Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Vol State Cop Turns Potter

When you think of police officers, you may imagine them fighting crimes, keeping your neighborhood safe, or eating donuts at Krispy Kreme, but do you ever think of them being artists?

Phil Woodard served a total of 21 years in law enforcement, including here at Vol State, before giving up his badge for the feel of clay in his hands. Phil discovered his passion accidentally one night while securing the buildings on campus.

“Patrick Green is a professor of ceramics here, and I was fortunate enough to meet him while I was working here. I met him doing my rounds, checking the buildings, he was in there doing some pottery. I asked him about it, he showed me a little bit. I said, ‘yeah, that would be something that I’d want to try.’ So, I took the basic Intro to Ceramics and I liked it.”

Phil had already been taking classes at Vol State. “I was going to get a history degree. I wanted to eventually teach history at a university level. So I was going to go through and get a master’s degree in that and then I found pottery.”

Although not officially retired as a police officer, he doesn’t plan to return to the force. The goal for him is to make a living solely off of pottery.


“I just want to do something fun for the rest of my life and make some money off of it to pay the bills. I just want to be able to be comfortable and happy. I’m doing it because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do … I think I’m here now because it’s the right time.”

Phil won an award for Best Ceramics in April of 2018 at Vol State for his pottery displayed in the SRB Gallery. He is now working towards his A.F.A. and credited the Vol State Art Department for their continuous support and encouragement.


For more information on A.F.A. degrees, please visit: www.volstate.edu/humanities/art/afa-courses

-By Rachel Keyes

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