Behind The Mask: Hand Building With Clay

Behind The Mask: Hand Building With Clay

I had the opportunity to teach “Hand Building With Clay” to students in grades K – 4 for the City of Santa Monica’s  CREST Enrichment program.

After learning the pinch pot, coil and slab techniques, students had the opportunity to use slabs (pancakes of gently flattened out clay) in a different way, by laying the slab of clay over a sort of armature of loosely balled up up newspaper, so that it would harden in a shallow bowl form, and create a mask.

As the forms dried, and the clay hardened, the newspaper was removed, and the clay became ready to paint, embellish and add to.

Some students chose to use the convex surface of their half spheres or hemispheres as a place to create symbolic forms and shapes such as stars and hearts, rather than a face or character.

Students played with using the paint pens by working on paper first.

The paint pens allowed them freedom from choosing and washing  brushes, adding water, and controlling “loose” acrylic paints. They could use the paint pens to create intricate patterns like a drawing tool.

Students learned to pounce or “stipple” with the paint pens, using their tips to apply paint to creases and crevices in the clay.

Students could then add feathers, beads, pipe cleaners and other embellishments to their masks, to further develop their characters, designs, forms and images.

Some chose to focus on color through painting, adding a carefully chosen addition to enhance their character.

This young artists has incised, or drawn into the clay to create they eyes, and added clay to build out the nose. The mouth uses both techniques.

Students used foam plates to mix new colors on, as well as for palettes.

Mixing all the colors together was a popular choice, and helped the students to understand some of the principles of color mixing.

Detail and focus ruled, even with the younger children.

This young artist has mixed the secondary colors of green and orange, from his palette of primary colors, red blue and yellow.

We used both grey and red air dry clay.

Here a young artist mixes green…after painting the outside of the pot blue, and the inside yellow.

These two kindergarteners had a wonderful time painting and creating together!

There is something about painting that seems to clear out irritability, and at least temporarily suspend human anxiety.

It is wonderful to see creative”flow” in action!

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Santa Monica’s Magical Style: Convex, Concave and Curvilinear

Santa Monica’s Magical Style: Convex, Concave and Curvilinear

By turns magical, moving, and magnificent, Santa Monica exemplifies the outsized and over the top sensibility Los Angeles is known for. However, this beach town also holds quiet gems often discovered by happenstance.  Join me for a magical, mufti-faceted look at the ebb and flow of this “home of the California beach lifestyle”.

Organic meets geometric, creating magic in concrete forms.

A magical curvilinear wall of stones stands in front of Santa Monica’s Yahoo Center.

An over-sized exterior sculpture bubbles out from the side of a building, adding a bit of magic to the urban landscape.

A flowing window grate creates artful protection, as well as magical  beauty.

The Zebra car plugs in…stay tuned for another post devoted to this magical car.

Madame Chou Chou  bistro and patisserie on Main Street, offers spiral magic with its cutlery, as if the delightful patisseries weren’t enough!

What magical convex, concave and curvilinear sights have You seen lately?

If You feel so inclined, please share them with us here.

We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all in the ebb and flow of this magical thing called Life, together.

Wishing You a magical holiday filled with a heightened awareness of the extraordinary all around us.

Cheers!