Beyond the Clay Container


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Presentation at the 2013 IAEA Conference by Karyl Silerzio.

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Beyond the Clay Container

  1. 1. Beyond the Clay Container Curriculum for the 21st century ceramics program Karyl Silerzio Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville Illinois
  2. 2. What goes in?
  3. 3. What goes in… Artists, colleagues, resources Teacher philosophy & expertise National & state standards Evaluation systemsDanielson, CRISS, etc Common core/ 21st century skills School & district goals or essential understandings Ceramics curriculum
  4. 4. Ceramics- Instructional strands Physical skills development Construction materials & methods Finishing materials & firing processes Development of conceptual skills & aesthetics Cultural contexts: historic & contemporary influences
  5. 5. Skills development Manipulating the clay Controlling moisture Understanding stages of clay; using appropriate methods & techniques Developing a design aesthetic & refining craftsmanship issues
  6. 6. Construction methods & techniques Handbuilding- pinch, coil, press- and drape-mold, soft slab, hard slab, extrusions, sprigging… Wheel throwing- functional vessel forms, sculptural applications
  7. 7. Finishing & firing methods & techniques Finishes- stains, glazes, and underglazes (cer. 1); add engobes and glaze overlays (cer. 2) Firing- kiln types; atmospheres for firing; high and low temps; alternative firing processes- raku and/or carbon-firing. Ceramics 3 offers greater range and depth of information
  8. 8. Development of concepts, aesthetics How to come up with ideas- teacher demonstration and examples; using visual resources; brainstorming; referencing a past art form or artist; morphing or transforming an existing form; focusing on formal design concepts; blending recognizable forms together; utilizing perception and intuition; identifying personal symbols or icons Aesthetic viewpoints- functional; formal; emotional; imitational
  9. 9. Cultural contexts: historic and contemporary influences Mini-research activities, individual or small group using technology resources- Products based on historical &/or contemporary artReading/writing/research components- text to graphics lesson; artifacts; metamorphosis project; resource development; maintaining a journal or sketchbook
  10. 10. Product/project lists Ceramics 1: generally 4-5 per semester "Gone with the Wind Chimes"- small thematic slab project "Bit by Bit" - additive method vessel "Coil-fully Yours" - coil method construction of an organic nature "Design in the Balance"- porcelain tile, formal focus "All the Pretty Boxes"- hard slab box construction, formal & functional focus "Bound for Glory"- formal & imitational sculptural focus "A Moldy Problem"- using press and/or drape molds, functional focus “Rimshot”- combining pinch pot body with sculptural, handbuilt rim “Texture Vessel- soft slab, formal focus on surface and simple functional form “Reliquary”- hard slab box form, emotional focus “Inspired by…” –bas-relief form, emotional &/or imitational focus
  11. 11. Product/project lists Ceramics 2: generally 4 thrown and 2 choice per semester Cylinder- Straight-sided, minimum 4” tall Bowl – cereal sized, 4” diameter minimum Choice of serving bowl, simple vase or plate Choice of any compound functional form “Artifacts ‘r Us”- historically based object with research and creative writing components “Food for Thought”- contemporary or pop art influences “Inspired by…” or “Hero Worship”- student choice
  12. 12. Product/project lists Ceramics 3: generally 4-5 products per semester First project must incorporate both handbuilding and wheel throwing Students choice of products from a list of suggestions, including both functional and sculptural orientations Making and using molds or other “multiples” Independent Study, Ceramics Students contract with instructor to establish direction of student activities for the semester. Activities include products AND a research or investigative component
  13. 13. Discussion points • Assessment • Common core standards • 21st century skills • Teacher evaluation systems
  14. 14. Assessments* Formative- reflection Formative- critique and collaborative discussion Summative- analytical and interpretive response* Summative- standards or criteria-based rubrics* Common core standards Using text- “critiques” • predict, summarize and infer (before, during and after reading) • Vocabulary (essential to the discipline)* • Varied and multiple sources of information (text-to-graphics lesson) Writing objectively, responsively, and -“critiques” • The art of argument- how & why of persuasive and expository thinking • Formative assessments* • Measuring progress as well as achievement* 21st century skills • • • • Communications skills* Creativity skills Critical thinking skills* Collaboration skills Digital portfolio Students create a digital portfolio for the summative assessment (final exam). This product addresses the areas marked with an asterisk above and includes photos of all the student work from the semester accompanied by written description, analysis and reflection of that work. The writing component incorporates vocabulary as well as demonstrating critical thinking skills. The following slides are from actual student portfolios and represent some of the types of content they are asked to include.
