Artist Marcus Helton pours his morning cereal into a handcrafted, ash-blackened bowl.

“I like to make stuff to be used,” said Helton, a College of the Mainland alum.

Visitors can view his usable ceramics from mottled, earthy bowls to gleaming, red-hued pitchers at the COM Fine Arts Building through May 11.

“Essentially, this exhibit is a bunch of stuff that I took out of my kitchen. They're all objects that I use regularly, some of them on a daily basis,” said Helton.

He sculpts clay into bowls, cups and plates and glazes them. After they are fired in the wood kiln, ash clings to the glaze in haphazard drifts and swirls.

“There are two particularly enjoyable parts of the making process for me. The first is just having a good idea and being excited to try it. The second is discovering something great in the end product that really didn't have much to do with my ideas or plans,” said Helton. “Having everything go exactly to plan is boring. Luckily, in ceramics there are always at least a few surprises and discoveries.”

Helton, of Algoa, works at Custom T’s in Alvin as embroiderer and has taken COM professor George Bowes’ ceramics classes since 2010.

“The title alludes to the slow but steady development of my work and myself as an artist. Ceramics has never been the main focus of my life, but I still try to hold myself to a standard,” said Helton.

Committed to making contemporary artwork accessible, the gallery is free and open to the public.

Professional artists shown at the gallery have been accredited and recognized by the art community. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has included the College of the Mainland Art Gallery in their list of recommended venues for the presentation of fine art.

The gallery is located in the Fine Arts Building and open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

For more information, please contact 409-933-8354 or 409-933-8348 or check us out on Facebook at