Ceramics: Award-winning artist finds element


Jamie Lamping

Veronica Felix, 44, ceramics major, molds clay into a soccer ball.

Jamie Lamping, Web Editor

A young Veronica Felix was not going to let the loud, chanting crowds of a political demonstration stop her from going to school. She would find another way, or ask someone to guide her.

Nor was she going to let frequent power outages stop her from doing her homework. If she had no flashlight, she would do it by candlelight.

Felix, 44 years old, would change plans and problem-solve to overcome the challenges that came with living in in her hometown of Quito, Ecuador.

“I think maybe that’s been a good thing for my creativity,” she said.

Felix recently won a juror’s award for her ceramic work “Mamá y Hijos” at the Euphrat Museum of Art.

Felix has been studying ceramics at De Anza for the past six months and has been an artist for 15 years.

She mostly works with encaustic (beeswax) art, but has also found a new love in ceramics.

“When I found ceramics, I really felt like I found my element,” Felix said. “I can’t stop now.”

Julia Feld, Felix’s ceramics teacher, said having Felix in her class is challenging.

“She wants to know everything at once,” said Feld. “Which is good and bad, because in ceramics you have to slow down. You have to be patient.”

Julia McDowell, 32, psychology major, worked at Felix’s table during their first quarter and recalled that Felix created a human bust for their ceramics final.  

McDowell said she was in awe of Felix’s work.

“She was just really nailing a lot of important features of what makes our faces our faces,” said McDowell.

Felix continually teaches her children about ceramics and shares her experiences with them.

She plays a “power outage game” with her children. In this game, her children pretend the power is out so Felix can encourage them to come up with creative ideas and to spend time together.

“They love it,” said Felix. “Because here in America there’s never a power outage.”