I LOVE teaching clay. As a personal artist, I'd consider myself to be a painter and don't get me wrong I love teaching painting lessons, in fact we do it a lot, but there's something magical about clay. I'm excited about it, the kids are excited about it...life is good. There's a different type of creating and learning that happens when students have clay in front of them. An application of building and a different type of thinking is certainly evident when students are hard at work. Isn't it amazing how much better they listen when that clay project is on the line? There's always an exception, but most students LOVE clay.
I still have all of my clay pieces (as well as all my other artwork) from when I was in grade school even my squished, freaky little dinosaur in kindergarten to my first time throwing on the wheel in 6th grade. These past three years I've been kiln-less. At times it's a total bummer, because let's face it air dry clay just isn't the same. As a child, seeing how glazes work is one of the most magical things EVER! I've worked really hard these last 3 years to find ways to make air dry clay more like the real thing. I've definitely learned a thing or two. If you find yourself struggling because you're living in a kiln-less world (say that as if your singing Don't Stop Beilievin') sign up for the AOE Summer 2015 Conference, I'll be sharing some air dry clay magic!
In the mean time, look at the shine on these beautifully created flowers by 4th graders that were made for Mother's Day. Aren't they just awesome? I vote for more clay gardens--think of all the time we'd have (cough, cough, MOM)!
But then again, fresh tulips are always nice.