Spotswood, NJ/ January 27/ Tapinto Plainfield – Eight residents from Brandywine Living at Princeton took a trip to The Clay Pot, a pottery studio in Spotswood, on Thursday. One of them, 89-year old Sabatino Costanzo, was more excited than the others because he used to be a full-time pottery instructor at Plainfield’s duCret School of Art from 1983-1997. He looked forward to getting his hands on clay again after so many years.
According to Stephanie Gaber, Escapades Producer at Brandywine Living Princeton, “an outing to the Clay Pot is a fun, yet educational experience for the Brandywine residents. We have learned the art of the Pottery Wheel, Raku, the pottery technique that originated in 17th century Japan, pottery painting and sculpting. We visit at least twice a year for a new experience. The staff is so kind and Owner Martin Talavera loves to share his passion for pottery with our residents. It’s always a beautiful experience.”
Costanzo told us, “For eleven years I was an accountant, but I decided at one point I would go back to school and give up accounting as a career.” He began by studying at an art school on 57th Street in New York City, taking a course in life drawing.
“I drew and painted – an arm, a leg, a hand,” he noted. “My wife said, ‘The girl’s nude, isn’t she?’ But I didn’t draw any of the interesting parts,” he added, as he chuckled.
Costanzo then became interested in ceramics and took classes in downtown New York City for about two years around the time of the Vietnam War. He said his fellow students were protesting the war, but as a veteran of the U.S. Army, he didn’t participate.
From there, Costanzo noted, “I knew a potter out in Allentown, PA, by the name of Raymond Gallucci.” He said he became Gallucci’s apprentice before coming back home to set up his own studio. (Gallucci’s works can be seen in many businesses and institutions around the Lehigh Valley, according to his online obituary.)
“However, just like anybody who is a fine artist, you’ve gotta do something else in life to pay the bills,” Costanzo said. He went to work for the Robert Half accounting firm. “While I would do ceramics, I would work there to make some money.”