As Judy (hello there) said, you do not need a kiln for a ceramics lesson! It
helps but there are ways...
Given you have an open body clay (add plenty of grog) you could fire small
pinch pots and other ornaments in a a paper or saw dust kiln, or pit. There
is also something called a teepee kiln (which I still have to try). As long
as you limit the size of the objects and you are not too fussy if everything
breaks then this is a wonderful learning experience for the kids. Link this
lesson with decorating techniques, burnishing, painting with oxides,
carving, then fire. If it comes to the worse and everything breaks, you
could link this to archaeology and prehistory (the pots often do end up
looking like pre historic remains) and have fun putting them back together.
There is scope for being creative even here, in the way in which the pieces
are put together!
From: Judith Decker [mailto:jdecker4art@...
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 4:03 PM
To: Art Education; Art Teachers-World; ArtsEducators; TAB-Choice
Subject: [art_education] How can I teach ceramics without a kiln?
Greetings Art Educators,
This is a frequent question on the art ed lists....
Here is a lesson you can do that teaches history of
ceramics through drawing:
TAB Choice can adapt this lesson for one of your
centers. It would be so easy to create some posters
that teach a little about the history/culture -
including various decoration of the culture.
What stories do these ancient vessels tell? How did
the artists abstract nature? How do you think these
vessels were used? Students can then do a large
drawing of vessel that is narrative (telling about
his/her culture). An alternate idea would be scratch
foam print of a vessel - then accented with
Prismacolors. Cut the print vessel out and mount on
Since air dry clay is so expensive, students could
make a small air dry vessel or plate - then decorate
in your choice of media (paints, markers, prisma
colors, etc). It is very easy to make a bowl by
pressing clay inside a Chinette bowl - or make a plate
using a Chinette plate. Simple how to's for coil pots
or pinch potts could be outlined.
Since Arts and Activites does not keep their articles
online forever, I will ask permission to put this
lesson idea on Incredible Art Department.
This is also a lesson you could share with the social
studies teachers...anyone can teach history of
ceramics this way. Ceramics bridge all cultures - and
tell us a lot about the people who made them. I
prepared a lesson for the sixth grade special ed
teacher to do with her students on Greek pottery.
I posted some ceramics exhibits recently to connect to
the lesson - London Museum (history of London through
ceramics) and Tate Museum (modern ceramics history -
beginning with Gauguin).
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources
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