David Fredrickson, ‘Freddy’ to all who worked with him at Alfred, retired in December 2016 after 36 years of service. Freddy kept student research and the Ceramic Art facility at the center of his charge, building important connections and co-operative relationships with all facets of the school and university – connections essential for the advancement of a large and complex world-class facility. Freddy’s effectiveness was commensurate with the respect he garnered across the greater community for his good will, integrity, generosity and expertise. Freddy offered Kiln Building classes to our students; he mentored, advised and supported them as they moved through the program. Freddy’s solutions to any problem were implemented so quickly the problems barely had time to become problems. His diplomacy, fairness, and good humor set the tone for the entire division.
Freddy is well known across the continent for his excellent kiln design and construction. Even with many more kiln builders in the market today, the Fredrickson Kiln is still praised for its smart engineering and resiliency to wear. At home in Alfred, the technical foundation he built in the facility and studios allowed the faculty and students to focus on teaching and research. Beyond Alfred, Freddy was in demand for kiln building at other educational facilities. The new outdoor kiln building at Alfred is only one of Freddy's major contributions. Conscious of the priority of student research, Freddy tended the outdoor kiln area for years, and worked with several division heads and many faculty, and with the leadership of the NYSCC and its physical plant to have a proper and safe facility constructed. This building would still be on paper if it were not for Freddy’s consistent stewardship.
With Freddy’s departure, Shawn Murrey becomes our new Head Kiln Specialist. Shawn joined the Ceramic Art team in 2008 and was mentored by Freddy to apply and develop additional skill sets. True to his nature, Freddy made sure Ceramic Art was in excellent hands when he retired. We will miss Freddy. We remain so grateful for his service and we are very happy that he and Jackie Pancari will continue to live down the road.