Mindfulness in Art

Middle school students are learning to master various crafts during TEA’s “Mindfulness in Art” intensive course

Words by Ana Remis, Intensives Teacher

After a fabulous fieldwork visiting our local makers space and art museum, we returned to the Truckee Roundhouse on Thursday to complete our ceramic projects with glaze. Using two kinds of glazing techniques (dipping or painting directly with underglazes) students designed and decorated their candle-holders, mugs, bowls, and sculptural creations. We also began brainstorming and drafting our next project exploring how emotions can be expressed through art, with a focus on color. In class we discussed how nuanced feelings can be (if we feel happy, is it pride? excitement? peace? if we are sad, is it from isolation, disappointment, or guilt?) and how language may refer to colors to express emotion (green with jealousy, red with rage, feeling blue). Students were asked to focus on a mood they wish to depict, and select a color and related concepts they could use to represent that mood.

Our academic goals during Fieldwork week are for students to:

– learn the design process through thumbnail sketching, iteration, and final execution
– understand the impacts of positive and negative space when designing a luminary
– learn basic coil and slab ceramic building techniques through the experience of making their own personalized mug, bowl, and candle-holder
– learn the basics of ceramics, including the steps involved (forming, bisque firing, glazing)
– learn basic sewing and design skills through the experience of making their own tote bags and eye pillows
– become familiar with a local arts space & what they offer (Truckee Roundhouse)
– become familiar with a local art institution & be able to write and speak about the art on display (NV Museum of Art)

Pictures speak a thousand words and I got a bunch, so please enjoy some photos of us in action below!

The students worked through various challenges, all while practicing patience and learning about the design process through thumbnail sketching, iteration, and final execution. We can’t wait to see the finished products at the upcoming Celebration of Arts next month!