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RE: Teaching kids to center on the wheel


From: Hillmer, Jan (HillmJan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 25 2004 - 05:44:09 PST

After he gets the general sequence down, have your student practice these skill swith his eyes closed. Then centering the clay is not about looking at all.
An artist-in-residence taught me this way, and what a huge difference it made!
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thu 11/25/2004 8:23 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Teaching kids to center on the wheel

        Holding hands at 8:00 and 2;00 helped me to learn. Also, when I throw
        on the wheel, my left hand is SLIGHTLY higher than my right hand. I
        imagine that my left hand is pushing slightly across center and up, my
        right hand is pushing the clay back to center and up, if that makes
        sense. The right hand sort of corrals and raises the clay that my left
        hand moves slightly over center. You can't just thnk of centering,
        there is also an upwards push across center from both sides as you
        center. The angle I envision of pushing up across center is slightly
        less than 45 degrees. This is so hard to talk about. I wonder if this
        makes sense. I remember trying so hard to learn to center. Everyone in
        my class was throwing and centering, making bowls, cups, etc. for WEEKS
        before I was. I almost quit. The day I finally got it, it was like the
        doors flung open. I LOVED it. It can be so frustrating until then.
        Give him a hug for me! You have to envision across center and up at the
        same time. That way the clay is working into a spiral on the wheel
        head. This compresses the clay more and is the way air bubbles get
        worked out if you have any. When you come back down, you push over on
        the top and catch it and push back towards center with the right hand.
        On the way down, the left hand is slilghtly higher than the right as it
        was on the way up. Keep those hands at 8:00 and 2:00. Prayer helps
        too, haha.
        Linda Woods
        Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
         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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