This year has brought many challenges, but Virtual Ceramics was one class that presented many hurdles. Getting students materials was a process of creating at-home kits with clay and tools, but also organizing times to pick up and/or make home deliveries. Creating assignments that students can achieve at home is another obstacle. RFA Ceramics teacher Amanda Benoit needed to create smaller projects, so that space wouldn’t become a problem. This is where the idea of Salt and Pepper shakers came from.
This project allowed Benoit to incorporate sculpture and molding techniques and students were able to explore the concepts of functional art.
The project starts with brainstorming objects and characters that are associated together.
Once the class came up with several ideas they began to sketch out three different “Famous Duos.” The sketch helps students build visual references before they get their hands on clay.
The sculpting process happens in 3 stages. Big, medium, and small. Students begin by molding large three-dimensional shapes to connect the main form.
Next, they carve away and/or add clay to refine shapes that are more realistic. Lastly, they begin with small details. This stage takes the most time due to the tedious nature of getting it to look “just right.”
“The overall outcome of student work exceeded my expectations. It was great to see students work through problems and self assess to achieve the look they were going for. Online education puts so much responsibility on the learner because they have to decide how involved they want to be. I have to say that even with all of these challenges, I am very proud of what my students were able to accomplish.” said RFA Ceramics Teacher, Amanda Benoit