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“Life of a Ceramic Artist”



Pre-Listening Activity

“Question Brainstorming”

Objective: Promote critical thinking by having learners generate questions they would like to ask the ceramic artist.


  1. Ask students to brainstorm a list of questions they would ask the artist if given the opportunity.
  2. Encourage a variety of questions covering topics like artistic process, inspirations, challenges, and future aspirations.
  3. Share and discuss the questions within the class, refining them based on relevance and depth.
  4. During the interview, students can pay attention to whether their questions are addressed.

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

carve (verb): cut or sculpt (a material such as wood or clay) to form an object or design.
– Emily enjoys spending hours in her studio to carve intricate designs into porcelain clay, creating unique and beautiful artwork.

tedious (adjective): causing boredom or fatigue due to being repetitive or monotonous.
– Getting the clay ready to carve can be rather tedious and time-consuming.

glaze (noun): a glassy coating applied to pottery or ceramics to give a smooth, shiny finish.
– Emily enhances the aesthetic appeal of her work by carefully applying a vibrant glaze, creating a glossy surface that captivates viewers.

tumbler (noun): a drinking glass with no handle, typically used for beverages like water or juice.
– During the interview, Emily showcased a beautifully crafted tumbler, highlighting her skill in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing ceramic pieces.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, Emily, let us talk about the highs and lows of being a ceramic artist. That’s what you are. Let’s talk about it. And what is a ceramic artist? And as I just mentioned, things that you enjoy and some of the things that I don’t look forward to.

Emily: Yeah. So a ceramic artist is someone who makes things out of clay for artistic purposes. There’s a lot of different ways you can do that. [It] could be, uh, sculptural, or decorative, [or] functional. There’s tons of different things. I like to kind of merge sculptural, and functional, and decorative work all in one. So my work I primarily enjoy carving. So this is a piece that… And I carved this one out of a porcelain clay body. It’s after gambel oak, which is a Utah native plant.

Randall: And what is it? Look inside. I’m just curious. In the bottom? Okay. And then that is your logo. So tell us more.

Emily: So for me, I really enjoy carving. That’s my absolute passion. I enjoy sitting and carving different plant and animal species into porcelain and then putting a nice glaze, which is that glossy surface onto it,

Randall: Right.

Emily: Probably my least favorite thing to do would be to put handles on mugs. It’s not a very fun process for me. I find it to be rather tedious.

Randall: And what you showed us is what is called a tumbler. Is that correct?

Emily: That’s correct.

Randall: Well, thank you for sharing that. It looks beautiful and I’m sure that it takes a lot of time. For example, something like that. How long does it take to carve a piece like that?

Emily: That one took about five hours.

Randall: Wow. All right. Well, thank you very much for sharing your art with us.

Emily: Thank you.

Conversation Questions


  1. What is the primary material Emily uses for her ceramic artwork?
  2. Why does Emily mention that putting handles on mugs is her least favorite task?
  3. How long did it take Emily to carve the featured porcelain piece in the interview?


  1. Explore the relationship between Emily’s carving technique and the subject matter of her artwork.
  2. In what ways does Emily’s preference for merging sculptural, functional, and decorative elements contribute to the versatility of her artwork?
  3. Discuss the role of glaze in ceramic art.


  1. Analyze the impact of Emily’s use of Utah native plant themes in her artwork.
  2. Evaluate the challenges and benefits of being a ceramic artist who creates both sculptural and functional pieces.

ChatGPT was used collaboratively to prepare some of the discussion questions for this lesson.
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