As I watch the cities and towns turn from green to yellow, I’m reminded that patience is important. I miss being in the classroom; I miss the closeness that comes from sitting opposite a student and pulling a pot up together; I miss the close interaction with a child who is frustrated and needs a helping hand; I miss so much that this pandemic has forced us to press pause on.
The upside of pressing pause and rethinking how to teach has provided new opportunities for personal growth and adding technical tools to my teaching regime. This can only be a good thing. Here are some of the teaching opportunities available to students of all ages.
I had a great summer teaching pottery to kids in grades 2-5. They were fun and creative and seemed to really enjoy the experience of working with clay. Here’s a look at some of the projects we worked on in Week 1.
Coral Reefs: before with wet clay and after with colorful glazes.
Here is a look at the projects we worked on in Week 2:
Pinch pot animals, sea creatures or fish (and the cookie monster!)
Covered jars in the form of a favorite dessert.
It’s always a great experience to teach clay for Newton Community Education! Check out my next post on what the teens created during their week of summer pottery class.
My spring session of Kids Clay included mostly repeat students. This allowed me to introduce more difficult projects and let the kids make more creative choices. We focused on three main projects that were multifaceted. We reviewed basic techniques, such as pinching, coiling, texture, slab and attaching to build the final work. Students enjoyed the “play” factor: moving the pieces around to create their own stories. It was a joy to see their creative solutions.
Project One: Turtles in their environment
Project Two: It’s my Birthday
Project Three: Pretend you are a scientist and you discovered a new species of animal. Create that new animal.
Summer pottery class with older students in grades 3-6 were taught techniques to create work in clay. The older students were able to understand and grasp concepts in a different way than the younger students. Sometimes they were more hesitant to take chances, but when they did, they were rewarded. Their finished pieces show maturity and understanding of skills. Here is a look at a few of my favorite pieces from this 4 day summer pottery camp at Newton Community Education.
Ben’s pinch pot dinosaur
Mairead’s pinch pot turtle
Brianna’s coil pot
“Create your own” utilizing pinch pots and coil
Mio’s “Create your own” utilizing slab, texturizing and scratch & attach with slip.
These imaginative students were a thoughtful group who found joy in creating with clay – yipee!
I have had the great opportunity to spend an afternoon once a week for the last 14 weeks with a group of 1-3rd graders to teach them about clay. Here is a look at some of my favorite pieces from the semester… This week is our final one and the children will see their glazed pieces and have their own art opening! This is my favorite day 🙂
pinch pots with lids
mobiles from slab with a prompt: “to hang in your room”
butterflies with texture
themed projects – animals
form and function with slab and coil
“Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment.” -MaryAnn F. Kohl
“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.