At Home in the World: Alum Calvin Ma, Ceramicist

Tuesday, May 08, 2018
Image of clay sculpture titled Brace Yourself

AMERICAN CRAFT -- Ma has earned recognition most artists would covet — first place at the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California’s Clay and Glass National Juried Exhibition in 2013 and Best of Show at the Workhouse Arts Center Clay National competition in 2012. But, while gratifying, those and other awards have landed him in crowded artist receptions and other not-so-comfortable social events.

By the end of high school, Ma had developed an interest in drawing, but his parents hoped to nudge him toward a “paying job.” So he struck a compromise: He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Arts from San Francisco State University, with the aim of working in the toy industry in product design. Initially drawn to polymer clay, he studied sculpting, model- and mold-making and casting.

Brace Yourself by Calvin Ma. 2017. Stoneware, glaze and resin. 10.5 inches by 5 inches by 4.5 inches. Courtesy of Calvin Ma.