SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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High School Studio Lesson insiDe out Vessels Safia Fatimi I could try out various clay techniques. find clay a wonderful introducWe began with organic coil forms tory medium for high-school stuand looked at works of art that had dio art. It is not intimidating and organic shapes (Georgia O'Keeffe and gives students the opportunity Picasso) and nonorganic shapes (Monto express directly with their hands. drian). Students made various types Since our school does not have a kiln, of coils to create free-form sculptures. we used a self-hardening clay for this For the next lesson, students project. worked in groups to create a fantasy We began by discussing the origins vessel. We discussed what a vessel of clay and where clay and ceramics is and I asked are found in the world around us. Students visualized how they each group "If you could create We also talked might be able to show their a fantasy vessel, about why artists personalities through clay. what might it might choose to look like?" and work with clay "What would it be used for?" Students rather than another material. We used pinch and appliqué techniques began with a series of introductory to create a fantasy vessel. Scoring and explorations by experimenting with melding were demonstrated to the ways we can change clay by using class to ensure that their appliqué just our hands. pieces would not fall off when dry. At the end of this mini lesson, we voted Exploring Techniques for the vessels under the categories of To begin this project, we did a series best use of technique, best artistry, of one-day lessons where students 26 December 2008 SchoolArts and most creative. Other techniques I taught were inlay and slab. Students created slabs and experimented with creating texture by pressing materials such as lace, steel wool, sandpaper, and found objects into the clay surface. The last method I touched on was the mold technique, where clay is pushed into the inside of a container, and, once the clay dries, it takes the shape of that container. With this technique, I stressed the importance of keeping the clay moist in order to keep working on the inside of the vessels. Inside Out Vessels The final project required students to combine any three of the above techniques to create a final vessel. We discussed how people often have split personalities. How you are on the inside might be different than how you portray yourself to the world

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