Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Ceramics-Progress is good!

♠ Posted by ArtMuse

The last time I had taken a course in ceramics I was about 20 and I had the worst time with it.  There were quite a few students in the class and the friend that I was taking it with and I got little to no instruction on how to throw clay and shape it on the wheel.  Needless to say 2 or 3 absolutely terrible ash-tray's later I had completely lost any interest in ceramics and vowed that it was something that "just wasn't for me".  I dedicated myself to painting and drawing and have since for over a decade...Until now.

 A coworker of mine had casually mentioned that after teaching her 3rd graders a fairly in-depth and lengthy clay unit, that she really wanted to do some ceramics herself.  Spurred on by her comment, I thought to myself, I teach my students all about clay and yet I know little to nothing about it myself, maybe I should give working with clay another try.  And so I enrolled in an adult education beginner ceramics course right around the corner from my job and for the past 5 weeks or so I've been going once a week for 3-4 hours and have been making all kinds of great things.

I spend so much of my time figuring out ways to teach other people that I never stop  and take time to be a student myself.   I'm proud of myself for taking a class in something I always professed I had no interest in based on one silly bad experience and find that not only don't I dislike it, but that I actually really enjoy it, and although my first batch of thrown clay bowls are uneven, shaky, and well, tiny, I am proud nonetheless that I am progressing and most importantly learning!

Just as an fyi we use high fire white, brown, or red clay and I used Amaco high fire glazes.  The cup on the right is Amaco underglaze on bisque-ware.with 1 coat of clear gloss glaze over it.    

Art Byte-Great Website for South American Art Ideas

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in


Yesterday I was looking around for some information/photo's/video's of Amate bark painting.  I came across the blog  which is, as the site states, "Ethnology @ SNOMNH is an experimental weblog for sharing the collections of the Division of Ethnology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History."
There is a page on it dedicated to Central American Tribes and Cultures.  In it they include the art object, the tribe, the region, the date, and the materials.  The posts contain images, maps, and videos about the object of topic.  Some things that are included are textiles, ceramics, codices, and amate paper making.  What particularly caught my eye were the Amate paper charms and the ceramic drum incense burner. The video for the amate paper making process is really great, the words are in Spanish but you can easily narrate the steps as the video progresses. Here's the video:

The site overall has some really interesting cultural information and artifacts and it is definitely worth checking out.
The link to the page with Central American Tribes and Culture can be found HeRe

It's the 20 day countdown!-Try some vegetables

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

 Braising Mix

It's the 20 day countdown till the end of the school year and I'm trying to figure out what I've posted this year and what I haven't.  It's amazing when we step back and think about all the things we do not just inside our classroom but within our schools as well.  Between the committee's, extra-curricular's, clubs and collaborations sometimes I can't keep track of everything I've done!

Today I stumbled across an interesting article in the Times about vegetables and art.  I found the photographs particularly interesting and thought I'd share.

Lynn Karlin | Raw Art: The Pedestal Series
The  artist is Lynn Karlin, a veteran photographer with some 40 odd years of experience.  She was the first female staff photographer for Women's Wear Daily and has worked for HG and Garden Design magazines.  She has had a longtime affinity with gardening and nature and her love of all things natural is evident in her photographic images of plants and vegetables photographed into simple compositions of line, shape, color, and form.  They appear incredibly striking and almost abstract on simple pedestals which reflect their overall appearance and black backgrounds which contrast against the vivid colors seen in the vegetation.  There is something really simple, graceful and beautiful about these photographs to me...and .I think it'd be a great tie in with something Arcimboldo-esqu.  Plus, it's good for students to see that any subject matter can become art with some technique, a discerning eye, and creativity.


The link to the article in the NY Times can be found HeRe

The gallery: Gallery on the Green where you can see Lynn Karlin's 'Raw Art' can be found HeRe

 Lynn Karlin's site can be found HeRe