In the Classroom: The Eagles

Works in clay by PIC after-schoolers

Creating in Clay

It started with a box of air-dry clay. The kids loved it. They made all manner of things--from doughnuts to turtles, to colorfully-painted beads. They had such a good time working with the clay that we knew we had to go deeper.

Fortunately, right across the street from PIC is the University City Arts League (UCAL) with a great pottery program. Working together over the summer we arranged for a group of 12 children to visit UCAL three times in August. 

The kids had a great time visiting their studio space. There is nothing like playing with wet clay. It squishes and moves into whatever shapes you want it to make. 

Their instructor started by showing us how to roll our clay into tiles. Then, we took the tiles to the wheel. The kids squeezed paint out of bottles onto the tiles while they rotated around and around. The colors mixed and swirled together in fascinating variations. 

The children also had time to experiment with the clay on their own. They were delighted to build coil pots and animals. We talked about how to make pinch pots, and some of the children took time to squeeze and pinch their clay into cups they could drink from.

Clay is a really fun medium to work with. You can use it sculpturally or to build functional objects like cups and plates. Pinch pots become just one step in understanding a process that includes the design of just about anything these children can imagine.

Offering children the chance to experience the creative process is so important. By strengthening relationships with friends, neighbors, and organizations, PIC looks forward to supporting the creative growth in more and more of our after-schoolers.