Day in the life: aspiring pottery artist


Austyn Keelty

JUST A TRIM: After molding his clay, senior Fen Hendon uses a wooden knife to trim his new piece of pottery. After this, he will let the clay dry for 24 hours and then load it into the kiln for another 24 hours. ”I kind of just throw it on here and then decide what I want to make in that moment when it’s right in front of me. I never really have a goal until I start making it,” Hendon said.

Austin Keelty, Photo Editor

Most people have dreams when they’re younger. Whether it’s to be an astronaut, a celebrity, or even the president, no dream is too big or ambitious in a child’s mind. However, when children grow up those dreams sometimes seem to disappear.  There are a few individuals that stray from this stereotype of facing reality and allow the dreams to grow up with them.

Senior Fen Hendon has made a name for himself through his art and even more recently his pottery. When he started drawing at the age of seven, Hendon created stick figures comic series which began his passion for art.

“Both my parents were artists so that kind of nudged me in the right direction,” Hendon said. ”I didn’t really start pottery till last year though. We had these wheels in the art room and nobody ever used them, so my friend and I just started messing around and ended up really liking it.”

Not alone in his venture into pottery, Hendon’s mom, Andrea Hendon is also an artist and has challenged and supported Fen’s artistic talents by supplying materials needed and pushing his limits.

“There were certain styles like his pen and ink drawings that I tried to push him more into, but from doodling to self expression, I think his art has expressed tough stuff he has gone through,” Andrea said. ”But I’m glad he experimented because when he finally found clay he seemed to find something that really helped center him.”

His art has also gone on to affect others around him such as his girlfriend, senior Rose Eichelman who took sketching as a hobby, but has now pursued art more deeply.

“Well I think Fen is the reason that I got into art again,” Rose Eichelman said. ”His art style also inspires me and sometimes I find myself drawing something similar to his art style but I try to make my own twist with it.”

Fen has decided to try and make a profit off his growing pottery collection and  began to sell it mainly through his pottery instagram account “portfolio.hendon”. Using this account as a way to make extra money and gain recognition, it also has helped Fen get footing for a possible future career in art.

“I want to have my own studio space one day and possibly be an art teacher. Really just any way I can make art and influence others to make art,” Fen said.

Starting as just something fun to try and do during his free time, Fen never thought pottery would affect his life the way it did.

“It gives me something positive to look forward to and it gives me something to feel good about myself. It’s a way for me to get my energy out and not do bad stuff. It’s like an outlet,” Fen said.

Photo by: Austyn Keelty
GLAZED AND CONFUSED: Senior Fen Hendon covers his new collection of pottery with glaze to prepare them for the kiln. Starting off with doodles and working his way up to pottery, Hendon’s mom has always offered inspiration and encouragement. “My mom used to draw and paint a lot but she’s moving more into quilting, and she has an etsy account. Just seeing her work hard on art is definitely an inspiration,” Hendon said. 
Photo by: Cara Andres
MAKING AN IMPACT: Senior Fen Hendon and his girlfriend senior Rose Eichelman go on an art date at the Circle C Park. Hendon has affected many people surrounding him with his talents, and hopes to continue to inspire people in the future. “Well I think Fen is the reason that I got into art again, like I said it was a hobby that I would do every now and again but since I started dating him I’ve been inspired to do a lot more of my art. He’s also the reason I started taking an art class at
Bowie as well,” Eichelman said.
Photo by: Austyn Keelty
GETTING TECHNICAL: Senior Fen Hendon spins and cleans up a new piece with a sponge. Constantly creating new pieces to sell and advertise on his instagram account, Hendon tries to find as much free time as possible whether it’s during off-periods, before school, or after school “I hope I can have a future selling my art and that’s kind of what I’m going for. I made an Instagram for myself but mainly people just come up to me and ask for custom stuff, so I thought I might as well try,” Hendon said.

Photo by: Austyn Keelty
THE FINAL TOUCH: After letting his pottery dry for 24 hours, senior Fen Hendon paints the glaze on his pieces and prepares them for the kiln. Although Hendon hasn’t painted on his pottery in the past, he wants to experiment with different kinds of clay in the future. “I have not decorated them with paint yet, but there’s this white clay that we have that I might do a series with and decorate them with my portraits that I occasionally do,” Hendon said.

Photo by: Austyn Keelty
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Senior Fen Hendon molds a new piece of pottery in the art garage during his AP Sculpture class. To find inspiration, Hendon has found pottery Instagram accounts that he uses to think of new ideas for future creations. “I follow a lot of pottery Instagram accounts and spend most of my time watching other pottery artists,” Hendon said.