW JSHS is proud to recognize our “Aspiring Artists,” where each month we feature an exceptional young artist within our school. This April, we have the pleasure of featuring senior Emma Burdick.
Emma Burdick has been actively pursuing art since the seventh grade. Her journey began with sketching but eventually found its way to ceramics.
“I took ceramics and thought ‘Oh my God, I love this!’” Emma said, now a senior at APW JSHS. “I feel like I can express my creativity a lot better through ceramics than I can with something like drawing.”
Emma appreciates the forgiving nature of working with clay, which allows for mistakes to be fixed rather than requiring an entire piece to be restarted. She enjoys working in a variety of shapes but enjoys the creation of “bubble” forms and circular plates.
Viewing her work, her interest in experimenting with three-dimensional textures is also apparent. One of her pieces -- a green-glazed container decorated with leaves -- also boasts patches of tiny moss-like texture. “Oh, I just pushed clay through a strainer,” she says revealing her secret.
Emma admits that much of her inspiration comes from Instagram, where she follows a number of ceramic artists and eagerly pulls new ideas. Yet some sources of inspiration are far more personal. “I’ve definitely taken a lot from Mr. Hill and Ms. Coons,” she says. “They’ve inspired me to do a lot. That bowl with the leaves on it? What was all my idea, but Ms. Coons is always giving me new ideas on how to make it better. She always makes sure I can do things to the best of my ability.”
Emma first took a ceramics class in ninth grade, a year heavily sculpted by the Covid pandemic. The annual Feats of Clay competition was cancelled, preventing Emma from showing off her abilities. “So this will be my first year,” she said, looking forward to the May event. “I’m excited.” She plans on participating in both the cylinder stack and blindfold challenges and hopes to help APW retain their successful title.
As a senior, Emma’s mind is already focused on next year and a life beyond APW. She plans on attending SUNY Oswego, where she intends to major in Psychology with a minor in art.
For Emma, art will always be a part of who she is. “It’s definitely where I’m able to express my feelings, but it also helps with calming me down a lot. When I get on the wheel, I’m able to just focus. If I have to, I can take my frustrations out but still end up creating something good in the end.”