This academic year proved to be a pleasant and flourishing turning point for Taller Guaguarey. A high number of new students registered requiring an additional clay class for basic learners. We accepted the challenge without hesitation and both basic and intermediate classes engaged with discipline and commitment in the art of pottery making. We incorporated visual aid tools, using our laptop and projector. This allowed us access to the internet and easy to follow PowerPoint presentations. At the end of each class, students felt satisfied and confident in their understanding of the material.
The Basic group focused on learning the nature and characteristics of clay, how to work it, the techniques of wedging and pinch pots. The intermediate group focused on glazing their clay pieces. The internet and visual aid equipment made it possible to download specific glaze catalogs pointing out necessary information. Together we researched data such as “lead free and food safe” glazes. This is important to know especially if the pottery piece is going to be used to place food or drink. This process encouraged the students to spend time planning and visualizing the look, feel and color of the desired outcome. We emphasized that once the glazed pieces go into the kiln, there’s no going back to undo mistakes. Feeling supported, the students were encouraged to trust their judgement and to enjoy the process as evidenced in the following students’ quotes.
“Certainly the culmination of this year has represented new challenges.
Thanks to each and every one for a year where our imagination, our energy and affection have flown…”
“The dynamics of our group is one of constant learning and the rhythm that the teacher has established helps us to understand the different aspects of working clay. The class has allowed us the space to create educational material collaboratively. There is an emphasis on working calmly, with love, allowing the clay to speak to us and letting the emotions flow in each contact with the clay or with the piece that has been created. We have to stay in this art that unifies us and gives us so much hope.”
“Congratulations and give thanks because life has given us the opportunity to know how noble Mother Earth is and how much can be done with clay and the blessed water that gives us life.”
“I feel proud to be part of this group. I take my hat off in front of everyone. I admire (each) of you very much.”