An art teacher in Arizona has had to improvise a little in teaching ceramics to high school students, Mei Dotzler reports in The Paper Cut, the student newspaper at Sahuaro High School in Tucson.
But art teachers like Kate Kimbley are known for their creativity, so it all works out.
“A couple years ago, I realized that ceramics had not been taught at Sahuaro in years, despite the fact that we have a working kiln and plenty of ceramics supplies,” the paper quoted her as saying.
Still, getting that clay to students presents a challenge during the pandemic, and none of them have the aforementioned kiln in their homes. So Ms Kimbley has students watch her on Zoom and model what she does by sculpting 50-cent Play-Doh from Wal-Mart.
Students are also assigned a prompt for a weekly “Creative Conversations” discussion about sculpture. They have to find a sculpture on the internet that relates to the weekly prompt and then make a few thoughtful comments about the piece of art.
“It has proven to be a really great way to expose students (and myself) to a variety of different art, artists, and websites, and I may even incorporate it into my in-person curriculum when we return,” Ms Kimbley was quoted as saying.
Several ceramics teachers have contributed ideas for teaching the subject remotely in a discussion thread on the Ceramic Arts Network. At a higher level, the University of Southern California presented a few ideas last spring for making remote learning work for courses that are definitely hands-on, including architecture, ceramics, and dance.