SchoolArts Magazine

October 2015

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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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 35 subjects they are interested in. From there they draw to scale the shape of the piece and ideas for detailing the surface. The design problem for the cookie jar requires students to con- sider both the form of their pieces as well as how they function. The lesson includes several stipula- tions for the cookie jar to be success- ful. The lid cannot be just a knob, but must be a sculptural form that can be lifted with one hand. Since we are in earthquake country, the lid needs to fit securely on the piece. The opening of the jar has to be wide enough for a hand to fit in, and the jar has to be able to hold one box of cookies. Creating Templates To begin, students mock up their jars with oak tag and tape to examine the scale and how the slabs of clay will be joined. These oak tag pieces become the pattern pieces for cutting out the slabs from low-fire white clay. Working with Clay For round symmetrical forms, the slabs are pressed into plastic bowls lined with plastic wrap. When the domes are stiff enough to hold their shape, the two halves are joined together to create the form. Once the basic form is constructed, the sur- The design problem for the cookie jar requires students to consider both the form of their pieces as well as how the function. face of the jar is developed by adding details and sculpting the surface. When a student's design requires exact realistic details for the surface, real objects are cast in plaster and used as press molds for the clay. The final element of color is added with underglaze stain and low-fire clear glaze. Some students fabricate metal elements to add to their jars after the glaze firing to fully develop the theme. The final critique is both fun and delicious. Design criteria are checked by putting cookies in the finished jar and seeing if the lid and opening work with human hands. Ellen Mahoney is art department chair at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. emahoney@ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K Counter-clockwise, from left: Jack Rose, Gold Medal Flour; Naomie Rosenberg, Hot Cookies; Tanya Mashian, Maitre d'; Andrew Lockridge, UFO

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