Thursday, September 10, 2009

Working with Kids

Last week, Ben's teacher asked me if I would come to class to make clay Cherokee masks with the 4th graders to go along with the unit they were studying. If I needed substantiation that moving Ben to this school was a good idea, I got it. You've got to love a teacher who integrates the arts and utilizes parent volunteers.

I rolled out slabs and showed the class of 23 how to cut off the corners to make an oval. When working with kids, I try to interject only when necessary to demonstrate technique or ask open-ended questions. Ben likes to assist, too, handing out tools and showing his peers the best way to attach coils or apply slip. However, when it was over he described the experience as "havoc".

I brushed a clear glaze over the masks and single-fired them yesterday. I unloaded today and will deliver them this afternoon. I think the students will be happy. I thought the clear was a bit too thin, but the masks are supposed to be primitive so it works. Also, the green slip was not very green at all. I guess I'll double the copper.

In other news, I have been making some rather large baskets. I haven't been able to photograph them because I have no batteries for my good camera, and I can't figure out how to get the flash to work on the other one. Those pictures will have to wait until one of my kids can teach me how to set up the camera.

Another sure-fire sign of being on the wrong side of the generation gap.


  1. I recognize the Cherokee symbols in these masks, what a great project. Sometimes I wish I had some kids to teach me some things about electronics and computers.