This semester in Visual Art, our Grade 8s are working with ceramics and thinking about how something hand made and unique, produced with craftsmanship, can be more environmentally friendly and worthwhile than mass-produced items. Their focus is to make vessels and pottery which have a function and purpose, but also employ artistic qualities. Students are making bowls, mugs, cups, and vases. They will put them 'to the test' by having a new year party to use them for eating and drinking from as well.
Simultaneously, our Early Learning Center (ELC) students have been wanting to make new large sharing fruit bowls for their snack times. Eating and enjoying food communally is important within the Reggio Emilia approach and helps ELC students to socialize, share, take turns and be considerate of each other - it's also one of their favorite times of the day!
Emma Justice, Visual Art and Design teacher, who was working with both groups of students brought them together to foster collaboration and mentorship. Recently, the ELC students came up to the main school to work with Grade 8R to make their dishes.
Our Grade 8s were given the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with the younger students to help them make uniquely crafted bowls with a function and purpose in mind.
They shared their wisdom and knowledge of materials whilst overcoming some of the unique challenges that the ELC students presented them with - including some unconventional design choices and elements!
Both groups of students enjoyed themselves tremendously, forming friendships they never would have had a chance to had they not worked together. Their bowls were left to dry out before being fired in the school's kiln ahead of being glazed.
The friends reunited a few weeks later to experience how science and art meet with the heating and firing process, causing color and texture changes with glaze. The ELC students chose their favorite colors while the Grade 8s helped them decorate their bowls and understand how the glazes will change during firing.
They then took their bowls out to load up the kiln for another firing producing the changes the older students described.
Finally, their creations were complete! Together they made more than 10 new fruit bowls and used the spare clay to create tiles which they also decorated.
The ELC students will share food with their friends using the completed fruit bowls in addition to sharing what they've learned to help their peers make their own dishes. Meanwhile Grade 8 have gained a great experience of working on ceramics with a purpose firsthand as well as the chance to develop their leadership skills.
You can view more photos on YIS Photos