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
Thank you for your ideas!
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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