I’ve just completed an update on my website with class updates and how to purchase my pottery until December 31, 2020. I’ve been stopping in at the galleries and shops that support me and filling in with new pieces for the final days of in-store shopping. The snow is falling and spring ideas are starting to pop into my head. I’m looking forward to creating new work and completing some special orders in 2021. Be Well and Stay Safe.
“Art, like play, helps children to understand their world. But art goes beyond play, enabling them to express their personal experiences and fantasies in ways that are concrete and compelling, even when they are unable to articulate the events in words” Nancy Beal, The Art of Teaching Art to Children
Today is the last pottery class of the session I have with my elementary aged students. Here are a few of my favorite pieces to illustrate how they expressed themselves with the tools I taught them.
pinch pot Jack O’Lantern
Start with a pinch pot, pinch and pull it into something Halloween -y ~ guess who dressed up as a witch on a broomstick?!
Have fun with coils and learn scratch and attach with slip
Tiles from start to finish – tile cut slab, add/subtract clay, surface decoration
Let’s make our favorite animals ~ walrus (make them hollow so they won’t blow up in the kiln!)
What does winter mean to you ?This student used coils to make a christmas tree and added colorful presents.
Clay Class for Kids (first grade and older) will be a “Valentine’s Day” themed class. Last year I taught my students to create a pinch pot that they decorated, some made heart shaped bowls. There was also an opportunity to make a flat tile so that students could play with surface elements like stamping and adding clay elements. Using non-toxic red and white paint, students decorated their work.
For this year’s class, we may try something different.
On November 4th, I hosted a clay class for kids at the Dedham Community House. The class was an hour long workshop designed to give kids, 1st through 5th grade, exposure to clay. They learn techniques and create a piece of pottery. There is always a literary or art component to my classes so kids can take away an art history lesson as well as a hands on experience.
Having a theme is always fun and “Thanksgiving” is a great one! There is food, foliage, and many stories the kids want to share about their own Thanksgiving traditions. The kids start with a slab of clay to practice with. We talk about rolling coils for a frame. We talk about making impressions with objects such as leaves and stamps. We talk about attaching clay images to the tile by using the slip and score technique. We talk about carving into the clay.
Once they have had time to play and try out the different techniques, I give them a fresh clay tile. We stop for a minute to talk about Thanksgiving. I teach them about Norman Rockwell and show them pictures of his famous holiday meal painting. We talk about the students’ holiday traditions and then they begin their project.
Some of the students decide to make wall pockets with their tile, so we add holes. We let the clay dry a little and then the kids add color with paint.
After class, I take the tiles home to my studio where they have ample time to dry.
I paint them with a clear glaze fire them in a kiln at Potters Place. Once finished, I added a couple of items for the students … an easel for display or a pretty ribbon for hanging before packaging them up for the students.
I will be offering my next Clay Class for Kids on Monday, December 2nd. The theme will be “Animals”. The class takes place at the Dedham Community House from 3:15-4:15pm. The deadline to sign up is Friday, November 29th. Click here to register.