Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting to Know You: A Meet and Greet with Clay

This year, all of the classrooms will spend their first three months of studio time focusing on clay. For some children, this will mean getting acquainted with the material for the first time. For others, this will allow them an opportunity to share their expertise. However, for our first meeting with this material (and our first studio visits of the new school year!) all of the children in the center – preschools or infants – will first see the clay in the same form..

...a big block lying atop a canvas-covered floor.

All of the children will be invited to remove their shoes and socks (or will be helped to undress down to diapers), so that they can “get to know” the clay with their whole bodies.

The question then becomes, what will this invitation inspire and how will it look for the different age groups?

It is easy to imagine how this first meeting with clay might differ for a preschooler – who can run, jump, and stomp, let alone stand – and an infant who is not even able to crawl. This only makes the question of whether or not these meetings might also be similar all the more interesting.

At the same time, one might assume that the experience for all of the preschool groups will be much the same. This, in turn, inspires us to look deeper at the moments of contact with the clay – to search out the moments of difference as moments of power and possibility.

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