At SVA, The Clay’s The Thing

“Hath not the potter power over the clay?” wonders the Bible. We don’t know about potters, but dozens of New Yorkers gathered in a mood of artistic ebullience last week to happily sculpt, squeeze and carve their way through a Wieden + Ken nedy-sponsored clayfest in Union Square.

One minute the square held just your normal pack of sunning slackers. Then, suddenly, a truckload of gray sculpting clay showed up—a staggering five tons in all, dumped in a 10-foot mound on which passersby could carve designs and shapes. The occasion was a Wieden promotion, part of its ongoing “Make some thing” campaign for The School of Visual Arts and its continuing-education program.

The 10-foot chunk, increas ingly gnarly as the day wore on, was the main attraction. But Wieden employ ees also handed out some 3,000 five-ounce bags of clay that had SVA’s phone number and Web address on them for people to inquire about course offerings.

“People were so happy about the clay and to hear the school was doing this,” said Doris Lee, Wieden’s account super visor on SVA. “They were disappointed when they found out we had to take it down. They said they wished the sculpture could stay up perma nently or at least a few weeks.”

But sadly, the mound was cut into pieces with wire cutters, put on a truck and shipped a few blocks back to SVA for recycling.