SchoolArts Magazine

April 2016

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 33 33 SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM Creating Capsules After students have planned their designs, they will create clay forms from low-fire white clay. They can determine the shape, style, color, and surface texture of their capsules, then use one or more of the following hand- building methods: coil, pinch, or slab. Clay forms should be at least ¼" (0.6 cm) thick and an overall size of 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm). Two separate pieces of the form are rolled, cut, or shaped. Addi - tional surface design or texture can be added using clay tools. The edges are scored and pressed together on three sides, creating a concave form. At this point, students should cover or wrap a small ball of clay in a piece of newspaper and place it inside the form. When fired, the newspaper will burn and the ball will remain inside, creating a rattle. This is to remind students of their hopes and dreams every time they pick it up and shake it. An alternative option is to offer a raku firing. Its limited color range works well with the textured clay and carries with it a strong ele- ment of surprise. The forms can then be sealed, except for a narrow opening large enough for the placement of a piece of paper or note card after the work is fired and glazed. Students should decide if the final piece will hang on the wall or be placed on a flat surface. Have them drill a small hole on the back if they want to hang it. A Test of Patience When the capsules are completed and at a leather-hard stage, have students incise on one side the words "Hopes and Dreams" and on the other side, their names and date on which the project was created and the date when it will be opened. Bisque-fire the work when com- pletely dry. A wash of underglaze can then be applied to pick up surface designs and textures. Clear glaze and an additional firing can be added if desired. Each student's personal let - ter about the work is signed, folded, and placed in the open seam of the completed piece. The drama in the work lies in hoping that students will wait ten years before reading their personal notes. How, as art teachers, can we explore varied visual concepts that will develop skills and increase per- sonal meaning? We can do this with all age levels; it takes creative think- ing and a willingness to take the risk. In this case, the results will be ones students will want to keep and will find amazing years later. Ken Vieth is an art education consultant, a contributing author of The Visual Expe- rience, and author of From Ordinary to Extraordinary and Engaging the Adoles- cent Mind (Davis Publications). kcvieth@ gmail.com Angela Mikula is a K– 8 art teacher at Delaware Township School in Seargents- ville, New Jersey. amikula@ dtsk8.org 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 content. W E B L I N K www.youtube.com/ watch?v=h0HZoEJd6P0 We, as art educators, can offer our students both creative expression and the potential for personal reflection. S M A G A Z I N E C O M

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