Brooke Fuerst works on her pottery wheel during the Van Wert County Fair. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Brooke Fuerst works on her pottery wheel during the Van Wert County Fair. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – Van Wert High School 2013 graduate Brooke Fuerst became intrigued with sculpture art during four years of art study in high school.

“I had all four years of art with Mr. Emerine,” said Fuerst. “He kept encouraging me to move on with art. So when I graduated, I attended IPFW and studied art education there.”

“At first I did mostly pretty fine realistic art and realistic drawings,” said Fuerst. “I picked it up in middle school. I loved the challenge of making things come to life. It didn’t really come natural. I put in a lot of hours.”

At school, in addition to her academic efforts, Fuerst participated in tennis and softball. Every evening, however, she came home to art work.

“I spent a lot of time devoted to getting better,” continued Fuerst. “I had a lot of passion. I wanted people to see that passion and become interested in art.”

During her sophomore year of college, Fuerst took her first pottery course. She immediately fell in love with the process of pottery.

“I would take classes during the day and at the end of the day I would go to the pottery studio,” said Fuerst. “I just couldn’t get enough.”

As a result, Fuerst changed her major to Bachelor of Fine Art with a focus on pottery.

“I soon found my theme as an artist,” observed Fuerst. “I did a lot of hiking. I collected different kinds of wood and leaves. In my hiking, I could see things that intrigued me.”

Fuerst soon discovered the way to include nature and the things she brought back from her hikes into her sculptures and the designs.

“The hikes became my escape, my therapy,” said Fuerst. “I began to blend my escape and my passion. I learned how to burn wood and use the flames to design pieces of pottery.

“I became intrigued with what clay could do. I first used my hands to do my sculptures but then I learned how to use the wheel,” continued Fuerst.

Recently, one of Fuerst’s sculptures has been placed in the art center.

“I learned how to do sculptures based on nature by putting wood into clay,” said Fuerst.

Fuerst has learned how to use nature in sculpture pieces and apply it to her pattern. She has learned to re-apply texture to pottery.

Fuerst said that “passion” is an important word for all that she is doing. She said that her energy for art continues to increase as she looks to her future.

“I want to share that energy with others, to influence others,” noted Fuerst. “I aim to teach. I want to share that passion and show other people what they can do if they really want to.”