Thursday, January 9, 2020

Exeter-Milligan Update: Art News

Art News Update
By Lisa Kanode, K-12 Art Instructor at Exeter-Milligan

We’ve learned to recycle clay in the art room so with all the extra clay laying around we have taken advantage of making a lot of hand built and wheel thrown pottery. Fifth graders are doing a simple study of ancient Greek Amphora’s and how they were used and then they take their hand at building coil bowls of their own. Second graders make fish sculptures out of clay and work on creating textures in their clay that look a little fishy. First graders make pinch pots and experiment with the different colors of glaze. We haven’t yet gotten to the 3rd grade castles and 4th grade platters, but the high school art students have built slab pottery and a few even worked on the pottery wheel, some of them with great success! Some of the high school students are learning about loading and unloading the kiln and how often you have to check and adjust the temperature of the kiln. In our fast paced world with so much instant gratification, this is one art activity that teaches and encourages patience as after building your piece, you then wait 1-2 weeks for it to slowly and surely dry completely before doing a bisque firing, then you get to see if your piece survived the kiln. After that you can add the glaze and then wait for enough pieces to be ready to load the kiln and have it fired again. The pieces will be on display in the school libraries and at the schools music concerts. Please be careful when handling your pottery as some of us have already learned that they are more fragile than we think, and while most broken things are fixable, they will never be quite the same again! A quote by Maya Angelou reminds us to keep practicing our creativity, which I encourage you all to do! “You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have.” In other words if we don’t use our creativity the opposite is sure to happen and we will lose it! My student’s come into the art room and it’s like a weight is lifted off their shoulders, it is one place they can think their own thoughts and do their own work, no one paper should be the same, therefore no really right or wrong answer is discovered, just lots of thinking and discovering going on.

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