Thursday, November 7, 2013

Embracing the Dragon

Finished up my 5 day clay tile mural residency with artist and DIAE (DE Institute for the Arts in Education) Artistic Director, Anne Oldach, at Christiana High School. The students worked with their art teacher Rhonda Schone and another DIAE artist last spring to create a large drawing that became the cartoon for the project.
The drawing was gridded into 10- 12" x 12" squares. The students rolled out slabs of Raku clay and created 12"x12" square clay tiles. Working in pairs they transferred their square of the drawing onto their wet clay tile using water soluable markers face down and rolling the back with a rolling pin.
Each team actually created 2, 12" x 12" clay tiles and had to transfer the drawing twice.
The thicker tile was the bottom or base tile. The second, thinner tile became the relief pieces they carved, drew into, and brought the drawing to life.

The twelve by twelve tiles were cut into 12" x 6" pieces so the students could work on them individually and for easier handling, and eventually firing.

Rhonda Schone and a student
It was an ambitious project in many ways, and as Rhonda Schone the art teacher so eloquently stated, "These students are difficult to gauge; often they complain the work is too easy, too hard or too boring but I will continue to teach art as if I am “taking art-making too seriously” as they often tell me."

Here's to being ambitious, taking art making "too seriously", challenging our students- and ourselves, and Embracing the Dragon!

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