We were so glad to have Jessica join us once again in Frenchboro School for our first ceramics class of the new year. Jessica came slogging through the slush and snow with a backpack full of 50 pounds of clay. Love that girl! She's training for her Appalachian Trail adventure which she will be starting not this coming spring/summer, but next.
So Jess came in with her backpack full of this gorgeous white clay, talked to the kids more about clay properties as well as the new assignment, then went over all the skills that they've worked on in the two years she's been coming in to teach them ceramics. Then she let them loose. What I loved to see as I walked around was that everyone was using all three basic techniques. For example, here's Bradley with his gorgeous pot that he made using the pinch method.
Then there were the boys working on their slab building. Cody was doing some "Introduction to Boat Building 101" for Austin and Myron. Imagine. More boats.
Jayde preparing her slab to make a handle for the slab built mug in front of her. Jayde: my birthday's coming right up, hint, hint!
And here's Johnny with his coil built bowl. You've gotta hand it to this kid. Look at those delicate coils, and the wide width of his bowl...this takes a lot of patience and perseverance! He worked on this piece for the entire class period without stopping!
Cadin is smoothing his coil/slab pot. Like Johnny, he used a slab for the base (hence the yogurt cup which he traced with his needle point tool) and then built up the walls using coils. Smoothing is probably the most commonly heard word out of Jessica's mouth. The kids have to come to her with their finished pieces to 'pass' her test in order for them to be fired. Usually its, "Nope. Not smooth enough. This needs more smoothing." Of course this is why their pieces have gotten so good... Jessica's a slave driver!
Here's Saylor with her needle point tool. Notice her beautiful slab built mug...and then can you see the coiled piece of slab on the cardboard? That is her handle. You have to wait a bit for it to dry and firm up before scoring and slipping it onto the mug.
And Jessica, doing the tedious job of wedging. Luckily for us, Mr. Finn and I stink at this job. It's never ending, really. As they finish pieces, all the leftovers are put int he slop bucket and have to be reprocessed and wedged so they don't have any air pockets. Three words: Bless you, Jessica. Here she is wedging with a smile (or is that a wince??).