5th grade tile project


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.

IMG_9705Prior 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.

IMG_2045Sue 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:

IMG_3549 IMG_3550 IMG_3551 IMG_3552

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!

Potters in local schools


Potters in local schools

With 96 tiles in tow, Potters Place potters Susan Brum and Lisa Walker visit the 5th grade at Elm Street Elementary School to instruct on clay.  This is the first of a two part visit.  Part one gives the students a chance to create a tile using a wet clay tile.  We teach them how to create relief (build up and add on) as well as to incise or carve to translate their two dimensional  idea into a three dimensional sculptural tile.


The students worked really hard.  They were focused, creative and enjoyed working with the clay.  At the end of our visit, we gave a preview of the painting they will do when we return next week.  They will be able to add details and color before their work heads back to Potters Place to fire in the kiln.


Some of the many beautiful tiles created at Elm Street School:


Makes you smile, doesn’t it?!


Great attention to detail and the look of someone having a lot of fun playing with clay!

Dedham Square Artist Guild Artists Offer Classes


Dedham Square Artist Guild Artists Offer Classes

Here are options for clay classes offered by me:

If your child is interested in learning the basics of pottery, this class
is a great way to try it out. Each student will create a hand built item from about a pound of clay. Different dates will have different themes and teach new techniques.
The finished work will be left with the instructor to apply clear glaze and
fire it in a kiln. Families will be contacted when art is ready for pick

Monday, October 7th 3:15-4:15 pm theme: Halloween
Monday, November 4th 3:15-4:15 pm theme: Thanksgiving
Monday, December 2nd 3:15-4:15 pm theme: Animals

Clay Class ~ Commemorative Tile
Grades 5 – 8
7:00-8:00 PM

This class will explore self expression in the form of a commemorative
tile. Students will design their project, create a 3 dimensional sculptural
tile, add details with colorful underglaze paints, coat the tile with a
clear glaze and learn about the kiln firing process (instructor will kiln
fire the completed work and contact students when ready for pick up)

Thursday, October 17
Thursday, October 24
Thursday, October 31 (no class – it’s halloween!)
Thursday, November 7
Thursday, November 14

Registration for classes … follow the link to Dedham Community House

Winter Scenes – Adult Workshop (Part Two)


Winter Scenes – Adult Workshop (Part Two)

Out of the bisque fire and ready to be glazed for the final firing. Looking lovely! Part three will have pictures of finished work.

In a collaboration between Dedham Square Artist Guild and DCH, artist members host classes and share their skills with Dedham residents.

“…pay attention to the details at every step in the ceramic process, your results will be successful. Instead of just wedging, throwing, trimming and decorating without direction, you’ll see the benefits of understanding how your vision of the finished piece is influenced by every thing you do along the way.” a commentary on Tom Turner’s teaching

“…pay attenti…