|A raku nautilus shell...|
|This first cup is just a lesson about how to make a slab cup...|
It's that time of year again! Cup Swap! I started this activity back when I first taught third grade. Each student makes two cups. Then, when the cups are completed, students "shop" around for cups to trade. Each student can keep one, and trade one. Or, the student can keep both, and trade none. The final option, is to trade both. I always trade both of mine. It's a blast to see them move through the room and change hands during the swap. Today we made our first round of cups. We had quite a few absent students. They might end up having a "Karen Original" as their second cup. We'll see just exactly when they get back!
This activity teaches so many lessons. First, it teaches about craftsmanship. When you make a well crafted cup, people are eager to trade with you. Next, it teaches building. It's not easy to make a cup that doesn't leak (one year, both of mine leaked). Finally, it teaches kids to understand that art is about sharing and giving. Some of my favorite pieces of art have been pieces that I've traded with friends. In college, I loved walking up to my desk in the BFA studio, and seeing a Chris Wall original waiting for me. I still have paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art that have been traded. I traded my hand building teacher, Kathryn McBride, some silly thing for an awesome ceramic shell vase. I still love it. But, mostly, I love that she was willing to trade with a lowly student. Another ceramics teacher, Greg Smith, traded me a gorgeous pot for a painting that I made for him. My cat knocked the vase that he made for me, off of the mantle. I actually saved some of the shards, when I was finished sitting on my front porch crying. I'll post photos of next week's cups and of the glazing process...
|The second cups will be more free form...|
|An aerial view...|
|My kitchen table is full again...|