Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Kitchen Sink: A Mini-Master Workshop at NCECA

One of the presentations I attended at NCECA last month was a Mini-Master Workshop in the K-12 education programming schedule. I got there early so I could be one of the first 40 people who got to work with the clay. Anyone after that quota was filled attended as an observer.

I'm sharing this because I think it was a fabulous exercise in creativity, and not just for kids. I would even do it at the beginning of a handbuilding class and then, again, at the end, since it would be fascinating to see the evolution of one's skills and creativity.

We were given a coffee cup tray with three plastic cups containing some materials, a leather hard slab of clay, a soft block of clay, a small bottle of ugly green glaze, a brush, and a pencil. When they were put in front of us, we were told not to touch anything until after instructions had been given and we were told to begin.

We recognized what was in one of the cups: a cross between soft clay and slip. As for the other two cups, we kept looking and guessing.

Once all the trays were distributed, we were told we had been given clay in all its forms: wet, plastic, dry (the pieces that looked like rocks), and grog (fired clay broken up into very small pieces). We had to use up everything (EVERYTHING, including all the glaze, excluding the containers unless we wished to incorporate them) on our tray and make a head. We had 45 minutes to work. "GO!"

The results were interesting and outstanding. Rather than write more, I'll simply present a gallery of what people created.

The Gallery Show after we cleaned up from the workshop.

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