I also teach high school ceramics and have been told by my administrators that I cannot send clay home. I am struggling with how to make the rest of the semester engaging and meaningful, with some actual hands-on 3D experiences for my students, in addition to the obvious watching videos and critiquing them.
Here's what I have come up with so far:
1. creating works in my home studio, videotaping my works in progress, and then having them critique my technique ( i will do some "bad " examples as well as good techniques, so they can visually see the difference. ) yes, I know it's a video, but not a youtube!
2. speaking of youtube, though, " The Great Pottery Throw Down 'is a must-see reality TV show from BBC, where potters hone their skills with different, usually wheel-based clay challenges. I plan on assigning some of these episodes to my students. check it out! I binge-watched all of the seasons!
3. go on a digital field trip - check out Google Cultural Arts institute for virtual tours of museums around the world - and have the students curate their own ceramics exhibit in a powerpoint or google slide presentation. they or you! can choose a theme, time period, object (cups through history, coil forms through history, vase forms, surface decoration, examples of scraffitto, etc)
4. some ideas that are not directly utilizing clay, but will give a 3D experience:
- create Andy Goldsworthy -style sculptures and photograph and upload to google classroom
- use found objects/recyclable materials from their recycle bin (empty cereal boxes, plastic caps and bottles, etc) to create an armature to then paper mache over. wheat paste can easily be made for paper mache. themes might include animals ( I usually have my ceramics 1 students create an animal sculpture, so I think I will do this), or a high relief animal bust, or a 2D version of a master artist's painting, or....
- i am contemplating having them make a salt dough recipe, just so they can practice the techniques we haven't gotten to yet. I must say I am ambivalent about this, as it seems so "elementary school", yet I think it would be therapeutic for them to actual wedge it and form it, and have some familiarity with clay as a medium. Plus it's non-toxic. And there are some pretty elaborate examples out there, of artists who have chosen to work with salt dough as a way of working in "clay" without a kiln, and with a low budget. salt dough ideas include : coil forms (wrap around a glass jar, which can be baked in the oven); personal adornments - personalized pendant with symbols that represent themselves; earrings, bracelets, using patterns, stamping, piercing. these can be painted, or dyed with food coloring in process or "painted" after forming; patchwork platter - texture smaller slabs of clay and join/slump them into a plate or platter form; animal sculptures
That's all I've got for now. I hope this helps to get your creative juices flowing! Please let's keep the conversation going. And remember - we can do this - we are creatives - we are best-equipped to think outside the box!