Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Speedy Plates Incorporated

Suave Plate, Swirl Plate & Pail Plate

Open Studios lasts for two weekends. On the first weekend, I sold a lot of pieces, and my living room looked kind of empty. In fact, I brought out some older work to fill in, and some of those pieces sold as well. So, it seemed like a good idea to make some plates and bird nests to fill in for the second weekend. Some of the plates will go on the wall, and some will be on plate stands. The turn around time was fast on these babies. The trickiest part was gently, oh so gently, forcing them to dry during the first firing. Here they are just before getting clear glazed. Fingers crossed that they'll be ready for Saturday!

Plates Attack the Driveway

States with Pointy Handles Next to California Plate

Clear Glaze First Coat

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Size Matters

Sample Basket 2011

For my day job, I work as a 4th grade teacher. It is a wonderful job, where I am allowed to work with kids that constantly amuse and entertain. I see my role not only as a teacher of math and reading/language arts, but as a teacher of enthusiasm. It is my job to channel the interests of students, so that they can know more about their strengths. It is also my job to have a personal, one-on-one relationship with each of my students. I feel like I need to know what makes them tick, so that I can understand how to motivate them. To this end, I teach with many hands-on projects.  I've painted several murals on campus with my students. I started an herb garden on campus. I offer book clubs that meet to discuss leveled books (and to share popcorn) at lunch. Recently I founded a Scrabble Club that meets at lunchtime. I teach students how to make baskets, and how to weave. This year, we are each going to sew small versions of the state flag of California, and then attach them together to make a wall hanging. Long live the Bear Flag Republic!

Student Birds and Nests

And, of course, I teach my students the ceramic process. When I was in kindergarten, I made my first pinch pot, with the help of someone who cared enough to share knowledge with me. Our school had a kiln, and there were many teachers that made use of it. It was the beginning of a lifelong interest and passion.

Student Nature Bowl with Imprinted Leaves

It is clear to me, that as more students are placed in my classroom, I can't help but be less effective as a teacher. I become a herder, a lecturer, and an organizer of people. Kids cease to share confidences with me. They stop writing me notes in the class mailbox. It also makes it difficult to finance many of the projects that I do for science, social studies, and art. Most of what I do with my students is paid for
from "The First National Bank of Karen Hansen". So, in closing, let's just say, that if there is not enough furniture in the room, or places for students to sit, the room should be considered "full". Kids are deserving of my attention and consideration. Every child.

Student Ceramic Percussion Rattles