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!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
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
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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