A clay play day at Cuesta College

How did a Cuesta College ceramics instructor create a year’s worth of material for his classes? By inviting folks to shed their shoes and start stomping

acornejo@thetribunenews.comSeptember 25, 2013 

As the clay oozed through the toes of 9-year-old Ajhri Kehler, a smile crept over her face.

“We love to get down and dirty,” Ajhri said.

Ajhri participated in Cuesta College’s Clay Stomp on Wednesday as 5,000 pounds of clay was mixed by the trudging of bare feet.

She was one of dozens of community members, students and faculty to jump in on the fun — some wearing the earthen goo smeared on their faces like war paint.

The clay will be used in six ceramics classes during the school year.

Cuesta College ceramics instructor Jarred Pfeiffer brought the idea to the college campus, following a long family tradition.

His dad, Joel Pfeiffer, started Clay Stomps in 1974 in his Wisconsin backyard. Jarred was only 6 weeks old, bouncing in a sling on his father’s chest.

The idea behind the stomp is to bring the community together, raise awareness of the artistic process and just have fun, Pfeiffer said.

“It’s like the best mud ever,” Ajhri said. “It’s not rocky or pebbly. … It’s just fun.”

Once mixed, the clay, spread on a tarp in the grass by the Fine Arts building, would be packaged into bags to be used throughout the school year.

Terri Sanders-Brown, a 17-year instructor at Cuesta College, joined in the fun.

“This is a great way to bring students together,” Sanders-Brown said. “Now when students make something in class, they will remember this day and the very beginning of the process.”

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939.

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