For the last few years, I’ve been accompanying my friend and fellow Potters Place potter, Susan Brum to elementary schools in Walpole to work on tiles with 5th grade students. We work with the art teachers to help them realize their goal to have their students work with real clay.
Prior to our arrival, students have worked on a layout for their tile. It is our job to teach them to transform their two dimensional drawing into a three dimensional tile. We visit each school twice. The first time, we instruct the students how to create their tile s. The second time we teach them how to use ceramic paints to add detail and finish off their pieces.
Sue and I hand cut all the tiles for the students from a low fire clay. We make up slip and bring extra clay for each student. All this prep work takes place at our pottery studio: Potters Place. When we arrive at the schools, we work with each student to help them think about how to translate their work to the tile. We teach them to slip and score, roll coils, incise and add. These subtractive and additive methods are the tools the students use.
These 5th graders are on their way to creating beautiful tiles that reflect their interests. Here are some of the results from today’s class at the Elm Street School:
To find out more about Potters Place and how we share our love of clay with the community, click here.
Next week we paint! Stay tuned!