Magazine article Arts & Activities

"Let Me Out!" Pots

Magazine article Arts & Activities

"Let Me Out!" Pots

Article excerpt

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Middle-school students will ...

* exhibit on understanding of the source of the clay body.

* use clay terminology and become reacquainted with the tools, equipment and various techniques involved in working with clay and glazes.

* define the properties of clay and its potentials as a plastic medium.

* properly wedge a mass of clay to eliminate air bubbles.

* construct a hand built piece of pottery following guidelines.

* use design elements in a 3D form.

* apply a surface decoration to the finished sculpture.

* derive success and pleasure from the finished piece.

Working with clay is one of the oldest crafts known to mankind. Even before recorded history, man was shaping clay into useful and beautiful objects because this material is so plastic when it is moist. When clay is dried, it is hard enough to hold its shape, and when it's fired in a kiln it has a stone-like durability that lasts for many centuries.

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Some civilizations believed that each lump of clay taken into one's hands housed some being inside it just waiting to pop out. With that idea in mind, I assigned my students "Let Me Out!" pots. I told my students their lumps of clay were housing "creatures" and that they were to take the clay and "release" the being inside it. Of course, at first the students looked at me like I was out in left field but, once they got to work, they were so engaged in the activity they forgot they originally thought my idea was "weird"! …

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