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baxter@fullchannel.net

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Everything posted by baxter@fullchannel.net

  1. Well, it's been several weeks now since starting to teach ceramics online. Here's what has worked: I had students create animal sculptures (which would have been our next project in clay) out of recycled objects. I really wanted them to continue to have a hands-on experience as much as possible. Each step of the way, I explained how we would do it with clay (and showed them, as I have clay at home) , and then explain and demo how to do it with found objects. I emphasize the problem-solving aspect that is the common thread across media. They built armatures from cardboard, foil, plastic soda bottles, egg cartons, etc. Then built up with paper, then paper mache over, and then paint. I had one student who created a 4 foot tall giraffe ! And another who made a very beautiful and realistic sculpture of her horse. Yet another was an ostrich, about 5 inches tall, complete with ribbon "feathers"! Again, not clay, but a 3D sculptural experience. Next assignment was to research animal sculptures through history, to give them a broader context for their animal sculptures. I wanted them to see that animals have fascinated artists for millenia. -i gave them some museum websites and google arts and culture as resources, and they are curating an animal gallery exhibit with a theme (ancient Egyptian Animals, Animals with Riders, Lions, are examples they came up with). They are working (virtually of course), in small groups during class time to create a virtual museum exhibit. Our next project corresponds with the next project in our clay curriculum - making leatherhard slab containers. Only now they will be making a cardboard geometric container, and will add texture with found objects. My Ceramics 2 class usually would be making a tea set for their final project. They have gone through the design process, and are now going to construct their tea pot with found objects, cardboard, etc, after learning about art styles , surrealism, and Meret Oppenheim's "Object". The majority of my students said they preferred to make 3D work rather than watch more videos. That being said, I have also videotaped myself on the wheel, so they could at least get the demos I would have done for them in class. (I tried to upload photos of student work, but the files are too big.)
  2. @Chilly Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, even the channel 4 episodes are not available outside the UK due to copyright issues.
  3. I was dismayed to find that the Great Pottery Throw Down episodes were taken down, too. Arghh! I am thinking I will contact the BBC and beg them to release them !
  4. 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!
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