First-Grade Portraits with Pendants
February 10, 2017

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
January 10, 2017

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
January 10, 2017

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 […]

Pennsylvania-Dutch Hex-sign Bowls
January 10, 2017

Pennsylvania-Dutch Hex-sign Bowls

Back in June 1994, Arts & Activities published one of my lessons titled “Drape-Mold Bowls: Elegance in Black and White.” In that lesson I explained how you could help students create a symmetrical clay bowl using a plaster drape-mold. The students decorated their bowls with a black-and-white design based on Southwest Native American pottery. I […]