Sometimes it’s hard to know where our inspiration comes from. We see, hear and react to things all the time, non-stop. It’s a blur!
I thought it would be fun to turn getting inspiration into a series of games (spinners, dice & cards!) This way we can follow our thoughts and track the origins of our future ideas.
Inspiration is generated within you as the artist from seemingly random elements and personal forces. The interpretation of the work you create is constructed in the minds of the viewers. We all bring our own set of experiences to what we see in things as a creator and as a viewer of art.
Are you ready to play some Inspiration Games? OK, here we go!
1. Spin the wheel and write down the object that you land on!
2. Spin this wheel and write down the emotion that you land on!
3. Roll the Dice – write down the form associated with your number
4. Pick a Card – write down the directive that is on the card
In honor of Election Day, my Ceramics II students set out to select a social issue that they were passionate about. I wanted their opinions to have a “place at the table” and for their voices to matter. Their challenge was to represent their stand on their chosen issue in the form of plate or place setting.
After the plates were complete, we set them up as an installation and invited the 11th and 12th grade social studies classes down to view the work. The visiting groups talked about and analyzed what issue they believed each plate represented. It was interesting to listen to the students carefully figure out what the art was saying to them.
The event took place two days before the election results were reported, and it already feels like a million years have passed, and not just a month. Whatever the future holds, at least we can say, “The issues that matter to us had a place at the table…even if it only lasted a day.” I’m so very proud of my students.
Here is a link to their commercials. Below are pictures of their work and the installation.
On December 23rd, the visual arts students hosted an open house in art room 14. Each art student was allowed to invite 3 friends to the art room during their regular scheduled class period. It was a half day, so the periods were shorter. During their time in the art room, visitors enjoyed looking at 2D art hanging on the walls and got to nibble on the holiday treats that were served in handmade work created by the ceramics students. Food was brought in by the students, and the HT Arts Parents Guild helped with filling in the gaps (paper products, flowers etc) and financially supporting the event! It was a SUPER day!! Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!
Panoramic of the room. It’s a big room – but not quite this big!
Sometimes we do things without fully knowing where they will lead us, but we do them anyway! Maybe we’re curious, maybe we’re adventurous, or maybe we’re a little bit of both!
For me, as an artist, doing is what leads to the knowing. Doing is how I learn and how I figure things out. It’s inherently that way for everyone, but sometimes we get bogged down by all the things we have to “do” that it’s not fun – because no matter what it is…doinganything (even brushing your teeth) takes time!
After nearly 3 years of “doing” twitter, it’s starting to make sense to me. I thoroughly enjoy seeing what I can discover from the individuals and ideas I encounter. For me, twitter operates like a Law of the Universe. Energy attracts energy, and connections are made by what we give and what we seek.
When we switch our thinking from what time takes, to what time gives, everything seems to fall into place. I enjoy giving twitter a little bit of my time, I always get something interesting in return.
My Ceramics II students each created a 4 piece set, consisting of 2 bowls and 2 cups for a special luncheon that we have affectionately referred to as BYB2AC!
Each student created a set of dishes that related in theme and or concept. The relationship between their two pieces needed to consist of more than just color, and it specifically did not have to “match”. The students spent about 14 class periods building and glazing their pieces to prepare them for the lunch with their buddy.
And today was the day! What fun!! We made more than just ceramic place settings…we fostered a community of artists and art appreciators who shared a meal and spent time with one another. I can’t think of anything that I enjoy more!!
This summer, I started an exercise class called “TRX – Suspension Training”, and am getting more from the experience than I ever imagined. I joined the class because I wanted to be stronger and more fit. Little did I know it would make me think about teaching. I never could have predicted that a workout would make me think about what happens in my art room, but it does.
I’m not very good at TRX. (But I’m getting better.) During every session I am confronted with things I can’t do.
As I hang from the straps and struggle with the things my body can’t do yet, it makes me think about my students, and how they confront things that they don’t know how to do in my class. The knowledge of our own limitations can make us feel vulnerable. How a teacher treats those moments of vulnerability can be a game changer!
My own limitations with TRX has been a humbling experience. It’s also the perfect reminder that with the right support, encouragement and verbal directives – progress is possible. Clear guidance, combined with patience is the mark of good teaching! My TRX coach, Angela is a great teacher, and is helping me feel more confident and stronger every week! I hope my students can say the same about me.
I’m thrilled to be presenting again at the AENJ Conference this year! As a former AENJ Conference co-chair in 2012 and 2013, I know first hand the work that goes into planning the conference. Please be sure to thank your AENJ Leadership for all they do…(it’s more than you realize!)
“Clay Chronicles – when dirt goes digital” highlights 25+ years of experience teaching ceramics. The story is long but the take-away is short…never stop learning and figuring out how to share the work your students are creating with anyone and everyone who should (and can) see it.
Below are some images from my presentation – more student work is always being posted on Pinterest. Please email me if you have any questions. I’m happy to share!
Over the years, I’ve found myself thinking about the difference between a groove and a rut. When you imagine them, they are both essentially the same thing. However, when interpreted, a rut confines and limits movement, and a groove defines it, while facilitating flow. A rut implies being stuck, and a groove implies passage. A groove also allows for things to come together to make both things stronger.
Yep…I’m definitely in a groove!
This year (#26 for me) I am partnered with a 5th grade teacher in my school district as part of a PD teaching team. With 56 combined years of teaching experience between us and over 20 years of knowing “of” each other, this year we are newly connected and working together to create a PD experience with 18 of our district colleagues! It has been a summer filled with stretching, planning, learning, collaboration and building a new friendship. It’s been wonderful. I can’t wait to learn more as the school year goes on.
Hi, I’m Karen Kiick!
I am an artist and a teacher. I view both roles as important, but the teacher in me never rests. The satisfaction of guiding people to realize their creative gifts fuels everything I do. On this site, you'll find a bunch of art lesson plans, ideas, and student work. Thanks for visiting!