Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Garage & The Clay Shed

My garage is tiny. It houses my car, my gardening tools, the lawnmower, my impressive gallon paint can museum, and my kiln. Today, I took a moment to shore up my sagging production shelving. I added some plywood to give a flat storage surface for pieces waiting for the kiln, and for pieces arriving from the kiln. A complete load is cooling right now, and so the shelves will soon have their first test.

The clay shed is next on the cleaning list. It is literally bursting at the seams. I just found out that I've been accepted into Open Studios. So, it's time for a major overhaul!  Heaven help us.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mrs. Callahan


This is a really difficult time of the year for teachers. It's insanely busy, and overwhelming. Everyone is very emotional. I'm teaching a combo 3rd / 4th grade class this year, and am slowly approaching critical mass! I thought that I'd take some time out to post an essay about my second grade teacher:

The most important member of the holy trinity of art supplies...

Second grade was a wonderful experience for me, mainly because of Mrs. Callahan. She always wore a headband, and she had thick, black glasses. Her voice sounded like she smoked about a dozen packs of cigarettes a day. Mrs. Callahan would work at the school on Saturdays. Sometimes I rode my bike to school and helped her. She showed me how to work with clay, and we made papier-mâché puppets. Mrs. Callahan also gave me a color wheel, and let me mix all of the paint for our classroom projects.

In our class, I felt like I contributed. I made people laugh. Sometimes, I rolled my pants up as high as they would go, then I would stretch my shirt over them. Even when I acted silly, I felt accepted. Other kids thought that I was weird, but they liked the games that I invented. The inside of my desk was full of ideas, toys, and creations. It seemed like Mrs. Callahan didn't just know me, she understood me on a deeper level. She knew what I needed in order to be a happy, successful student, and person.

Often used in conjunction with yarn...

Second grade was a year that helped to form my interests in life. Every project that we worked on was literature based, and was artistic or creative. I made cave paintings with a partner. We worked on a mural featuring the inside of the cabin from Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mrs. Callahan entered my picture of a Zulu woman in an art contest. I was sad to not get my picture back when everyone else did. But, she surprised me when I got it back a month later and it had a fancy blue ribbon on it. I am convinced that I am an artist because of the many hands-on experiences that I had in second grade. As a grown up, I ran across a quote that made me think fondly of Mrs. Callahan, "A life without making things that tell you who you are, and what you feel… is not enough."

Tasty, and useful too...