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Re: [teacherartexchange] clay

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From: Gayle Parent (gayleparent_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Apr 27 2008 - 15:42:34 PDT


I agree, all my students work with clay at the same time, there is a
bit of clay on all the tables, a bit on the floor, which is swept
every night, but I don't have dust everywhere. I like things really
clean, but art rooms just aren't that way, unless the teacher works
miracles with students, or unless the teacher does a lot of cleaning
every day. Working in clay is so different from drawing and
painting, that I love to provide them with that experience.

Another clay topic.....how about elementary school students on the
wheel? I am one who enjoys hand building, and do not enjoy
throwing. I have two wheels in my room, and would rather not use
them. What are your thoughts and experiences working with students
grades 4-6?

Thank you for your ideas!

Gayle

On Apr 27, 2008, at 2:57 PM, mbortzfield wrote:
> I too was afraid of clay the very first time I taught the medium to
> my elementary school students, but ignorance is bliss! The kiln
> was intimidating but not anymore, a few explosions happened here
> and there due to air pockets but I simply had the students come
> during studio time and gave them another opportunity to try again.
> I have even held greenware over the summer so students may finish
> them the following year if I do not have enough projects to warrant
> a full kiln firing.
>
> I dove right in dedicating a whole month to just clay building and
> glazing. Figuring if the room was going to be messy, so be it -
> might as well be for everyone. (I too have a smart board and
> laptop along with janitors who leave cobwebs on the window sills
> and dust everywhere, oh well.)
>
> Clay is my students favorite unit and I cannot imagine not being
> able to teach clay sculpture to them. I am fortunate enough to be
> in a district where all the elementary schools have their own
> kiln. Thank goodness, because my first year teaching my kiln broke
> and I actually personally transported all the greenware to another
> school and fired there. Taking work back and forth for weeks,
> working out a schedule with my colleague and allowing everyone to
> create a clay project. Looking back, I was nuts!
>
> I bought books to study, asked my colleagues and searched the
> internet for tips then just went at it and I have not looked back.
> Currently, my enrichment class after school are building fantastic
> bird houses with slab technique. Newspaper wrapped around a coffee
> can allows a sleeve for the can to be pulled out thus leaving a
> round hollow form waiting to be decorated. One of my students
> created a snake head with it's mouth opened for the bird to enter
> into it's home! It's body coils around the outside then the tip of
> the tail and rattles are the hook on the top of the house.
>
> Now how could I not teach clay sculpture?
>
> mb in jersey
>
> p.s. A great supplier of beautiful white clay is Ceramic Supply in
> Lodi, New Jersey.
>
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