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Response to SanD re: student kiln cleaning after the "big one"

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Jun 06 2004 - 13:40:59 PDT


Here's just one more aspect being mulled over by my "soft, easy"
disciplinarian brain...
What IF I make a kid clean out the mess in the kiln from the explosion
and it was the most beautiful piece of art they ever made, they are
heartbroken, feel worthless, either in tears or on the verge, like a
complete clay buffoon... Am I rubbing salt in the wound or teaching
them anything by making them clean up the shards of ruin from their
ceramic dream gone amok??? How do we separtate the purposeful and
willful ceramic bomb makers from the kid who tried their hardest and
still the kiln Gods were not with them? I was once so devastated by a
casserole I made in college. I can still remember the feeling of
unloading the kiln and seeing it there. I thought it was the most
perfect casserole ever made by ceramic making humankind It had the
PERFECT handle. I mean PERFECT! It's shape was oh so beautifully round
and soft. The lid FIT PERFECTLY! I was in awe of myself and the piece
felt like it was being channelled from God above. Purely by chance or
divine intervention, it looked like an intergalactic friendship
casserole in the shape of Saturn to me. the handle was clasped hands
with the shape and finger formation of aliens. I could hardly wait to
see it. I just knew the glaze would be gorgeous too, as I really took
my time on that. I mean, I got to school early just to see it! I
wonder now, had I been 8 or 9 years old, COULD I have withstood the
sight of the tragedy and bitten the bullet of foul fate? Would I have
SO LOVED anyone who would clean out the mess for me? Or, would I have
grown as a person and become tougher and a better person/artist as a
result of cleaning off the shelves and vacuuming out the inside of the
kiln. San D, I think I know what you are going to say. In fact, I am
sure that in your beautifully realistic and most gentle way, you would
have handed me the dustpan, lol. Perhaps I still carry some baggage
from that sordid day, lol. I do hope you know I am having fun with you,
but I really do like your style. Thanks for the memory. I feel better
now. I think I will let them help me clean it. We'll share the grief
together. Now, if I KNOW the perpetrator was willful in their creation
of a ceramic bomb, I will gladly lock them in the kiln closet for a week
and let them contemplate their dispicable deed before I hand them the
dust pan. Just kidding.... But I would defintely feel no remorse about
letting them clean it up, and thanks to you, I will know that I might
help them to grow up a little and become a more responsible American
citizen and artist.
Ya never know where something you say might lead you...I have a great
big grin on my face just thinking about all of this. Have a nice
evening, oh wise ceramic sage woman.

Linda Woods

Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School

www.sjs.org
 click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.

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