The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Keenan Schember

Matthew Cawley, Art

Knight Errant: What specific classes will you teach this year?
Matthew Cawley: I will be teaching Clay 1, Clay 2, Clay Studio, and AP 3-D Design

KE: What is your teaching background?
MC: This is my first experience in a High School, aside from this past Spring. I have, however, been an instructor at the Northern Clay Center for the past two summers teaching younger students about clay.

KE: Why do you enjoy teaching?
MC: I enjoy watching the creative process happen, especially in a collaborative setting like a studio. People work with each other even if they don’t mean to. There is a lot of inspiration and competition that happens in a classroom/studio, and I get to see what everyone comes up with. That is a big departure from some of my other work experience, where people decide on one thing they like, and make it over and over again.

KE: What aspect of teaching appeals most to you?
MC: The rolling chair. Or helping students work through mistakes. There are a lot of techniques in clay, and sometimes they don’t work. It is fun to help students figure out what works and what doesn’t.

KE: What is your background in ceramics making?
MC: I threw my first mug when I was in middle school, and I didn’t have the opportunity to work in a studio throughout high school, but then I did a lot of work in the Ceramics Studio at Lawrence University, where I went to college. When I was there, I was mostly interested in non-functional wheel-thrown sculptures. I made a plethora of similar figures that I arranged into an installation for my Senior project. Since graduating, I have interned, been the janitor for, and taught at the Northern Clay Center. I worked at Dock 6 Pottery, a production pottery studio in South Minneapolis that specializes in glass fusion functional wares. I now live in some artist lofts in Minneapolis where there will be a community pottery studio where I intend to further my own work.

KE: What do you look forward to most this year?
MC: AP Portfolios. Really, it challenges students to consider themselves as true artists, and to prove it to total strangers.

KE: What is your favorite TV show?
MC: I could go on forever about TV. I use TV as homework, since I am also an actor. I’m going to say Fringe. It’s a little weird, a little romantic, and a little intense.

KE: Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, or Beyoncé?
MC: Beyoncé. You should have listened.

KE: Cats or Dogs?
MC: Definitely dogs. I like corgis and huskies. I saw a husky/chihuahua mix the other day, and I just about died. Imagine all the fluffiness and intensity of a husky but in the packaging of a chihuahua.

KE: Favorite childhood memory?
MC: My favorite childhood memory is cliff jumping at the Pothole. The Pothole is a swimming hole on the Cold River in central New Hampshire, Northwest of Squam Lake and Lake Winnepesaukee. In the sixties, Time Magazine named it one of the top ten swimming holes in the country. My family still has the magazine that said so. I thought that was the coolest thing ever, so I always wanted to go swimming there. There is a series of cliffs looking over the crystal clear water to the granite basin below. At roughly age six, a twelve foot cliff seems like the highest height to jump from. I also taught myself to do backflips there, just saying.

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