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tile project

updated tue 16 sep 08


Toni Hall on sat 4 jan 97

We did some tile projects with children here and I would offer the
following ideas:
1. Get plenty of volunteer help.
2. Give the students a broad theme to work from for direction.
3. If you use raw clay, then commercial underglazes with clear
over works well.
4. If you want, plain white commercial ceramic tiles work well and
will accept EZ stroke ( Duncan) or Velvet/Reward underglazes as overglazes.
You can fire them at 04, but best results, but test, test, test.
5. Some companys will donate tiles for such a project.
6. Prepare for a winning response. They get real enthusiastic
when turned on to art.
7. Have fun. You might be laying the foundation for a future artist.
Good Luch, Toni in NM

Joan Lovell on sun 5 jan 97


I've done a few ceramics workshops with kids in this age range. In my
experience, there are usually one or two kids who want to "test the
disciplinary waters" of a new face at school and can make teaching VERY
difficult. My own approach has been pretty hard line -- "Once more and you're
out. We're trying to accomplish something important here and I need all your
attention, so if you don't want to contribute, you can wait outside the room
or in the principal's office." It's good if the regular teacher can be on
hand. I would talk to the regular classroom teacher beforehand and find out
what the policies are regarding disruptive behavior. They will know what to

It's great to have volunteer helpers. It's very difficult to get around to
everyone who needs help or wants to ask a question if you're dealing with 15
or twenty kids at a time.

I think it works great to have enough clay on hand so you can do one
structured project where you teach the kids technique, and then let them do
something completely free form using the info they've learned. My most
successful workshop was on New England Colonial ceramics (6th graders). We
made "porringers" - which are little bowls with handles, then everybody
winged out and made wonderfully creative incense burners with the leftover

Another technique I use is to tell a long story while the work is going on --
sort of a creative non-fiction that weaves in a lot of info about clay, but
also has a lot of imagery, sound and atmosphere built in. You can convey a
lot of info, keep the kids mesmerized, keep chatter down, stay in control,
and encourage the kids to use their imaginations with a technique like this.

Keeping some measure of control helps ME have a good time too. It's not fun
when kids start throwing clay at each other, and scoring each other's arms
with plastic forks.

The stuff they make is fantastic and the good apples far, far outweigh the
bad, but it is good to think about these issues in advance.

Joan Lovell

Karin Givon on sun 14 sep 08

This is utterly fascinating. It never occurred to me that such a
thing could or should or would be done! It's really quite amazing.
Esp....check out the horse's eye. ( double click to open the thumbnail)


:>} Karin
Nevada City, CA

Mayssan Farra on mon 15 sep 08

Hello Karin:=0A=0AI totally agree with you, it is absolutely facinating and=
very well excuted.=0A=0AAccording to the Thumb nail: Louis Lavoie is the a=
rtist that did that, and as=A0I alwyas want to know how? I think that:=0ABe=
cause there is a before panel then that is where he started and added the i=
mages taking care to keep the shape of the eys and lips so as the images ar=
e hidden in them yeat they still look like lips and eyes.=0A=0AVery interst=
ing and magical=0A=0AMayssan in the first cool day at the end of summer in =
Charleston WV=0A=A0=0AMayssan Shora Farra=0A
=0A is utterly fascinating. It =
never occurred to me that such a=0Athing could or should or would be done! =
It's really quite amazing.=0AEsp....check out the horse's eye. ( double cli=
ck to open the thumbnail)=0A=0A=0A