Saturday, November 6, 2021

Ceramic Food Shaped Boxes


Ceramic pie slices are secret boxes that nod to Wayne Thiebaud dessert paintings

From photography to claymation to clay. It's been nothing but smooth transitions between units this year in my art class and hopefully it will continue as I move the students into sculpture in other media. This was a project week because there is almost nothing high school students love more than food. 

The assignment was to use the slab roller and the score and slip technique,  to create a box with a lid, that looks like food. So students are getting a feel for the medium and the processes, while exercising their creative problem solving skills.

Pop Artist, Claus Oldenburg, is the perfect Art History tie in. And I even included snacks as a real world connection (as if they needed one.)

Teaching special needs means I get to hear a student squeal with glee each time they make a chocolate chip and add it to her pie. Just goes to show that big kids need to play too.

Festival of Trees Clay Ornaments: Peace, Love and Braille

Claymation is as natural a segue into ceramics, as a school-wide event is to a community event. So my art students went from having our mini animation film fest to the festival of trees. This is our 3rd year to participate in the Festival of Trees exhibit at Macon Georgia's Museum of Art and Science. It is a way for us to have a presence in the community, support the museum's fundraiser, and to subtly advocate and inform. We titled this tree: Peace, Love, and Braille.

Most terracotta ornaments were dry brushed with paint, while most porcelain were glazed 

My students love working in clay because it is such a tactile experience. For this tree, they rolled slabs, cut shapes, pressed textures, and stamped words into the clay ornaments. If we didn't have cookie cutters or cups to cut the shapes we wanted, we made our own templates out of Braille book cover plastic. 

 Many of the students at the school read Braille, which is a code created by Louis Braille in France about 200 years ago, using raised dots to represent letters. Other students have some vision and can read print if it is large enough. Peace, Love Hope, andJoy are the words represented in many of the ornaments (in print and/or Braille) because that is what we wish for each of you this holiday season, and always.

While at the museum decorating the tree, we explored what the museum had to offer: mini zoo, art galleries, bat cave, artist's loft, and science floor. We met the museum's director and the director of education, who is hopeful about working with us at some point in the future. We topped off the trip by stopping for ice cream on the way back to the school. 
Whether in Large Print or Braille, what better way to usher in the holiday season than with peace, love, hope, joy, and a morning to explore  the museum?