Monday, August 22, 2011

Yingge Int'l Ceramics Festival Kid's English Program - "GREEN" FLOWERS!

Last year, Summer 2010, I taught a clay+English children's class at the Yingge Ceramics Museum during the International Ceramics Festival.  This year, Summer 2011, I was invited back to teach again!  It was a lot of fun, but I had to change my plan because some (most of) the tiles from last year's project were still sitting on the studio shelves.  A plan was never developed and executed for display of the finished work.  Some of the tiles were glazed and fired, some were not. Nevertheless, I felt I needed to provide a project in which this whole issue was obsolete.  I took my cue from a well-known British artist, Clare Twomey, who I admire. Please follow the link to see the rest of her work.
The kids, and parents brave enough to get their hands dirty, learned a traditional way of making rose-like flowers.  This is the same technique pastry chefs use to make sugar or chocolate flowers.  I explained that clay comes from the ground just like flowers grow from the ground, and of course, flowers return to the ground after they bloom, so we will do the same with the clay.  I'm not a dread-headed earth-loving vegan, but it felt good to not be creating learning/art experience leftovers (aka rubbish).  As kids do, they seemed to need something of their own to take home. I allowed them to make as many as they wanted provided they leave one at the museum for our little "green" garden.
Unfortunately, on the last day of the class there was a typhoon, a common occurrence during the rainy season in Taiwan.  So, the studio staff and I took to a grass patch in the ceramics park this past (sunny) Sunday to place the flowers.  As I explained to the students, the rain and wind will help to put the clay back in the ground.  Peace, love, happiness, recycle, hug the earth, make art, etc . . . ;-)