Off to ChinaPublished 11:00am Thursday, September 5, 2013
Local artist Blayze Buseth knew he wanted the opportunity to travel to China so he could study porcelain art.
“Going overseas, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Buseth said. “But I just assumed it’d come when I was older.”
For the 19-year-old Fergus Falls native, that opportunity comes this Saturday, when he leaves for a 99-day study abroad experience in Jingdezhen, China (a pottery-based town, Buseth said) where he’ll study porcelain and ceramics.
He’ll be staying at a pottery workshop and travel throughout China to learn about the culture and history of ceramics. His three classes will include the basics of ceramics, the culture and history, and learning the language (which Buseth doesn’t know much of yet).
This Minnesota State University Moorhead student, majoring in ceramics and sculpture, will receive class credit for his time overseas. He will be with 12 other students, including three from Minneapolis.
“China’s just the place to go if you want to know ceramic art,” Buseth said.
He heard about the opportunity abroard during an artist workshop in Fergus Falls during the past school year. Once he heard about it, he knew it was something he needed to do. He just didn’t think he’d be lucky enough to have it come together so soon.
He’s really looking forward to getting a strong sense of culture,
than just what he’s heard about on television or the Internet, that he can use for a reference in his art.
“Experiencing the culture in reality… I think that’ll really be beneficial to me and my art,” Buseth said. “Everybody talks about a culture shock. I want to see what that really feels like.”
However, the price of a three-month study program in China isn’t free. The semester costs about $12,000 total, so Buseth needed to raise money the past few weeks for some of the expenses, like extra art tools, a meal at a restaurant or even some clothes, since he’s only packing a suitcase.
So, Buseth had an art sale at New Dimensions in Fergus Falls last weekend to raise money. He raised about $1,400 and sold 60 to 70 ceramic art pieces. The support from his home community is mind-blowing, he said.
You can follow Buseth’s artistic journey at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/blayze-buseth-following-a-dream or his Facebook page: Artwork by Blayze Buseth.
For as long as he can remember, Buseth was doing something artistic. While other kids might have gone outside to play with their friends, he was inside drawing. He started pottery in middle school and spent every spare moment in the ceramic room.
“Art has always been something that I’ve done,” Buseth said. “I do it instead of a lot of fun stuff, a lot of supposedly fun stuff, but this is what I find fun.”
In the future, he doesn’t see himself teaching. Instead, he’d like to have his own studio and just create artwork. He wants to create something memorable.
“I plan on making it a lifelong journey and hopefully be able to be something special,” Buseth said.