CERAMICS! (by Mrs. Klitzing)

Kids are born naturally creative and inquisitive.  As an Art teacher, I believe it is my job to help kids find ways to explore and express their creativity through a variety of experiences in the Art Studio.  At St. Paul’s, one of the ways we express ourselves is through Ceramics!

Here are just a few ways students benefit from Ceramics:


  • I love watching a student interact with clay for the first time.  Their eyes widen. They gasp and laugh at the texture, the scent. They poke, pat, prod, pull, twist, and roll.  Quickly, the student learns that their careful movements and manipulations have an immediate effect on the clay as they mold it into their unique creation.  


  • While working with clay, the student is in charge!  Mistakes happen in Ceramics. OFTEN! Students learn to take the reins and correct mistakes as they come up while working on a project.  Clay is a forgiving medium, and students feel empowered as they realize that they have the power to correct mistakes that arise.


  • Careful planning goes into each Ceramics project.  Students start each project with a sketch, mapping out their planning methods.  Once the project is begun, students must make adjustments as they go - tweaking or changing details in order to create their three-dimensional piece.  Is this slab too thin?  Too thick? How tall can I make this tower before it falls over?  Which color glaze would look best? Students are encouraged to think on their own and “Give it a try!” in Ceramics.  


  • In a world of instant gratification, students learn quickly that success, or the end result, is definitely not something that happens overnight.  Everything takes time. Time to plan. Time to build. Time to dry. Time to fire. Time to glaze. Time to re-fire. You get the picture! Ceramics takes time and patience.  Trial and error. There are non-negotiable sets of rules and procedures in Ceramics. Rules that must be followed for safety purposes, but also, rules that are necessary for ensuring a successful project.  


  • Who needs a stress ball when  you can play with clay for an entire period?  There’s something therapeutic about working with clay.  I love watching students forget about everything else for a short while as they become fully immersed in a new project.  

We learn so much through Ceramics, and I am thankful our students are given the opportunity to explore the wonderful medium of clay here at St. Paul’s!