From the US to Hungary, to China, and Back Again
Jacob Meudt, a student in ceramics at KCAI, began a trip abroad last summer with George Timock and seven other students. Little did he know that this study abroad trip would expand from a 36 day endeavor to a six (?) month adventure across the eastern world. While on the annual trip to the International Ceramics Studio (ICS) in Kecskemet, Hungary, Jacob was able to meet and spend time with the renowned porcelain artist, Ilona Romule. Ilsona works at the ICS each summer to create molds and work with the famous Hungarian porcelain. Jacob was invited to join her at a 2 month residency at Gaochun Ceramics in Nanjing City, China. A great opportunity, Jacob agreed, and they left Hungary a month before the residency to travel other areas of China. Starting in Beijing, they visited many monuments, museums, and ceramic villages. They stopped in Jingdezhen, where Paul Donnelly has planned his faculty led study abroad trip with Jan Kennedy, and saw the Clay Studio and Kiln museum, as well as a community outside the city using kaolin they mined and pounded out themselves. After the residency, the pair traveled down to southeast Asia, through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, before returning to China and, for Jacob, back home to the US. Jacob recalled many of the amazing experiences he had throughout the trip: He mentioned that one of the biggest inspirations he found for his work was in the caves in Vietnam, and was amazed at the different techniques used in China to create ceramic and porcelain works. Explaining the vast amount of educational experiences, he stated that anyone who has the chance to explore a new culture should take it and run with it. You never know what an adventure might yield in terms of influence, inspiration, and life altering experiences.