Douglas inspired by seasides

Photo by Gordon Humphries

Photo by Gordon Humphries

Douglas poses with her ocean-inspired artwork

Melanie Mitchell, Senior Writer

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Former Francis Marion University (FMU) student, now Anderson University adjunct ceramics instructor Hayley Douglas has already reached success with her career in the art industry.

Douglas completed her undergraduate studies at FMU in 2009 and went on to pursue her Master of Fine Arts degree which she earned in 2013 from the University of South Carolina. Douglas said that it was her time in graduate school that led to her art collection “Ceramic Sea.”

“Once I got into grad school, I began working solely in porcelain, and I would often leave the surface of my work raw,” Douglas said. “My work is heavily based on radial sea life and their patterns, primarily microscopic diatoms.”

Douglas said the “sandy white” texture of the raw-surfaced clay reminded her of objects she would find while beach combing.

While at FMU, Douglas had experimented with melting glass and discovered that the result was a water-like surface. Douglas said she later revisited this practice while in graduate school, and decided to incorporate melted glass into some of her creations.

“The effects are crackled and catch the light in amazing ways, giving a very fluid look,” Douglas said. “I’ve actually been asked, ‘Are these pieces wet?’ I’m very pleased with the effects I create and will continue to push experimentation in future work.”

Aside from ceramics, Douglas also enjoys working with other mediums such as painting and metal jewelry-making.

“Working an idea through one medium can lead to realizations in another,” Douglas said.  “I learn so much through experimentation- it is essential for finding new directions to pursue within my work.”

Douglas finds her current position as an instructor somewhat humorous because she never expected to be teaching.

“I absolutely adore teaching, which is kind of funny because a few years ago, I wouldn’t have predicted going into education,” Douglas said. “Once I tried it I was hooked. It’s just so rewarding and I love seeing the ideas that my students come up with.”

Looking forward, Douglas plans to continue teaching and hopes to have a personal art studio set up in the near future.

Douglas cites her time at FMU as “necessary,” and as a launching pad for the direction in her craft.

“I have a lot to thank FMU for,” Douglas said. “My career there set me on the path to where I am today, and I still continue to receive support from my former professors.”

Douglas advises current students to take advantage of the time spent in college because of the many opportunities afforded to students. She also encourages students to find a passion and pursue that career with the help of dedicated faculty members.

Some of Douglas’s artwork is available for purchase through her “Ceramic Sea” Etsy website. For more information concerning her artwork, visit her personal website at hayleyjeannette.com.

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