Friday, November 26, 2010

Clay and Glass Museum

I won, I won, I won!! Well I won from the volunteer list from my Grand daughter's class at school to act as chaperone on their trip to the Clay and Glass Museum in Waterloo.
The kids and teachers went on the school bus and the volunteers drove up separately. 
Off they went on the big yellow bus!!
They all gathered in the gallery's studio and the children were set up at a table and were each given a clay block, rolling pin, toothbrush and plastic knife.  The instructor then took them through a series of instructions to make a Christmas tree or a house.

First you roll the clay out to the thickness of your pinkie

Then you cut out the shape using a paper template and the plastic knife
 Esme choose a Christmas tree

Then you add texture using fabric, stamps, objects or rolling designs
Esme choose a heavy lace fabric and rolled over it


Adding bark to bottom of tree

Adding the Christmas balls, wreaths and finishing the design
The clay pieces were left for firing and will be forwarded to the school at a later date.  They all looked great!!  Kids work well together and they all have a style of their own making each one -tree and house- unique. Just like them.

We then moved into the gallery which had many amazing pieces of glass and clay art.  A bit unnerving when you see about 30 8-9 years old hovering around.  The guide from the gallery was excellent with the children and she gathered them around this metallic structure and listened to all their thoughts on what it might look like to them.  They all had something to say, it looked like the moon, a planet, a ship from star wars, reminded them of a movie with a similar object in it. Lots of them said it looked like a disco ball - I guess each year at the school they get a disco ball for their danceathon for charity. I was surprised they knew what that was.

Now they were free to browse in the presence of their adult chaperone...yikes!!

 I took my little group and they ran from one side to the other before I got a grip of the situation.  We looked at the names and dates of the pieces and finally got them settled enough to find out what they thought of the artwork.  The yellow one above they all agreed it looked like McDonald's french fries (I guess they were getting hungry).  The shape was there and I must say McDonald's signature colours have been embedded in their little brains.  Well done McDonald's Marketing...I think they should buy this sculpture.
 These pieces against the yellow wall I found fascinating.  Not only by their shapes but the colour of them against the yellow wall appears to be black.  When you go to the side of the gallery and look along the pieces they are a beautiful rich purple colour with the daylight shining through them from the window.  The children loved that.
 When I asked what they thought of the clear glass one ( I thought the most beautiful) my little charge piped up and said "it reminds me of that time I broke the glass".  Move on Grandma...
They covered it all, had a lot to say and after a potty break grabbed their coats and back to school on the big yellow bus.  It reminded me that children have open minds, think for themselves and are generally very smart...let's hope we don't educate that out of think for yourself and be unique!!

I will go back to the gallery by myself at a quiet time and take it all in!  I thought the work was beautiful and the colours were amazing...I only saw it with one eye as the other one was on someone who was too close to a large piece of glass or moving a wee bit too fast for my liking.

This was an amazing "school trip" and we must give the teachers and the board credit for opening the children's eyes to such a wonderful experience in these days of "cuts"- not talking french fries here, how great.

It's a beautiful life at the Clay and Glass gallery, Waterloo, Ontario.


Starry-eyed stitcher said...

Looking at and even touching real art is such an amazing experience for children isn't it - and equally scary for those in charge of those small children!
In England they put so many H&S problems in our way it became almost impossible to take children out of school. It took hours of form filling and telephone calls to even take them for a walk to the local shops that eventually we just stopped trying. For example we had to think of every possible thing that could happen to a child as they stepped up onto a coach!! Ridiculous. Things are easing up now to a more common sense approach. Love Irene xxx

Cheryl said...

Happy St Andrews day to you over there in Canada x