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An artist here in the Port Townsend area, Moll Peak, used clay in a neat
way to get people out exploring their watershed (that of Chimacum Creek).
She placed dragon tracks in a bunch of places - in cement, not clay, but
clay would be more beautiful.....Anyway, the tracks lead people to places
in a kind of game that you win when you find all the tracks. Clues are from
landscapes or important notes about the places.
I could see some kind of clay pieces scattered around your area, playfully
leading people out and about to explore wildlife habitats, historical
places, or whatever...
Differing from the Pickerington exchange idea, this might also be a way to
bring artists together with kids by exchanging PLACE as well as a piece of
art. Aren't certain kinds of clay in your area well known for the
differences? Maybe the clays could be pieced together somehow,
>Hello again Artednetters!
>A number of things intrigued me as I read about the activities that the
>Pickerington community embraced:
> 1. The goal of the study was simple and succinct--- to discover
>the unigue, natural beauty within their community.
> 2. Mary Sheridan, together with teachers and friends at
>Pickerington Elementary school, created "learning experiences disquised as
> 3. These backyard adventures soon evolved from a focus on local
>ecological issues to incorporating world ecological issues. The
>environmental "Issue Package Project" partners students to adult artists.
>The "issue packages" had 3 components: a ceramic tile, written prose or
>poetry, and a decorated container that would represent the student's
>concerns for the local wetlands.
> 4. The resources of information and funding came from diverse
>sources and indicated that the program has a solid foundation of support.
>All programs need this to survive year-after-year.
>The project taught the students the value of cooperative communication and
>the value of diversity (different personalitites, cultures, ages,
>approaches, immages, writing skills, choices) in expressing a common
>theme: mutual concerns and hope for a healthy global environment. By
>pairing a child with an adult artist, enables the issue of environmental
>concerns to be a more relevant, valid, and multi-generational one.
>By the wonderful samples shown in the article, it is obvious that the
>children spent a great deal of time thinking about how their tiles would
>look, what their poems would express, and how their containers would
>reflect the school theme. The three components of the issue packages
>taught the students to experiment with materials, generate their own
>ideas, and share those ideas in their own words--skills the students will
>carry with them always. The entire community of Pickerington has learned
>to come together and learn from one another.
>A similar project here in the desert southwest would be really fun to do.
>Certain adaptations would occur to suit our local environmental issues. I
>like the idea of the three components, but might substitute the ceramic
>tiles for some kind of ceramic jar that would utilize our own local clay.
>Once the three components of any student's project were complete, they
>would be housed in a large glass case, together with the partner's three
>components for the rest of the year. At the end of the year, the students
>would send theirs to their partners, and take their partner's home. The
>student's three components would represent the student's concern for
>saving, say, long-horn sheep, pygmy owls, wolves, or other locally
>endangered species or ecosystems that our research might reveal.
>The following points are ways that I might integrate the project with
>other subject areas:
> 1. The class could discuss the science of preparing clay for
>firing, the different forms of clay, the change in composition it makes
>when exposed to high temperatures, the role of glazes or paints.
> 2. I could plan specific cooperative/sharing activities with any
>subject that would improve communication skills (ie. attaching words to
>thoughts, concerns, feelings).
> 3. Literature sessions that introduce poetry and prose that focus
>on environmental issues. The class could explore symbols (for their
>container) that might express the desired themes. Creative writing
>workshops could be geared to develop original poetry or to write to their
> 4. Computer Lab time would enable the student to correspond with
>the adult-artist partner during the school year.
> 5. Biology lessons could foster research on certain endagered
>wild-life and fragile ecosystems unique to the area.
>It would be very fascinating to see other communities collaborate in
>similar, yet unique styles, depending on each community's environmental