Humans of UD: Paula Chang

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Photo by Helen Maier

Sophomore Paula Chang combines her skills as a ceramic artist with an entrepreneurial spirit as a small business owner. 

Chang’s love of ceramics and passion for the liberal arts made the University of Dallas a clear choice for college. She started her business “Dormroom Teacup” with the help of her UD friends in the fall of 2020. 

She feels at home at UD because both her older brothers came here and graduated in 2019. 

Chang’s community in Phoenix, Arizona also has many family ties to the university. Her classical high school education had a similar curriculum that prepared her for UD’s Core. 

Coming to UD and taking the Core in freshman year, Chang wasn’t sure what major she wanted to pursue. Chang is currently undeclared but is interested in possibly majoring in English, as she took Lit Trad IV last semester and loved reading “Mansfield Park.” After college, she is thinking about pursuing law school. 

This semester, she’s taking Victorian and Romantic Literature with Dr. Bernadette Waterman Ward. Chang has been enjoying the poetry, but jokes that she’s also feeling the pressure of Junior Poet looming.  

Coming from Arizona and moving to Texas for college, Chang is about to embark on another journey in going to the 2021 Summer Rome Program with friends. 

As a child, Chang enjoyed taking piano lessons and participating in ceramics classes. Chang is the third child of six; she and all her siblings had the opportunity to pursue ceramics because the city of Phoenix offered classes for all ages. Starting in elementary school, Chang took pottery classes here and there and kept up with it casually until high school, when she fell in love with the pottery making process.

Chang explains, “My parents bought me a used pottery wheel when I was sixteen. […] It relaxed me.” Rather than being reliant on class schedules, she could suddenly make art whenever she wanted.

Along with her interests in the arts, Chang also played basketball in high school. She says that she would have continued at UD with basketball but “there’s too many hours of practice.” Given her dedication to ceramics, juggling the two would have been difficult.

She studied piano for years and still plays. Chang is a supportive friend, sharing that “when one of my friends gets stressed out, I play for her in the Clark lobby.” She offers her talents to the UD community as a great friend and a great artist. 

The craft of ceramics requires patience and steady hands. Through years of practice, Paula has developed a technique that is comfortable and consistent for works of pottery. A look at her Instagram page shows her dedication to craftsmanship, with @dormroomteacup being her recent business venture in selling her pieces. 

Chang demonstrates flexibility even under uncertain COVID conditions. Chang said that she started Dormroom Teacup on Instagram in case COVID conditions prevented the in-person art fair on campus.  “I started [@dormroomteacup] as a way to sell my work since we probably weren’t going to have an art sale,” Chang explained.

The friends she’s made at UD helped and encouraged her pottery business aspirations. Chang’s pieces range from planters to shot glasses. She collaborates with fellow art students and refines her talent through hard work, dedication and repetition. Visit the Dormroom Teacup on Instagram or swing by the Art Village to see her work.

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