  15. 15. Modeled Abstraction: “Dust” I have always been concerned with the challenge of preserving individual identity while struggling with a perpetually changing ego, and developed the form of “Dust” to flow in a disconnected manner to visually express this. The disconnect of the lines is an obvious depiction of the ego’s lack of continuity, and the large areas of negative space represent the great unknown that troubles the selfsearching individual. After the sawdust firing, I was surprised to find the smoky, speckled finish to resemble the cosmos. I discovered that while all matter decomposes into dust, that dust composes our universe. We all experience discontinuity, disconnect, and falling apart because that is how we flow and become a part of the dust from which we came. Artist Statement K. T.
  16. 16. Personal reflection • “My favorite part of the class was having a period to relax in the day and making something I could be proud of • My least favorite part of the class was being rushed towards the end of the semester to finish all of my projects • I was happy to learn this semester that I am going to enjoy pursuing a career in art. • If I could have a do over, I would spend much more time on my artifact and smoothing out the details.” A. T.
  17. 17. Advice to incoming students • “What I definitely suggest for incoming ceramics two students is to pay attention to the details on your pieces. Things like rounding out sharp edges, smoothing out bumps, and being very selective with your finishes is very important and can be the difference between an A and a B.” JW
  18. 18. Artifact Costa Rican Brunka Mask JW
  19. 19. The Process For this piece I based it off of the rainforest sounds that we listened to. I was stimulated by the sound of running water in the soundtrack and tried to recreate flowing water in still life form. The fluid, unexpected aspects of hearing nature inspired me to try draping the clay down a solid base and then leave it as it falls through an additive process. The draped clay represented the naturally occurring things in nature while the solid base showed how nature finds beauty in otherwise harsh environments. In designing the full size version of this piece based off of the smaller maquette model, it was difficult to control the clay sheets since then easily ripped and were difficult to attach to the base correctly without ruining its form. I had to work with hard slabs so they would not rip as much. In the end, I am very pleasantly surprised at how well this piece turned out. One of the “waves” cracked off due to shrinkage and warping of the clay during the bisque firing and shrunk more during the glaze firing, but it was easily put back on. I intended on firing the piece again and glazing the base in a different under glaze color, but I feel like the different textures contrast each other well and would take away from its striking sculptural appearance if I did put a complimenting color on the base. KK
  20. 20. Raku Object I started off this pot with a round base and then built up the edges by smoothing out coils that I attached to one another by slipping and scoring the coils and smoothing them out to create a simple surface. I rounded the edges of the pot and then nearly closed off the top. I left a rectangular opening at the top to contrast the round form. For this piece I was inspired to put “the mark of the potter” on the pot in some form. After research, I found that the most vivid effect would be achieved by spraying the pot completely in the white crackle raku glaze while I had my hand placed on the pieces. The result was my handprint on the piece without any glaze. The smoke of the raku firing process darkened the handprint and made it really stand out. This piece is a functional form and could be used to hold various things. This is a very traditional piece and reminds me of the ancient cave paintings that have been found around the world. KC
  21. 21. Select student products from all levels and methods
  22. 22. Coil construction. Ceramics 1
  23. 23. Food for Thought. Additive process. Ceramics 2 Symbolic self-portrait. Additive and subtractive processes. Ceramics 1
  24. 24. Metamorphosis. Modeled, carbon-fired. Ceramics 1
  25. 25. Current event. Hard slab process. Ceramics 1
  26. 26. Modeled with both subtractive and additive processes Ceramics 1
  27. 27. Coil construction.Ceramics 1
  28. 28. Hard slab process. Ceramics 1
  29. 29. Artifacts ‘r Us. Wheel thrown process. Ceramics 2
  30. 30. Artifacts ‘r Us. Wheel thrown process. Ceramics 2
  31. 31. Wheel thrown process. Ceramics 2
  32. 32. Karyl Silerzio Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville Illinois