Cynthia Guajardo has some great blogs about her kids classes, so I thought I would put up some shots of some of my favorite class projects from 2007/2008 at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro. Usually my classes have a theme like a children's book, a particular culture, a holiday or working in the style of an artist that we study. I try to incorporate some learning with the clay projects instead of just mindlessly working away (like I do!) My two upcoming camps are going to be fun, not a lot of clay involved. Next week is Peace Arts and we will design peace sign posters and mandalas (thanks to Michael Kline's wife Stacey for the mandala lesson). Then we will go outside and create peace signs from found objects a la Andy Goldsworthy. I found a cool meditation for mandala work that we may do at the end of class. In February the camp will be about where artists find their inspiration and we will explore different ways of coming up with ideas, by looking at books about famous artists, looking at nature and our environment. Then we create using paint, clay and found objects. Should be fun!
I got tired of doing these big masks, uses a lot of clay and takes up lots of room in the kiln, so I switched to making the tiny ones below. They were so much fun to make. One week camps have firing constraints so I have started using acrylic paints and spray the pieces with a high gloss sealer. Much easier and just one bisque fire. Saves wear and tear on our poor old kilns.
These shots are from the Art Around the World camp. These lovely African ladies were just oval slabs of clay wrapped around with arms and a head added. We used metalic paints and spray sealer.
These huts were built to honor the people of Sierra Leone that lost their homes during the war. My partner at camp, Braima Mowai did the African drum/storytelling portion of camp and told stories of his village in Sierra Leone. The kids were very touched by this project. We put sand out on a long table and built a little village for family sharing day. Really fun!
The African village went so well, during the next camp I decided to construct a pueblo village. Not again! I can't even remember how many square slabs we cut for this construction. This was a HARD project to get through with thirty plus kids. And firing all of those little houses. What was I thinking!
It turned out pretty cool though. The kids took over, I lost complete control of the design. They built churches, schools, restaurants, a jail, little animals, etc. It took on a life of it's own. I brought in votive candles and put them inside all of the buildings for family sharing day. It was magical!
Art Around the World, Japanese Kimonos. Just an oval slab, stamped and then folded over. This was a big success, the kids liked this project a lot.
For my toddler class we read The Sleepy Owl and then made our own owls. Oval slab folded and then we used the end of a trimming tool to make the little feather scores. These were hung in the gallery on a long stick during the ArtsCenter's student show. The little toddlers were so cute coming to see their work in a gallery!
These are really fun to make, just a ball of clay and the use of little thumbs.