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cost of clay for kids

updated mon 28 aug 00


Ann Hunter on fri 25 aug 00

>Janet wrote:
>If the real cost is from $5 to $10 per child for
>each one-and-a-half hours, I guess the moral of
>the story is, that clay is entering that elitist
>zone where only the well-heeled can afford their
>children to indulge.
>We are already suffering because music is an
>optional fee-paying extra and therefore only
>available to those who can afford it within the
>public/state school system, so is art and design
>going the same way?
Ouch! Guess I knew when I sent the original bit about my charges, I
was into a subject that bothers me too. I always appreciate Janet's
ideas, and I hope others will wade in here as well. Some more

1. The teacher who said she had only $3. per student per year was
getting a salary and, I assume, a heated classroom. When I teach
kids in my studio, I am attempting to pay the studio bills and myself
as well.

2. In my school district some, but not all elementary schools (kids
5-12 years) have art teachers. All secondary schools have art
teachers with fairly decent budgets. This is good news, because for
a number of years none of the elementary schools had art. The
current superintendent has charged the building principals with
working towards having art teachers for all schools soon. I
certainly don't feel my afterschool art programs should take the
place of having regular art instruction in school. In my community,
there are many sports after school, as well as music and dance
lessons. I hope to provide an alternative to these.

3. I have wished to be public art center so I could have
scholarships . Maybe that will come about. As it is, besides the
students whose parents pay for afterschool art (mainly clay), I have
a number of children in the neighborhood of my studio who come in
occasionally on Saturdays or in summer at no cost. (These are kids
whose parents could not afford a class). As long as it is my studio
and I answer to no one else, I can let them do that. They are my
neighbors. If I had an art center with a board of directors, I could
offer scholarships, perhaps, but it would be a lot more structured.
Maybe the less well-off would just not come.

4. Some teachers have written posts that show they feel they have to
compete with music and other fine arts programs for funds. I know
this is a very natural reaction to their situation, but I try to look
at it from another viewpoint. Case in point: In my city we have an
Arts Council, the purpose of which is to facilitate communication
among arts groups and programs for all. Some arts organizations have
refused to join. Their staffs feel the council has nothing to offer
them and actually competes for money from donors. I believe this is
wrong thinking. The arts should work together. AS someone said, if
we don't hang together, we will surely hang separately.

-Ann Hunter
Wichita Falls, TX where it is still way too hot

Mayssan1@AOL.COM on sat 26 aug 00

Dear Ann:
$5 to $10 for an hour and a half of art instruction with supplies provided is
extremely reasonable.
I think you are performing a good service to your community, because I have
noticed how abundant music and dance after school classes are, and how scarce
visual arts' are.
Keep up the good work.
Best regards,
Mayssan, in the morning fog
Bet no planes are taking off from our hilltop airport

Penni Stoddart on sat 26 aug 00

I have been following this thread as best I can when I
get a moment to sift through all the messages. I am
not sure if it was spawned by my query about fees but
here goes.
When I charge $5- $10 per child (canadian) I am going
to their school and doing the art in their classrooms.
Currently I have been to a few daycare centres and had
the clay experience with children as young as 2 and as
old as 11. They have throughly enjoyed it and I have
had nothing but good comments back.
I try to figure into my fee not only my clay, firing
costs but also my time there, loading the kiln and
transport back to the centre with their finished
product. So far I have had no complaints about the
need for a fee or it's amount.

Penni Stoddart of Penelope's Pots

Eagles may soar, but weasles don't get sucked into jet engines =o)

Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free address at

Janet Kaiser on sun 27 aug 00

Dear Ann, Penny and all/any others who took my
post to be any sort of comment on the cost of
$5-10 per session for children. I leave the ins
and outs of individual costing to the tutor, who
knows what costs they have to cover and what
their market will allow. It is almost impossible
to say what is right or wrong and I would
certainly not presume to do so.

I changed the subject line in my original post
to indicate a change of tack and was only
wondering about the accessibility of clay to
children generally. The juxtaposition of two
separate threads brought these matters into
focus quite forcefully.

As I said, if the REAL cost is $5-10 for a
single session, what of the children who are
allocated just $3 per school year? It is this
anomaly which gave me cause to comment and

The comparison with music seemed appropriate to
me. Having worked for some years with a parents'
group trying to keep musical instruments
accessible to school children who could not
afford their own or the classes in which to
learn. BTW the children who benefited from being
able to use a school instrument very rarely
abused them.

All the arts should be available to everyone and
not just those who can afford the "privilege". I
would hope everyone can agree with that?

The Victorian attitude that The Poor do not
appreciate being given opportunities, is
obviously returning at the start of the 21st
century in some people's minds. We should guard
against that as a group.

Many on this list give generously of their time
and skills, often without thought or counting
the cost. "The cost" being both in time and
money. Some can afford to, others cannot.
Covering costs is a minimum to expect and making
a profit should not be regarded as something
base. But all that issue was not what I was
trying to address.

My concern is that the present and/or next
generation are not going to experience what we
have all taken for granted up to the recent

I attach my original post in its entirety below.
If read again, you will see what I was trying to
get at...

Janet Kaiser - where we had a freak storm on
Monday which dumped several inches of
cherry-sized hailstones onto an area of 5 square
miles. Two ancient stone bridges were washed
away and many homes flooded. Then last night we
had the best electric storm I have ever seen!
Hours of "fireworks" to beat any July 4th,
Silvester or millennium display.

The Chapel of Art . Capel Celfyddyd
Criccieth LL52 0EA, GB-Wales Tel: (01766) 523570

How very illuminating. Just a couple of weeks
ago, someone in New York said they were
allocated $3 per child for the whole school

If the real cost is from $5 to $10 per child for
each one-and-a-half hours, I guess the moral of
the story is, that clay is entering that elitist
zone where only the well-heeled can afford their
children to indulge.

We are already suffering because music is an
optional fee-paying extra and therefore only
available to those who can afford it within the
public/state school system, so is art and design
going the same way?