SchoolArts Magazine

November 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 29 the clay, it was important to spray water on both the clay and the tar- paper so that they would adhere together. At this point, it was easy for students to cut patterns from the slabs with a fettling knife and wrap the pieces in plastic until the sides and base were cut and ready to assemble. Joining the Torso Students made several decisions in how they wished the shapes of their torsos to be joined, and explored the range of possibilities for development of the surface decoration of the clay. To join the pieces, some students decided to add space between the slabs and rolled out long, 3" wide clay strips so the form had angular edges. Others chose to join the edges of the two main parts, creating a curved envelope form. Each student had to figure out the size slab they needed to roll for the bottom of the vessel so that it would stand on its own. The tarpaper made a wonderful support for the slabs that helped students assemble their large-scale pieces. It also helped to keep the clay moist over the many days of the proj- ect. Students slipped and scored the parts together and pressed in small coils in all of the inside seams. Once the pieces were connected, the tarpa- per was peeled off to reveal a curved vessel form. Surface Solutions The range of surface decoration that students chose reflected the experience they had with glazes and their desire to take their surface designs to the next level. Some of the torsos were incised with surface decorations; underglaze stains were applied with brushes or airbrushed with stencils. Finished pieces were bisque-fired, glazed, and refired. To add shimmer to the forms, one student even went to a third firing and applied luster glazes to the form. Another student added decorative sparkles after the firing. When all of the torsos stood together for the final critique, it looked like an artistic fancy dress ball. Students were impressed with the engineer- ing problems they had over- come, and the individual solutions to the surface design challenges were delightful! Ellen Mahoney is art depart- ment chair at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. emahoney@ buck- N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relat- ing artistic ideas and work with per- sonal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K Page/Engage/Arts/ Visual-Arts Natalie Proshak, ninth grade. Underglaze stains.

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