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Category Archives: Features

Feb 2017
Angling with Odili

I recently introduced the work of Odili Donald Odita to my second- and fifth-graders. Odili was born in Nigeria, moved to the U.S. with his family when he was a young boy, and now is a very successful painter and college professor at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia (where I studied as a young man, […]

First-Grade Portraits with Pendants

While browsing a 2010 issue of Arts & Activities magazine, I was inspired to begin an ambitious portrait project with my first-grade artists. I wanted to introduce an easy clay project to my first-grade classes—one that would give them ample opportunity to explore working with clay for the very first time. I knew that they […]

Biomorphic Creations in Clay

Biomorphism is an art movement that began in the 20th century. It models artistic design elements on naturally occurring patterns or shapes reminiscent of nature and living organisms. Taken to its extreme, it attempts to force naturally occurring shapes onto functional devices. In ceramics, we see a great deal of this in both sculptural and functional […]

Creativity Exercises and Games with Clay

Creativity exercises and games are activities designed to quickly engage students with a new medium, skill, or concept. They are ideal for classroom teachers looking to energize lessons. I use them with students ranging from kindergarten through college, often as a warm-up, sometimes to mix things up mid-lesson, and sometimes as an enjoyable ending to […]