The show was absolutely amazing. I was so happy to see each student showing of there artwork to their parents. I think the students also had a good time re-arranging the room and writing up the descriptions of each lesson. They took the whole show very seriously and I couldn’t be happier with the result!
This past Saturday was our second to last day of ceramics at Pratt Institute’s Saturday Art School. After my experience last semester where several pieces of student art work not being fired in time for our final show, I decided that the second to last week we would already be done with glazing and that I would bring in a mix of medias for my students, instead of having people glazing up until the last minute, and risk not having everything ready for our final show. So the week before this one I had each student glaze all of their work, every last piece, no matter what. So most everything was out of the kiln this week and had been through it’s second firing. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the studio technicians had prioritized our work. Considering there are also ceramics graduate students sharing the same studio, this was very nice of them.
I came equipped with two glue guns: one for me, one for my 15 year old assistant. I also brought, a bunch of paper scraps, pipe cleaners, acrylic model paint, pom-poms, feathers, and a big bag of multi-colored plastic beads. Each student could pick up to 3 of their finished pieces to decorate. They were encouraged to plan before they brought me things to hot-glue to their work, and also we took a moment to look at a few mixed media artists including Paul Klee’s puppets, which I love. I also provided white Elmer’s glue in case they wanted to do the gluing themselves.
Here are some more amazing examples of my Pratt Saturday Art School students glazing their amazing objects.
In case you are wondering what our inspiration has been (not story books) we have been looking at some living artists including: Megan Bogonovich, Alyssa Ettinger, and many more. I like to bring living, practicing, local artists into the classroom, because I feel like it gives ceramics more serious context.
Each student had to draw and write a proposal to me before they were aloud to grab handfuls of squishy fresh clay. “You need to have a direction!” I stressed. I also explained that if, while working with the clay, they changed their mind, they could. All I wanted was for them to have a well thought out place to start their experimentation.
“You cannot drop the drop molds! They are made of plaster, so they could crack. Please be careful.”
I am lucky to have a calm, respectful group of young tweens in my Saturday Art School. They respect me and my advice, but since they are kids they often get overly excited and make a goof here and there. Today we had some clay go through the slab roller with no canvas to protect it, and of course I wasn’t really annoyed, but I felt that I had to a stink. I wanted to make it into an example of how important it is that we respect the studio space.They bought it. I stressed that I didn’t care who did it just that it never happened again, and I am positive it wont.
So we created bowls using drop molds. It was a great day for experimentation.
“Yay! We get to throw clay at the wheels!”
Very funny. Ten year olds think they’re hilarious. This past Saturday Art School ceramics class we tried out the pottery wheel. Everyone looked excited… little did they know, what frustration and disappointment lay in wait. Fortunately for them, I was experienced in the difficulties and disappointment of the pottery wheel, and not a whole lot else. I have years of experience when it comes to using the wheel, but I have never really enjoyed it enough to pursue it and perfect my technique. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to give a good example. As it turned out, my inability to make it look easy set my students up to feel better about how difficult this technique was. By the end of the class each student had made at least one, and no-one had gotten upset about their one or two or three failed attempts.
This is an example of my ceramic students hard at work. Here you can see students working in pairs at the slab rolling station. Using communication and asking each other “are you ready?” before they begin, we learn that some art takes team work and more than two hands.
We used tools to add and subract from our tiles. When students came in each of them had a pre-rolled tile that was theirs to practice with before they began decorating their final tiles.