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Empty Bowl Reflection


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This activity reflects upon my experience of completing the activity of empty bowls.

Published in: Education
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Empty Bowl Reflection

  1. 1. Empty Bowl Project Reflection Name Blair Thallmayer Cohort 2 I attended the Bowl-making Session on September 24, 2007 at 4 pm. I attended the Bowl-glazing Session on Monday, October 1, 2007 at 4 pm. What technical (media, process) understandings were gained through this experience? Before attending the bowl-making session, I had previously made bowls from clay and had learned how to use most of the tools involved, as well as most of the processes. I worked at the Cheltenham Art Center, this past summer, and one of our activities was to make bowls like this. My prior experience with this activity led me to help others in my cohort to complete theirs since many of my peers did not know or understand the tools and processes. I knew how to cut the square out of clay, pound it into a circle to remove air bubbles, roll it out, place plastic wrap inside and mold it into the shape of a bowl. I feel that the technical process I learned more about this time involved smoothing the clay out with a “bone.” The media aspect that I learned the most about involved the telling of a story on the bowl. I had never thought of the bowl-making in that context but soon realized just how valuable of an activity this could be.
  2. 2. Empty Bowl Project Reflection What understandings were gained about using this media in the elementary classroom for integrating art with other subject areas? When it comes to the classroom and integrating art, I feel an activity like this can go a long way to developing expressionistic skills for the students. Expressing yourself can be very tough and tricky for young students who may not possess the vocabulary to truly get their point across. Being able to tell a story through visuals can greatly aid students who fall into the previous categories. An activity like this also teaches students about processes involving clay, which could help them down the road when it comes to other molding, clay, or artistic activities. An activity like this, especially on the story-telling side, can help students learn about subjects (that they may find boring) in a fun and interactive way. Sitting in a classroom and hearing about Christopher Columbus would be much different than making a bowl or participating in a similar activity wherein the students learn about Columbus as they draw his ships, or mold them out of clay. They would retain the knowledge, without realizing it, and have fun at the same time. What understandings were gained about this project as a means of
  3. 3. Empty Bowl Project Reflection involving students in community service? While working at the art center this past summer, I learned about empty bowl parties, wherein students, professionals, and anybody interested make bowls just like this and donate them to the party. At the event, people come to buy the bowls, and all of the proceeds go to charities. Students could learn about subjects in a fun and interactive way while simultaneously taking part in community service by helping to donate to charities. An activity like this also helps students learn to work together and help each other out – both of which are key components of community service. Students could also make bowls like this and donate them to those less fortunate as either ornaments or actual eating bowls, depending on the type and style. Involving students in community service can be difficult because the term “community service” sounds like something they are being forced to do against their will. It would be much easier to involve students in community service through a fun activity like this as opposed to raking leaves. Therefore, an activity like this would be beneficial to their involvement in the community, primarily because they would take part in a service without knowing.