2021 Ceramics

Academics, Arts

Pushing the Limits of Clay

By ​Randy Silver

Students opened Trimester 2 by making a 3D visual aide that addresses some aspect of their identities, learning about facial proportions as we sculpted human faces. We pivoted to nature, pushing the technical limits of clay by making ceramic arches like those we find in nature and architecture. Ultimately, we culminated in a major project: The Riddle of the Mysterious Seeds, wherein the class brainstormed six planter ideas, created one ceramic planter, and have now begun to grow seedlings. I provided the clay, sealant, brushes, soil, and seeds, but not the identity of these mysterious seeds.

Bubble tea planter box by Jack N. '22

Next, we explored and reported on Black Art and Artists. Part of this work included 3D modeling sculptures (some monumental, some miniscule) that reflected and were influenced by Black art and artists. The sculptures were placed, albeit virtually, in various appropriate settings, such as parks, museums, and historic venues. This project combined the power of Google Arts and Culture with the physical work of creating art.

Finally, we concluded the trimester with Map your Mind! in which students create a graphic organizing tool call Mind Mapping. They were then asked to map the TED talk (about 18 minutes long) to deepen their understanding of the lecture and to aide/anchor their memories. Mind mapping includes relevant colors, doodles, fonts, and connections which are lacking in conventional note-taking methodologies. By learning this alternative method of reflecting on a subject, or lecture, students' own thoughts, artwork, and connections are incorporated into the learning, and students may feel more invested able to recall information in the future. Plus, it's fun!

The purpose of this curriculum was to introduce students to diverse art and artists, to learn more about themselves and their individual identities, to be creative and curious, to push the limits of clay, to learn new technology, to engage in mindfulness and focused creation, and to welcome the mysterious and hopeful wonder of nature.

Face by Sasha H. '23