Donor Stories

T.C. Staton '03 – Upgrade for Ceramics Studio

By Christine Donnelly
Twenty-one new pottery wheels, a computer-controlled kiln and a state-of-the-art pugmill that prepares, mixes and recycles clay have been installed in the Castle Art Center, ready for use by students when they return for the upcoming school year.
Twenty-one new pottery wheels, a computer-controlled kiln and a state-of-the-art pugmill that prepares, mixes and recycles clay have been installed in the Castle Art Center, ready for use by students when they return for the upcoming school year.

The upgrade is due to the generosity of businessman and artist T.C. Staton '03, who cherished his time at Punahou and wants to ensure that current and future students have the same great opportunities. The new equipment replaces older models that had served students well but were past their prime, said Academy Art faculty member Robert McWilliams, who teaches ceramics. "It's pretty amazing. Students will benefit for years from this gift," he said. "We can't thank T.C. enough."

Staton stopped by the Castle Art Center recently to check out the newly installed equipment, chat with Bob and reminisce about his days at Punahou, where his devotion to ceramics occasionally got him in hot water. "I remember once I had to paint all the old pottery wheels to work off demerits I got for skipping home room to come up here and work on my art," he recalled, laughing at the memory.

After Punahou, Staton earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and continues his passion for ceramics, working clay in his home studio after his "day job" as co-owner of Quality Turfgrass in Waimanalo.

"Ceramics is something that I will do my whole life and that passion was truly ignited at Punahou," said Staton, who enrolled in seventh grade. "As a student, the artistic community here is a wonderful thing to be a part of; I'm happy to be able to contribute to those opportunities."

The new equipment is far more efficient than the old, saving both time and labor, McWilliams said. "Students definitely will notice the difference. It's a major upgrade."
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