This past weekend, I attended several workshops on working with clay. Specifically, how it relates to teaching clay projects in an elementary classroom. The schools where we live now do not have art teachers in the schools. Instead, they solicit parent volunteers to act as “Art Docents” to provide art “classes” in the elementary schools. Personally, I think it is tragic that there aren’t art teachers. I mean, really?!?! Especially, coming from a place where there have always been (and hopefully always will be) art teachers (and music, library, and P.E. teachers as well).
Anyway, I learned the basics of clay. I learned some projects aimed at K-2 students (or those with little to zero experience with clay). I learned some projects and more advanced techniques aimed at the 3-5 (and beyond) students. Lastly, I learned a lot about glazes.
The entire weekend was fun. I learned about everything, but the fun part was playing with the clay and making all of those projects myself. Now, my dining room table is covered (well, about 1/3 of it) with my clay sculptures and such, drying. The discussion on glazes was interesting. While I’ve done ceramics and used glazes, I’ve never had to pay attention to what I’ve purchased in terms of matching the type of clay to the type of glazes before. I merely had to decide on the color and sheen that I wanted to use for a particular piece. I’ve also never made the object myself, but started out with greenware (usually from a poured mold). I’m looking forward to the clay being dry so it can be fired, then glazed, then fired and done!!!
In the meantime, today, I loaded the school kiln with a project that Phoebe’s class has been working on and started it going (with another Art Docent’s guidance). It was easy, really. I’ll find out how everything came out when we unload it on Friday!