By Veronika Szoltysek
Senior art students at Fernie Secondary School were challenged to design and create geometric vessels from clay, all with a functional use. The level of experience varied as some already had some knowledge about working with clay while others did not have any at all. This hands-on project allowed students to demonstrate their ability and artistic style through the making of ceramics.
Students thought out and planned their ideas by sketching them. Whilst designing these three-dimensional holders students were asked to use slab and coil techniques to shape their clay. When the slab method was used, clay was rolled out to an equal thickness before being cut into forms, bent, folded, and joined creating the final piece. If coiling was used it involved winding circular, snake-like clay strips on top of one another to create hollow forms like bowls and cylinders. Finishing off by using fingers or tools until the coiled walls were smoothed.
After the clay was sculpted the FSS art teacher Ms. Wenda bisque fired the students work in the kiln so they could be glazed. When taken out students glazed their creations. After each piece was glazed everything was fired again a second time, completing each item.
Students were asked for these organic containers to be made functional so they could be more than just pieces of art. Some of the pieces made were cups, desk organizers, and even jewelry holders as shown in the photo.
Having only one week to work on this, art students quickly developed their ability and skills to shape and form clay into beautiful ceramics.