Artist Spotlight: Autumn Fagenbaum

Autumn Fagenbaum is a senior art and communication double major here at Valpo. She has a true passion for art and spends most of her free time working on it as well. While the mediums that she uses spread across many different kinds, ceramics is the art that she is most proud of. She has been working in ceramics for around two years now. 

“I told myself that I would never get into ceramics. I was like, ‘No; that is not my thing whatsoever’,’” Fagenbaum said when asked about her initial interest in the art form. 

However, when she realized that with majoring in art she was required to take a ceramics course, her viewpoint on the art changed completely. 

“I took one semester of it [ceramics] to get the credit and I fell in love with it halfway through.” 

In fact, she loved it so much that she is now partaking in an independent study focused on ceramics. 

“I’m pretty much just free-range whatever I want. It’s a lot of fun.”

When asked if there was a favorite ceramic piece that she has worked on before, Fagenbaum mentioned quite a few. 

“I have a few pieces that I’m working on right now that aren't completed yet, but I really enjoy those ones. I do have one that was on display over in Mueller a while back [Draconic Ruins]. I’d have to say that’s probably my favorite so far out of completed pieces.”

As for Fagenbaum’s favorite ceramic items to make, she’s more akin to focus on art pieces than dishes. 

“In ceramics, you have everything divided into two basic categories. Either you start with throwing or hand-building. I’m more of a hand-builder, so I don’t use the wheel or anything. I don’t really make bowls or vases,” Fagenbaum said. “I more so come up with an idea for something I want to make. I’ve made wine holders, incense burners, candle holders or just sculptural pieces.”

While Fagenbaum has made a variety of products with her talents, she does center them all around a theme. 

“My theme for myself that I dictated was ‘A Fantastical Reality’. So pretty much I take real things like a castle or a house and I put tweaks on them to make them look like a fantasy.” 

Fagenbaum also mentioned that she enjoys adding dragons to a lot of her pieces. 

When asked if there is anything in particular that she draws inspiration from, Fagenbaum stated that other aspiring artists help her vision come to fruition as well as “walking over to the beginner class and seeing what they’re working on.” 

“One of my favorite projects that the intro class does is they have to make a perfect box. And then they get to decorate it. They all have the same box, but the way they decorate the box is different. It’s very interesting to see how everyone interprets it.”

As for advice for aspiring artists, Fagenbaum believes that If you think you have an interest in anything, always try it once. 

“Give it a fair shot because you never know what you’re gonna fall in love with or what’s going to call to you”

If you would like to see more of Fagenbaum’s artwork, she says that they are usually on the shelves in the ceramic department.

If you would like to nominate someone for an artist spotlight feature in The Torch, please contact torch@valpo.edu.

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